Ever wonder where Kalamazoo got it's name?

Many of us already know that Kalamazoo was originally named Bronson after the city's founder Titus Bronson.  It was then changed to the name we know, Kalamazoo, in 1836.  So, where does that name come from?  According to apartmentguide.com,

The word Kalamazoo is derived from the Potawatomi term for "boiling water," which refers to an annual footrace the local Native Americans held where contestants had to run to the river and back before a pot of water boiled. Maybe the Potawatomi were in such a hurry to boil water because they had to start on a great batch of beer.

The website for the City of Kalamazoo points out that the true origin of the name is uncertain but...

The true meaning of the name Kalamazoo remains uncertain. The most widely accepted explanation comes from a Potawatomi legend. Fleet Foot, in order to win his bride, had to run from the settlement down the river and back again before a pot of water could boil away. The translations "boiling pot," "boiling water," and "where the water boils" originate from this legend. Others have said the name translates to "mirage," "reflecting river," or even "smothered."

One thing all of the name origin theories have in common is water.  They all point back to what we now know as the Kalamazoo River.


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