Where Did Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo Get Its Name?
Did you know that Sprinkle Road was named after a guy named Arthur?
For many of us that have lived in the Kalamazoo area for years, we've never questioned the name Sprinkle Road. It's just always been there. But when someone posed the question about the street's origin on the Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook page I was inspired to do a little digging.
Speaking of inspiration, while digging I found this nugget of Sprinkle Road history. It's a song by a 60s band named Aorta called "Sprinkle Road to Cork Street." The band's lead singer at one point was Peter Cetera, who later went on to be the lead singer of Chicago.
Nicholas Postelli posed this question on one of my favorite Facebook pages, Vanished Kalamazoo,
Hi all! Does anyone know the origin story behind the naming of “Sprinkle Road”? We just had family in town who asked- and we live off of it! 😃
David Schuster commented, "there was only a sprinkle of cars back then."
Luke Sprinkle responded, "False."
I can't ignore the fact that someone with the last name Sprinkle has something to say on this matter. In fact, the comment thread was sprinkled with Sprinkles. I'm no historian, but I think it's safe to say the road is named after the family. Then I read Greg Gabry's comment,
Arthur J. Sprinkle (and later, his descendants) owned large parcels of land in that area around the turn of the last century. The road was named in honor of him and his family. I believe the land that the GM plant was built on in the '60s was once Sprinkle family land.
I couldn't find anything on the internet to confirm or disprove Greg's theory. I asked him for a source for this info for #WednesdayWisdom. He responded,
Sorry I wish I could point you in the direction of a one-stop tell all, but I don't know of one. I was looking at old plat maps and directories as well as stories and comments posted here, along with family obituaries to piece it all together.
Others agreed the street is named after the Sprinkle family, including Dan Cloud,
Sprinkle road was named for a family who ran a gravel company in Kalamazoo, which later became Statler Reddy Mix Concrete Company.
If there is definite information confirming or denying the Arthur Sprinkle connection, I can't find it. But with the info we have, it's hard to imagine Sprinkle Road got its name from anywhere else.