Tuesday, February 18, 2014

MuseOn Kalamazoo

Even if you don't live near Kalamazoo you can still get a free dose of Kalamazoo history three times a year. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum's magazine, museOn, which is available online, can provide a little bit of your ancestors' world from people to places to past-times. The current edition includes a piece about some of the different industries that have employed Kalamazooans. You can read it here

Each issue has something of interest. Some recent subjects have been the history of Kalamazoo's townships, Kalamazoo during the Depression, Kalamazoo's history of windmill making, Kalamazoo and the car, Kalamazoo dressmakers and many others. Because back issues are available here on the KVM website  I encourage you to take a peek at issues past to see if they have covered a topic of particular interest to you. If you had ancestors who lived in Kalamazoo during the Civil War you may be interested to peruse the Winter/Spring 2005 issue which has a number of articles relevant to Kalamazoo life in that time period. One that was of particular interest to me lately was on page 12 of the Winter 2012 issue which had a photograph of the members of Kalamazoo's Orcutt post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). One of my people, Lawrence Flynn, may very well be in this photo if it was taken prior to 1917. I contacted the museum and they confirmed that the photo was, alas, undated.

One fun feature is the “What Is It” page. Three historical objects are shown and your job is to identify them if you can. Sometimes they are real stumpers.

If you live within an easy drive of Kalamazoo you should scroll to near the end of each issue to see what local history talks are coming up in their Sunday Series. Over the past few years they have had speakers discuss Kalamazoo baseball, horse racing, “The Sins of Kalamazoo-- Gambling, Saloons and Pool Halls,” Kalamazoo's musical history and many other topics. If I lived in the area I would attend many of them.

If you can remember to periodically check for new issues you can keep up to date on Kalamazoo's past.

If you want to see what else the Kalamazoo Valley Museum has to offer you can go their website or read my blog post about it.

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