Parchment, Michigan

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Parchment is a city in Kalamazoo County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,936 at the 2000 census. The name is derived from a parchment company.

Parchment is just north of the city of Kalamazoo.



The Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company was founded in 1909. The founder, Jacob Kindleberger set up shop along the Kalamazoo River. The company then started selling pieces of land, located around the mill, to the mill workers. By 1930, the population had grown to 511 and Parchment officially became a village. In 1932, "Uncle Jake" left a tract of 40 acres (160,000 m2) located in the center of the city, this later became Kindleberger Park, in his honor. Parchment became a city in 1939, and has become known as "The Paper City". Over the years KVP was bought out by or merged with other companies including, Sutherland Paper Company, Brown Company, James River, and finally Crown-Vantage. 2000 marked the end of the paper making era in Parchment and the city has struggled to keep itself afloat. Now the great debate in the city is what to do with the old paper mill land.

Jacob Kindleberger, the founder of the city, is not the only "celebrity" of Parchment. Ralph Herrick is the former Chief Of Police for Parchment. He was the Chief for 37 years during the late 60's,70's,80's,90's, and early 2000s. Bob Bellisle was the owner of Bellisle's Drug Store which had an eating counter in the back and served as a social place for many years. Bellisle's still exists structurally, but the spot is leased to an animal shop.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (3.37%) is water.

Parchment is east of the Kalamazoo River.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,936 people, 822 households, and 531 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,263.6 per square mile (869.2/km²). There were 873 housing units at an average density of 1,020.7/sq mi (391.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.67% White, 4.18% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.36% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 822 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.

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