4 Kalamazoo Area Businesses That Have/Had Operated for 100+ Years
In this day and age, seeing a business that has been in business for 20+ years feels impressive. At least to me.
Withstanding the fluctuating economy, change in consumer demands, and a pandemic on top of all of that has to be tough. And yet, there are many businesses that have endured.
With that being said, a long-standing business in the Kalamazoo area recently announced its closure. That business is Root Spring Scraper, Co. Their post indicated that they had been operating for over 100 years which absolutely blows my mind. But, as it turns out, they're not the only business that stood for a century in this area.
Here are at least 4 Kalamazoo area companies that were open for 100+ years:
1. Root Spring Scraper Co.
As mentioned above, Root Spring Scraper Co. only recently announced its closure. Visiting their website brings up a letter to their customers that was originally posted in May of 2022 that reads, in part,
We at Root Spring would like to express our deep appreciation to our dealers and customers for the pleasure of our continued association over the many years. Our 131 years of business has been greatly enriched by all our valued friends and customers.
Root Spring Scraper Co. opened in 1891 and dealt with road maintenance and snow removal equipment.
2. The Gilmore Brothers Department Store
Opening in 1881, the Gilmore Brothers Department Store sold dry goods, carpets, cloaks, and men's furnishings according to kpl.gov. Through their success, the store eventually ended up expanding into a six-story building on Burdick Street.
They went on to survive the Roaring 20s, the following Great Depression, World War ll, and the 1980 tornado that ravaged the Kalamazoo area. Eventually, they shut their doors in 1999 after 118 years in business.
Today, the building has been remodeled and now serves as the Kalamazoo City Centre pictured above.
3. Coney Island Hot Dogs
The original hot dog stand in Kalamazoo, at least according to their website, this spot has been in business since 1915 and is still operating to this day. In fact, of all of the Coney Islands in Michigan, this one is the longest in continuous operation out of the same location.
Their menu features a coney dog (of course), a Chicago dog, a New York dog, burgers, onion rings, and more. If you're passing through Kalamazoo, this historic spot is definitely worth a visit.
4. Park Trades Center
Okay, this one is more of a technicality. But, I feel like people tend to overlook this building and the incredible artists inside.
The building now known as Park Trades Center has been standing for over 100 years in the Kalamazoo area. Originally a manufacturing facility, it now is home to over 100 artists, artisans, designers, entrepreneurs, and small business people, according to their website.
Never been inside? The resident artists occasionally open their doors to visitors during Art Hop. Learn more about Art Hop here.
If you love taking a trip down the often historic memory lane and love taking actual trips, too...these are for you: