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Kalamazoo, Michigan

HistoryEdit The area on which the modern city of Kalamazoo stands was once home to Native Americans of theHopewell culture, who migrated into the area sometime before the first millennium. Evidence of their early residency remains in the form of a smallmound in downtown's Bronson Park. The Hopewell civilization began to decline after the 8th century and was replaced by other groups.[13] The Potawatomiculture lived in the area when the first European explorers arrived. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, passed just southeast of the present city of Kalamazoo in late March 1680. The first Europeans to reside in the area were itinerant fur traders in the late 18th and early 19th century. There are records of several traders wintering in the area, and by the 1820s at least one trading post had been established.[14][15] During the War of 1812, the British established a smithy and a prison camp in the area.[16] The 1821 Treaty of Chicago ceded the territory south of the Grand River to the United States federal government. However, the area around present-day Kalamazoo was reserved as the village ofPotawatomi Chief Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish. Six years later, as a result of the 1827 Treaty of St. Joseph, the tract that became the city of Kalamazoo was also ceded. In 1829, Titus Bronson, originally from Connecticut, became the first white settler to build a cabin within the present city limits of Kalamazoo.[17] He plattedthe town in 1831 and named it the village of Bronson—not to be confused with the much smaller Bronson, Michigan, about fifty miles (80 km) to the south-southeast of Kalamazoo. Bronson, frequently described as "eccentric" and argumentative, was later run out of town. The village was renamed Kalamazoo in 1836, due in part to Bronson's being fined for stealing a cherry tree.[18]Today, a hospital and a downtown park, among other things, are named for Bronson. Kalamazoo was legally incorporated as a village in 1838 and as a city in 1883. The fertile farmlands attracted prosperous Yankeefarmers who settled the surrounding area, and sent their sons to Kalamazoo to become businessmen, professionals and entrepreneurs who started numerous factories.[19] Most of the original settlers of Kalamazoo were New Englanders or were from upstate New York.[20] On August 27, 1856, Illinois politician Abraham Lincoln spoke at a rally in Bronson Park, promoting the presidential candidacy of John C. Fremont, who was running on the ticket of the new Republican Party. It was Lincoln's only public speech during his only visit to Michigan. In 1959, the city created the Kalamazoo Mall, the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States, by closing part of Burdick Street to auto traffic. The Mall was designed by Victor Gruen, who also designed the country's first enclosed shopping mall, which had opened three years earlier.[21] Two of the mall's four blocks were reopened to auto traffic in 1999 after much debate.[22] An F3 tornado struck downtown Kalamazoo on May 13, 1980, killing five and injuring 79.[23] North Burdick St. in 1908 Academy St. in 1908 Old public library in 1908 Paper mills in 1908

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