Kalamazoo is an Indian word said to mean "boiling water," Originally it was applied to the river that flows northwesterly to Lake Michigan. A trickle of setters in the 1820's became a torrent in the 1830's as the region's fertile prairies, oak openings, bottom lands, and ample sources of water power became known. The village of Bronson, founded in 1829 by Titus Bronson, is now the city of Kalamazoo. Here Lincoln
made his only known Michigan speech. J. Fenimore Cooper wrote about the area in Oak Openings. Kalamazoo College
, founded in 1833, Nazareth College (1871) and Western Michigan University
(1903) are here. Once famous for its celery
and stoves, Kalamazoo is now known for many products including paper and drugs. The nation's first permanent pedestrian mall was opened in the downtown section in 1959.