Kalamazoo, a mid-sized city in southwest Michigan founded in the 19th century, was recently revealed in a journal from one of the town’s founders, Titus Bronson, to just be named as a joke.
Bronson was Kalamazoo’s founder, also known as the first white person to live in an already established Native American town. He reportedly declared the town Bronson, MI, much to the alleged dismay of the Indigenous peoples who were already living there.
After offering his own name change suggestions, such as Titusville, Detroit 2, Afghanistan, The Titus Town of Bronsonmerica, Jeb!, Washington CD, Rick and Mortyville, Boobs, Place with Gold, and , Bronson finally accepted the right of the Natives to name the land.
To rename the town formerly known as Bronson, the Potawatomi people landed on “Kikanamaso”, which roughly translates to boiling water. “Their town had a perfectly good name, and you expect me to just roll over and let them change my pride and joy?” Bronson wrote in his journal. “They really thought that the hot water you cook stuff in is better than my name? I’ll show them”.
“They kept recommending names in some different language and expected me to understand,” said Bronson in an 1825 journal entry. “Everytime they said their suggestion, I just blurted out some nonsense as a form of heckling”
“They suggested Kikanamaso, and I just said Kalamazoo as a joke. Little did they know, I got the last word. By the time they noticed I changed the name, it was already on maps. So basically, I get credit for naming the town again. And I was only kidding around!”