Historical Markers in
Kalamazoo County, Michigan

25th Michigan Volunteer Infantry A.U.V. Auditorium Barn Theatre Button-Jannasch Building Casey McKay Central Cemetery Veterans Memorial Climax Veterans Memorial Climax World War II Memorial Community Library Congregational United Church of Christ Cooper Congregational Church Daniel B. Eldred House DeLano Homestead District No. 8 Schoolhouse Epaphroditus Ransom Fanny M. Bair Library Festus Hall House First Baptist Church First Religious Service in Kalamazoo County First Rural Free Delivery Carriers First United Methodist Church First Women's Club in Michigan For A Pal German Prisoners of War Gregory B. Jarvis and Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Harris Family Hayloft Theatre Haymarket Historic District Haymarket Historic District Henderson Park West Main Hill Historic District In Memoriam U.S.S Maine In Memory Indian Fields Kalamazoo 9/11 Memorial Kalamazoo Celery Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo Disabled Veterans Memorial Kalamazoo Gazette Kalamazoo Korean War Memorial Kalamazoo School Case Kalamazoo Vietnam War Memorial Kindleberger Park Lincoln at Kalamazoo Lincoln's August 1856 Speech in Kalamazoo Michigan State Grange / Women in the Michigan Grange Park Theatre Pioneer Cemetery Portage District No. 8 School Portage Grain Elevator / Feed Mill Riverside Cemetery Veterans Memorial Schoolcraft G.A.R. Memorial South Street Historic District Spanish War Veterans Monument Stuart Manor Stuart Neighborhood Stuart Neighborhood Stuart Neighborhood The Climax Crescent Newspaper The First Presbyterian Church The Kalamazoo Case: Establishing High School for All The Kalamazoo Region The Kalamazoo Region The Peninsula Building The Stuart House The Upjohn Company / William E. Upjohn U.S.S. Maine Memorial Underground Railroad House Vickers' Mill Vicksburg's First Mill W.K. Kellogg House Welcome to the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary Western Michigan University William Rufus Shafter Memorial
The first European settlement in Michigan was founded by French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. He established the settlement of Fort Pontchartrain du D├ętroit (later known as Detroit), which became an important trading post and military stronghold for the French and later the British.

Kalamazoo County, located in southwestern Michigan, has a rich history dating back to ancient Native American settlements. The region was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe, who relied on the area's abundant resources for their livelihood. The first European settlers arrived in the early 19th century, establishing the present-day city of Kalamazoo in 1829.

During the 19th century, Kalamazoo County experienced rapid growth and development. The construction of the Michigan Central Railroad in the 1830s facilitated transportation and boosted the local economy. The county became known for its agriculture, with farmers cultivating crops like wheat, corn, and potatoes. In the mid-19th century, Kalamazoo became a major hub for paper and pharmaceutical manufacturing, further contributing to its economic prosperity.

In the early 20th century, Kalamazoo County played a significant role in the automotive industry, with several automobile manufacturing companies establishing operations in the county. Notably, the Gibson Guitar Corporation, known for its iconic guitars, was founded in Kalamazoo in 1902. Throughout the 20th century, the county continued to diversify its economy, witnessing advancements in various sectors, including education, healthcare, and technology.

Today, Kalamazoo County is a thriving community with a population of over 260,000 residents. It is home to Western Michigan University, which attracts students from all around the world. The county's vibrant downtown area offers a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Kalamazoo County's rich historical heritage, combined with its modern amenities, makes it an attractive place to live, work, and visit.

  • 1829 - Kalamazoo County is established in the Michigan Territory.
  • 1831 - The first permanent settlement, Bronson (later renamed Kalamazoo), is founded.
  • 1836 - Kalamazoo County becomes part of the newly established state of Michigan.
  • 1838 - The Michigan Central Railroad reaches Kalamazoo, boosting the local economy.
  • 1860 - Kalamazoo College is founded, offering higher education opportunities.
  • 1875 - Kalamazoo becomes known as the "Paper City" due to its thriving paper industry.
  • 1904 - W.E. Upjohn establishes the Upjohn Company (later merged with Pfizer) in Kalamazoo, leading to significant pharmaceutical industry growth.
  • 1970 - The Kalamazoo Mall, the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States, opens in downtown Kalamazoo.
  • 1998 - Western Michigan University's Broncos win the NCAA Division I-A Football Championship.
  • 2007 - The Kalamazoo River oil spill occurs, resulting in environmental damage and cleanup efforts.