About Kalamazoo

The City of Kalamazoo was founded in 1831, when Titus Bronson (1778-1853) recorded the original plat for the Village of Bronson at the County Register of Deeds Office. Shortly thereafter, Governor Lewis Cass selected the village as the site of the county seat, which spurred the rapid development of the community. Bronson, an eccentric and argumentative man, often found himself at odds with his fellow settlers. After a series of incidents, including being fined for stealing a cherry tree from another settler, his enemies successfully changed the name of the town to Kalamazoo in 1836.

Today Kalamazoo is home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three colleges & universities, nationally recognized healthcare systems, diverse and affordable housing, clean and safe drinking water, and many parks, lakes, and golf courses. A wide variety of businesses call Kalamazoo home, including industry leaders in the pharmaceutical, medical science, and craft beer industries. Kalamazoo also offers a huge variety of music, visual art, dance, and theater for everyone to enjoy.

Kalamazoo is located in southwestern Michigan approximately 136 miles west of Detroit, 73 miles southwest of Lansing, and 145 miles east of Chicago. It's easily accessible from both I-94 and U.S. 131 and is the county seat of Kalamazoo County. 

The true meaning of the name Kalamazoo remains uncertain. The most widely accepted explanation comes from a Potawatomi legend. Fleet Foot, in order to win his bride, had to run from the settlement down the river and back again before a pot of water could boil away. The translations "boiling pot," "boiling water," and "where the water boils" originate from this legend. Others have said the name translates to "mirage," "reflecting river," or even "smothered."

Additional information about Kalamazoo's history is available from the Kalamazoo Public Library here.