Schoolcraft Tour


Nana D’s Attic

Biggby Coffee

At the Dome A Night of Miracles

Song Jingle Bells

The story of Schoolcraft begins in 1828 when Bazel Harrison moved his family from Ohio and settled in “Prairie Ronde,” (French for “round meadow”) becoming the first settler in the future Kalamazoo County. He was followed by Thaddeus Smith in 1829 who spoke of Prairie Ronde in glowing terms, and said it was the “garden of the world.”
The village itself was laid out in 1831 by surveyor Lucius Lyon, who had first visited the area as a surveyor under government contract in 1823. On October 5, 1831, the village was declared the first town in Kalamazoo County. The name – Schoolcraft, Lucius Lyon’s friend and the man instrumental in shaping the Michigan Territory.
First Doctor in Kalamazoo County and possibly the first lawyer.

American Legion

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

United Methodist Church

Away in a Manger

The Methodist Episcopal Church was the second church to be built in Schoolcraft and has been here since 1852. Prior to this time services were held in a building afterwards used for barn.

In 1879, the church was refitted and re-furnished at a cost of $1400, and in 1883 the chapel and horse sheds were built at a cost of $1000.

Mike’s Barber Shop

Across the street, in 1881 there used to be a Wagon & Carriage Factory and General Black Smithing by Phillips and McCleod.

Salon Harlow

In 1881 This is where the Meat Market was that was owned by G.C. Fanckboner.

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

The Beauty Bar

Craft and Grand

Here Comes Santa Claus

The Troxel House

The first hotel to stand on this site was the Beals Hotel built in 1841 when the business district began moving from Center Street to Grand. It was famous for the dance floor in its ballroom. The Beals Hotel was wiped out by fire. The Troxel House was three stories and boasted a second floor outhouse. The lobby and office were once rented to a bank, a store, a bar, and a post office. 1881 The bank was owned by E.B. Dyckman and his house still stands in Schoolcraft on Clay street 1832 one of the oldest in Kalamazoo County. The store sold Boots & Shoes. Another store sold groceries, crockery and glassware. The Schoolcraft Dispatch & News, which was Schoolcraft’s early newspaper. The Dispatch would be replaced by the Schoolcraft Express. The Troxel house would later become the Commercial House.

Barber and Hairdresser, John Pabst

Ad in Schoolcraft Express 1892: John Pabst, Fashionable Barber and Hair Dresser, Schoolcraft Mich. Hair cut, clipped and trimmed, Shampooning, dying, etc. neatly done. Give me a call.

Barber and Hairdresser, F.L. Strong 1881

Drugstore–Stuart & Sawyer 1881

Speculation. 1893 Secret Societies–Schoolcraft Lodge Number 118 meets every Mondy evening on or before full moon at their hall over Briggs Bros’ drug store.

Presbyterian Church

Joy to the World

1920 A Congregational church was organized in 1844 in Schoolcraft. There were ten members. They held their meetings in the schoolhouse at first, and afterwards in the ballroom of the Old Barracks Hotel until it was burned.

The present building was dedicated on August 28, 1892, this new church was dedicated.

On South East corner of Grand and Eliza was a WindMill Factory


This area used to have the Chapin mansion owned by Dr. John Chapin and built around 1879. It was torn down in about 2013. For many years it was home to Oak Creations. My dining room table is from Oak Creations. There’s an ad in the Schoolcraft Express 1892: J.F. Chapin, M.D. Physician and Surgeon, Schoolcraft, Mich. Office at residence, sw corner of Grand and Eliza Streets. Office hours from 8 to 10 am and Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm.

The Christmas Song

Schoolcraft Express

John Robertson owned the Dispatch, Schoolcraft’s Newspaper and ran it from the Commercial House Block as it was called. In 1880 John Budrow purchased the paper. The subscription price was $1.50/year. In 1883 the name of the paper was changed to The Schoolcraft Express. In 1886, the paper expanded and was “Devoted to the Interests of Schoolcraft and Vicinity.”

For over hundred years Schoolcraft had its own weekly newspaper called The Schoolcraft Express. It started in 1866 and ran until the 1970’s when Sue Moore’s family purchased The Schoolcraft Express from Chandler and Barbara Garrison. They combined the name and called it the Vicksburg Commercial-Express. The Kalamazoo Gazette purchased the paper in 2000, and continued to publish it under the name, South County Commercial-Express until they closed it in 2011. In 2012, Sue Moore and a dedicated group of volunteers started publishing monthly The South County News so once again we have a paper “Devoted to the Interests of Schoolcraft and Vicinity.”

On account of the absence of the director, the next meeting of the Ladies’ Library Club has been adjourned one week, so all members please take notice, that the meeting will be May 2, at 3:45 pm. For bargains in shoes go to Hewitt’s as he is closing out several good lines of odds and ends at half price.1893

1893 Will Schoolcraft have a street sprinkler the coming season, is a question that is frequently asked, but the Express is sorry to say that no move in this direction has as yet been made. We would, like many others, be pleased to see such an enterprise started. The prospects for Schoolcraft making a rapid advancement in the coming year were never more encouraging than at this time, and everything possible should be done to make our village attractive to visitors. Let everyone do something in the way of improving our streets, residences and business places. Don’t let the other fellow do it all, but each one lend assistance.

Gun Shop owned by F.O.Jannash

Groceries & Restaurant, Thomas Griffith

Merchant Tailor, William Boyne

Jewelry & Picture Frames, E. Gale

General Store, William Cooper

Schoolcraft Antique Mall


Holly Jolly Christmas

Since 1908.
Founded in 1908, Kalamazoo County State Bank is the oldest independently owned and operated community bank in Kalamazoo County. The driving force that led to the bank’s formation over ten decades ago came from the Krum and Angell families. Members of both families saw the need for hometown banking services for Schoolcraft and its surrounding communities.

Grand Antique Gallery, LLC

Schoolcraft Opera House.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Loving Ewe

This shop is said to be the oldest mercantile building on the main street. It was originally Isaac Allen’s Hardware Store in the 1840’s. By 1881, it may have been owned by E.G. Stillwell & Co. It survived the fire of 1893 which completely destroyed four stores directly to the south. The heat was so intense that windows across the street were broken, yet the small fan window below the cornice peak wasn’t even cracked.
December 1893 The fire broke out in Assembly hall building shortly before four o’clock in the afternoon.

The fire is supposed to have started in the basement of the building by the explosion of a kerosene heating stove, which has been placed there to keep the potatoes from freezing.

Owing to a failure to get the fire engine in working order and a lack of water in the cistern at the corner of Grand and Cass street, made it impossible to do much toward stopping the fire with the engine and soon with flames spread to adjoining buildings. Gone were the Assembly Hall owned by E.L.Brown, one of our founding fathers. A one story building owned by Lewis Bell and his ice house. A barn owned by Chas Underwood. Saved were the brick store of W.W. McLeod on the south and the meat market building of Lewis Bell on the north.

Ladies Library

It was a book agent who was responsible for the organization of the Ladies’ Library Association in this village, one of the oldest and most enthusiastic organizations of the kind in the state. 1920. The book agent was here in 1879 and so earnestly did he talk of the value of reading, in his effort to sell books, that a club was formed by eighteen ladies of the village. From this grew the present association.
In the early days, the women met in each others homes.

In 1895 it was felt that more room was required and the ladies with the help of other villagers helped raise the money for a building of their own. The building was dedicated in 1896.

Silent Night

Nonla Taqueria

The Twelve Days of Christmas

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Dr. J. M. Waldron, Physician and Surgeon

Schoolcraft, MI. Office in the Bauer building, opposite Merrill Hall. Night calls will be answered from the Office.

Mrs. Grace Clark

1920 Hat Sale–I have about four dozen hats on hand which must go regardless of price. Now is your time to get the very best millinery at a low price.
XMAS WEATHER has come at last. Here are suggestions for mother, daughter, sister, and best girl. You can giver her one of those lovely kimonas, or dressing sacques in crepe or fleeced cloth, a silk petticoat, or new tricolette, a silk or crepe de chette waist, plaited skirts, cotton, silk or linen handkerchiefs, endless varieties of ribbon hair bows, wide flowered ribbons for bags or other fancy work, bone hair pins, combs, barretts, beads, bags, or velvet. Come in an see.

Opera House

Schoolcraft Opera House
Bell’s Opera House
Bell’s Hall
Merrill Hall
Comfort Theatre
Idea Theatre