The name Kalamazoo is probably one of the most unique and original city names in the entire United States. Although there are a few other towns named "Kalamazoo" across the nation, the one in Michigan is the most well-known thanks to several references in music and pop culture over the years.

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But a long time ago, before the Kalamazoo currently located in Kalamazoo County got its name, there was another Michigan town that briefly called itself Kalamazoo located along the shores of Lake Michigan.

A European-American settler named William C. Butler arrived in the area that is currently the city of Saugatuck in Allegan County in 1830. He is credited with establishing what was then called "Kalamazoo Village". By 1833, he had purchased land and plotted out the village.

But in 1836, the Michigan state legislature gave the current city of Kalamazoo, which had been called Bronson, its name. Likely for continuity reasons, Arcadia Township was renamed Kalamazoo Township at this time as well. Kalamazoo had originally been named after founder Titus Bronson.

So Kalamazoo Village had to come up with a new name. For a while, they decided to name it after the township it was located in called Newark. An unnamed postmaster was the first to suggest the name Saugatuck, a native American term for "a stream outlet".

The post office there actually took this name before Saugatuck incorporated as a village in 1868. It wasn't until 1984 that Saugatuck was officially incorporated as a city.

Today, it is a popular tourist and vacation destination with thousands of visitors every year.

Colorized Pictures of Early Kalamazoo That Will Blow Your Mind



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