local history

The Green Book exhibit at the Gilmore Car Museum
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Imagine you’re on a long family trip. Only you can’t stop for the bathroom. You can’t stop to eat or stay at a hotel. There are only a handful of places you can go and they could be several hours apart. That’s what family trips were like for African Americans in the Jim Crow era, from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The Civil War changed Kalamazoo. But for many people, daily routines – and favorite entertainments – went on.

Michigan Female Seminary postcard from the archives of Kalamazoo Valley Museum
courtesy of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum

The Michigan Female Seminary has been closed for more than a century, but at one time, it was one of the few places to send your daughter to continue her education in the 1800's. 

The Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek
Nancy Camden

The Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center building in Battle Creek is mainly serves as offices for the Defense Logistics Agency which provides supplies and services to U.S. military forces. 

The building has a colorful history and is on the National and State Register of Historic Places.

Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Retired Western Michigan University professor of art Charles Stroh spent five years putting together six walking tours of Kalamazoo’s architecture. He gathered information for the tours from his year-long column with the Kalamazoo Gazette called Hidden Kalamazoo and extra credit assignments from his old classes. You can pick up Charles Stroh’s CD on Kalamazoo architecture at Petals and Postings, Bella Patina, Retro, and through Stroh himself.

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