Schoolcraft, MI is located half-way between Chicago and Detroit. Named after Henry Schoolcraft who was noted for his studies of early Native Americans. US 131 runs through the main part of town, which tends to be a blessing and a curse. Population is just over 1500.
The neighboring town of Vicksburg (pop. 2,906) is in the process of overhauling the old paper mill to turn it into destination venue with multiple breweries, marketplaces, and event center. Schoolcraft on US131 will be the gateway to this grand destination with no bar.
Our beloved Bud’s Bar, around since 1972, closed last year. It was housed in a building that is almost 150 years old. The building was originally three stories and at one time boasted a second story outhouse. Downtown is a mix of old and new. Most of the historic buildings have been maintained and have businesses such as antique shops, beauty salons, craft store, insurance agencies, lawyer, realtor, etc. Eateries include the diner Marjos and Nonla Taqueria. Neither of which serve alcohol. We also have a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Little Caesars, and Biggy Coffee.
Schoolcraft is proud to have the Underground Railroad House. Built in 1835 by Dr. Nathan Thomas, this small house saw an estimated 1,500 fugitives go through its doors and onto Canada over a twenty year period. Dr. Nathan Thomas was Kalamazoo County’s first doctor. The Underground Railroad House has been maintain by a dedicated Historical Society.
The ladies of Schoolcraft formed a library club in 1879, and this club is still in existence. The women pioneers raised money in the late 1890’s to get their own building, and accomplished that. The Ladies Library Building was dedicated in 1898. This building is still on Hayward Street by the Post Office, and the Ladies Library holds their meetings there. Anyone can join and dues is only $10/year. In July, our Capital Historian will speak there on Women’s Suffrage. This library was the lending library in town until…
In 1988, the townspeople in the true Schoolcraft pioneer spirit raised money to build a new library. This is a modern, vibrant place with weekly children’s programs and dedicated volunteers.
The home in the video was built in 1832 by Kalamazoo County’s first lawyer. He passed away leaving a widow with two daughters. She married a successful businessman with seven daughters and a son. He thought each child should have their own room, so remodeled the house to make that happen. The current owners very proudly maintain this home that looks out on Schoolcraft’s Burch Park.
Every year Schoolcraft has a Fourth of July parade through town to honor our past and celebrate our future. It draws upwards of 5,000 people to the small town. Other Schoolcraft events include historical home tours, tours of the Underground Railroad House, the yearly Christmas Walk, and the Hauntingly Historic Schoolcraft cemetery tour.
History. It’s Alive in the charming town of Schoolcraft. It would just like a drink.