All About Kalamazoo History
Award-winning Local History Articles
People and Places from Kalamazoo’s Past
Learn about the history of your library, discover groundbreaking local businesses, dive deep into Kalamazoo’s rich musical and sports history, visit historic neighborhoods, explore commercial buildings and stately homes, and meet the people who helped make Kalamazoo what it is today.
All information is researched and written by members of the Kalamazoo Public Library staff.
- Parsons Business College: Independently operated business school, established in 1869.
- “Bright Kalamazoo” An early ‘Kalamazoo’ song from 1854 singing the praises of the Kalamazoo River.
- Orville H. Gibson: The musician, the performer, the craftsman behind the name.
- Williams Station: Once a busy rail stop, now a ghost town in northwestern Kalamazoo County.
- Walter Scott Butterfield: Michigan’s “Theater Man” brought vaudeville to downtown Kalamazoo.
- Marilyn “Mamie” Austin: Kalamazoo’s accidental documentary photographer.
- ‘Foot Ball’ in Kalamazoo (1870–1939): Local origins of the gridiron sport.
- Rural Schools of Kalamazoo County: Many of the pages in this extensive study have been recently updated.
- Oak Grove School: New information about this 19th century Texas Township schoolhouse.
Kalamazoo Public Library received an Award of Merit from the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission for the “All About Kalamazoo History” section of its website, as well as a prestigious State History Award for “outstanding contributions to the appreciation and understanding of Michigan history.