city, seat (1830) of Kalamazoo county, southwestern Michigan, U.S. It lies along the Kalamazoo River, some 50 miles (80 km) south of Grand Rapids. A fur-trading post known as Kikalamazoo-a Potawatomi name meaning "mirage," "reflecting river," or "boiling river," referring to the rapids-was already established at the site where Titus Bronson built a cabin in 1829. The settlement, first known as Bronson, was renamed in 1836. The presence of a government land office and the arrival of the Michigan Central Railroad (1846) encouraged growth. In the 1850s Dutch farmers made the locality famous for celery; later it became known for the cultivation of annual bedding plants.
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