Kalamazoo, Michigan, the seat of Kalamazoo County. The city is on the Kalamazoo River, about 130 miles (210 km) west of Detroit. Kalamazoo is an industrial city and a trading center for the surrounding agricultural area. Products made here include pharmaceuticals, clothing, bedding, and chemicals. Kalamazoo is the seat of Western Michigan University and of Kalamazoo College. The city has an art museum, an aviation history museum, a natural history museum, and a symphony orchestra.
Kalamazoo is an Indian name for “boiling pot.” There was a trading post on the site in 1823; the settlement itself was founded in 1829 by Titus Bronson. Kalamazoo was incorporated as a village in 1838 and as a city in 1884. In 1959 the city opened a parklike mall, free of traffic, in the center of the city—a plan soon adopted by other cities to attract shoppers away from outlying shopping centers to the downtown area.