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Thread: Kalamazoo and Sandusky too!

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Kalamazoo and Sandusky too!

    Since there was so much interesting information on the posting about Hamilton, ON, I thought I would throw out two Midwestern cities I recently visited to see what peoples' thoughts on them are:

    1. Kalamazoo, MI. Seems to have some decent sized universities and a good brewery or two. Generally seemed a little down-and-out though. What's up with the economy there, etc.? What makes it tick?

    2. Sandusky, OH. Looks like one of several resort cities I have seen around the country. But it also seems to have lots of relatively new townhouse development, perhaps as workforce housing? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Since there was so much interesting information on the posting about Hamilton, ON, I thought I would throw out two Midwestern cities I recently visited to see what peoples' thoughts on them are:

    1. Kalamazoo, MI. Seems to have some decent sized universities and a good brewery or two. Generally seemed a little down-and-out though. What's up with the economy there, etc.? What makes it tick?
    Well, Kalamazoo certainly has a vibrant brewing culture. It's home to Bell's Brewery, of course, but there's a dozen other microbreweries and brewpubs in the metro area. Historically, the area has had strong agricultural ties which continue today with its large bedding plant industry (greenhouses are all over). Kalamazoo has gone through several phases in its industrial development. The largest employer in town today is the world's largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer. Pfizer acquired the old Pharmacia-Upjohn manufacturing and research facilities. Kalamazoo used to be a major paper producer and had as as many as a half dozen different mills in its heyday during the early 20th century. The last of the paper mills closed about 30 years ago. Like many other cities in Michigan there are ties to the automotive industry. Kalamazoo used to be home to Checker Motors (you know, the old iconic boxy yellow taxi cabs) but they shuttered as well. The local economy, however, has always been somewhat more diverse than other comparable communities in the region and has been impacted far less harshly than others by the Great Recession. Being located precisely mid-point between Detroit and Chicago (I-94 connects them) gives the market access to cultural amenities you might not otherwise see in communities of its size.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Both Kalamazoo and Sandusky are smaller cities than Hamilton; but Kalamazoo is a much larger city than Sandusky.

    Can't add much to what was previously said about K-zoo; except that the Gilmore car collection is close-by and the Gilmore name was big in Kalamazoo and I associate it with their media as well as with their now defunct department store. Would like to know more about what role the family played in the development of K-zoo but it is hard to find information on it.

    If you look at an aerial of Sandusky you will notice that there are large areas where they extract stuff from the ground. Now what they extract, I have no idea. There also is a large place known as the Ohio Military Home which I assume is for veterans on hard times. There is a lot more to this region than just support for Cedar Point. To the immediate west is the Port Clinton/Marblehead area with ties to the Erie Islands which also provide recreation and leisure.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I think Gibson guitars are originally from Kalamazoo too

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Somewhat off-topic: there's a thread we had a while back about American and Canadian cities that seem to have a very low profile given their size. My list would include:

    * Fourth-tier Texas cities: Wichita Falls, Abeline, Waco, Tyler, College Station, Longview, and Beaumont.
    * Second-tier Quebec cities: Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres, Drummondville, and Saguenay.
    * Farmington, New Mexico.
    * Medford, Oregon.
    * Dothan, Alabama.
    * The Triad in North Carolina: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.
    * Third tier Pennsylvania cites: Johnstown, Reading, Altoona, and especially Williamsport.
    * Akron, Ohio.
    * Hamilton, Ontario.
    * Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    * Quad Cities: Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, and especially Bittendorf.
    * Reno, Nevada.
    * Rochester and Binghamton, New York.
    * Fort Wayne, Indiana.
    * Spokane, Washington.

    Carry on.



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