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Your destination - Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo is located on the Kalamazoo River in southwestern Michigan, half way between Chicago and Detroit. The city name comes from the Indian word Kikalamazoo, which means “reflecting river,” descriptive of the mirror-like waters that flow through the area. It is the seat of Kalamazoo County seat and an industrialized city rich in educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Population is estimated at more than 80,000.

Kalamazoo’s diversified manufacturing concerns range from paper, plastics, and chemicals to automotive parts and aircraft components. It the home of such Fortune 500 Companies as Pharmacia Corporation, a world leader in pharmaceuticals. In 1959, Kalamazoo developed the nation's first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. The area has access to a modern freeway system, Amtrak and Conrail, and the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport.

The area features many notable points of interest and cultural attractions, including the Aviation History Museum, Civic Theatre, Concert Band, Film Society, Institute of Arts, Nature Center, Valley Museum, Folklife Association, Symphony, Ballet, and Children's Chorus. And much more. Kalamazoo offers a classic car museum, a chamber music society, a summer stock theater, a Bach festival, a speedway, a state-of-the art fish hatchery, a model railroad museum, a jazz society, three wineries, an Indian mound, and homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The site was first settled by fur trader Titus Bronson in 1829 among the Pottawatomi Indians who had deeded the area to the United States two years earlier. Though the village of Bronson was officially registered, it was renamed Kalamazoo in 1836 by the Michigan legislature. It was incorporated as a village in 1838 and then as a city in 1883. Kalamazoo's initial growth was sparked by paper mills established in 1874.


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