Growth and Development
In 1930, when the settlement had a population of 511, the governor of Michigan approved a charter that turned part of northern Kalamazoo Township into the Village of Parchment. During the 1930's, the KVP Company continued to bear most of the expenses for the community, but as the depression dragged on and the community continued to grow, it became apparent that a new form of government was needed. In 1939 the citizens of Parchment approved a new charter and turned their town into a 5th class city. Over the next several decades the new Commission-Manager government took over various services that the mill had previously provided.
The 40's and 50's were prosperous times for the young city. KVP employed over 1700 people and was known as "the world's model paper mill." Other local businesses took root, including the Hercules Powder Company, which produced chemicals for the paper industry, Harding's Friendly Market, and Bellisle's Cut Rate Store. Services, including police and fire protection, water and sewage, and an independent educational system, were all developed and combined to make Parchment a desirable place to live. In 1960 KVP merged with the Sutherland Paper Company. In 1966 the Brown Company bought KVP-Sutherland, and in 1980 that concern was bought out by the James River Corporation. Crown-Vantage, which operated from 1995-2000, was the last company to manufacture paper in Parchment.