The year 2023 marks the 95th year of Kindleberger Park in the Kalamazoo suburb of Parchment. It was on June 17, 1933 when over six thousand people congregated to witness the dedication of the new park. 6,000 eager onlookers gathered for the dedication.

The genesis of the park goes back as far as 1909 when Jacob Kindleberger took an old sugar beet factory and founded the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company next to the Kalamazoo River. Kindleberger's parchment paper manufacturing proved to be an amazing success, and therefore the business had no choice but to expand.

With expansion, more employees were needed. The company set out to build housing for their employees and families, making it faster and easier for the laborers to get to work. But the housing wasn’t going to be enough - Kindleberger wanted to create a community of his own. His employee housing helped the area grow to over 500 residents by 1930 – and with that, Kindleberger donated 38 acres of his own farm land in order to form a park.....and a village under the name ‘Parchment’.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

Since there was a large amount of unemployment thanks to the Depression, many locals volunteered to fix up the land. Women’s groups, scout troops, church organizations, etc. all pitched in. Hills, paths, and roads were graded…trees and shrubbery were planted…and a good number of sports areas were established: baseball diamonds, horseshoe, shuffleboard, and tennis courts, and gardens with hundreds of flowers.

On that June afternoon in 1933, the park was dedicated and presented to a proud new community. It was a bright spot during the dark days of The Great Depression. Throughout the days of Depression during the 1930s, Parchment hung in there and continued to do well and in 1939 the village became an official city.

Kindleberger Park still exists and continues to entertain the locals and others who come from miles away to enjoy the perks and amenities. The gallery below features images of how the park first appeared back in the 1930s!

Kindleberger Park, Parchment


Channel 3 Clubhouse, Kalamazoo

Oakwood Amusement Park, Kalamazoo: 1907-1925

The Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital & Inside the Water Tower

More From 99.1 WFMK