This city, formally known as Bronson has had a very rich history since first being inhabited by European fur traders in the late 18th and 19 centuries. We've come a long way as a city and a community, and there are so many things about our city that are unique and special. Let's go over some of the things Kalamazoo can claim that other cities can't:


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1. We Created "Archtop" Guitars: One of the most popular styles of guitars there is, Orville Gibson was the founder and creator of Gibson Guitars originally founded in his home workshop in Kalamazoo in 1894 until the company moved officially to Nashville, Tennessee in 1984.


vintage$h*t VIA eBay

2. Yes, There Really Is A Kalamazoo: Our cities' name, which sounds unusual to English-speaking ears, has become a metonym for exotic places, as in the phrase "from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo." Today, there is all sorts of merch dawning the phrase "Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo."


 

Wikipedia

3. We Were The First To Have Curb Cuts: You know how when you come to an intersection and the paved sidewalk slants down into the pavement to make for a smooth and safe path? Ya, you're welcome world. They were first installed in Kalamazoo in the 1940s as a pilot project to aid employment of disabled veterans. Now they aid wheelchair users, toddlers and bikers to move onto or off of a sidewalk with less difficulty.


 

 

Heather McGregor/TSM

4. We Are The Beer Capital Of Michigan: Sorry, but it's just the plain truth. Kalamazoo is home to over 14 breweries and distillers that make their own craft beer/spirits. That's on top of all the other pub's in this booming college town. Each with their own style, selection, and foods, there is even a beer map that will help guide you through all of them if you're up for the challenge.


 

Google Maps Street View

5. We Had The Very First Outdoor Mall: The big trend with cities recently is the want for an outdoor shopping experience. It is nice to be able to shop while walking your dog or just enjoying the weather. In 1959, Kalamazoo opened up the very first Outdoor Mall. The Mall was designed by Victor Gruen, who also designed the country's first enclosed shopping mall, which had opened three years earlier.


There so many reasons to love Kalamazoo and these are just a few of the things that make our city so special. What other things about Kalamazoo do you like? Let us know on our Facebook.


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