Schoolcraft, Michigan

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Schoolcraft, Michigan
Location of Schoolcraft, Michigan
Location of Schoolcraft, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°6′55″N 85°38′7″W / 42.11528°N 85.63528°W / 42.11528; -85.63528
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.98 sq mi (2.54 km2)
 • Land0.98 sq mi (2.54 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
879 ft (268 m)
 • Total1,525
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,591.23/sq mi (614.26/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)269
FIPS code26-71860[4]
GNIS feature ID0637419[5]

Schoolcraft is a village in Kalamazoo County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The village is located in Schoolcraft Township approximately 13 miles (21 km) south of Kalamazoo on U.S. Route 131. The population was 1,525 at the 2010 census. The village is named in honor of geographer, geologist, and ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.98 square miles (2.54 km2), all land.[6] Schoolcraft is located on a prairie, and much of the land outside of the village is used as farm land, with the primary crops being corn and soybeans.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20171,561[3]2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,525 people, 616 households, and 405 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,556.1 inhabitants per square mile (600.8/km2). There were 661 housing units at an average density of 674.5 per square mile (260.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.6% White, 1.0% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 616 households of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.05.

The median age in the village was 38.1 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 28% were from 45 to 64; and 12.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 1,587 people, 615 households, and 418 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,703.2 per square mile (658.9/km²). There were 645 housing units at an average density of 692.2 per square mile (267.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.09% White, 0.38% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.

There were 615 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the village, the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $45,380, and the median income for a family was $54,205. Males had a median income of $37,500 versus $27,639 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,223. About 3.7% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.


White settlement in the Schoolcraft area dates to 1828 (nine years before Michigan's admission to the Union), when Bazel Harrison moved his family from Ohio to present-day Prairie Ronde Township, becoming the first settler in the future Kalamazoo County. The village itself was established in 1831 by surveyor (and future statesman) Lucius Lyon, who had first visited the area as a surveyor under government contract in 1823. Recorded on October 5, 1831, Schoolcraft was the first town in Kalamazoo County. Lyon named the village for his friend Henry Schoolcraft. Schoolcraft was a key member of the 1820 Cass Expedition, organized by territorial governor Lewis Cass to explore the Michigan Territory; the expedition played an important role in encouraging settlement of the territory.[8]

Schoolcraft was incorporated as a General Law Village on January 4, 1866. It was reincorporated March 12, 1869 and received its new charter in 1875.[9]

Local Historic Sites[edit]

The Schoolcraft home of Dr. Nathan Thomas served as a "station" on the Underground Railroad. Dr. Thomas, the first doctor in Kalamazoo County and a Quaker who avidly supported and led abolitionist efforts in Michigan, first built the house in 1835 on the corner of Cass St. and Centre St. Between 1840 and 1860, it is estimated that Dr. Thomas and his wife Pamela Brown Thomas sheltered between 1,000 and 1,500 fugitive slaves on their way to Canada.[10] Dr. Thomas built a new house in 1868 and the original house was moved to its present site on Cass St. east of U.S. Route 131. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a registered Michigan Historical Site.[11]

The Schoolcraft United Methodist Church has stood on the corner of Grand Street and Clay Street in Schoolcraft since the early 1850s. The congregation was organized in Prairie Ronde Township in 1832. Its first chapel, called the Ebenezer Episcopal Church of Prairie Ronde, built in 1836, was the first church building of any denomination constructed north of the St. Joseph River.[12]

Cooper's Island is an approximately 23-acre (93,000 m2) woodland located about 1/4 mile west of U.S. Route 131 on West Eliza St. Containing a rich and rare assortment of mesic forest plants and trees, the woods are the remnant of the Big Island on Prairie Ronde, an island of forest in the midst of prairie at the time of settlement. Famous as the setting for James Fenimore Cooper's 1848 frontier novel The Oak Openings, Cooper's Island is a listed Michigan Historical Site.[13]

The Schoolcraft Ladies Library (at 163 Hayward St.), built in 1896, is also a state listed site. The Ladies Library Association had been founded in 1879 to provide educational opportunities to women in the community (there were no state educational institutions in the area until Western Normal College, now Western Michigan University, was established in Kalamazoo in 1903).[14]

Notable people[edit]


There are four schools in the Schoolcraft Community Schools school district.

Schoolcraft Early Elementary - Schoolcraft Early Elementary serves approximately 260 students in the Young Fives, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade. The Kindergarten and Young Fives programs are offered half day, every day in the morning or afternoon. The Elementary school is the oldest occupied school in the district, with the original portion of the school having been built in the 1930s. Until completion of the old high school (which is currently the middle school) in the 1950s, this building housed all students in K-12.

Schoolcraft Upper Elementary - The Upper Elementary in Schoolcraft consists of grades 3, 4, and 5, and currently has 342 students enrolled. Grade levels 3, 4, and 5 are the traditional self-contained classrooms. Students in those grade levels do leave their classrooms for specials (physical education, art, computers, library skills, and music).

Schoolcraft Middle School - The Schoolcraft Middle School aims to prepare productive, respectful problem solvers for their next educational endeavor through delivering a challenging, integrated curriculum in a positive environment by a skilled staff. Grades 6th through 8th.

Schoolcraft High School - Grades 9-12. The current high school, which is the newest building in the district's school system, has been occupied since the 1999-2000 school year, with construction being completed in 2000. Due to cooperation with other schools in Kalamazoo County, students also have the opportunity to attend classes at off-campus locations through programs such as the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, Education for Employment and Education for the Arts.

  • School Mascot: Eagle, or the Schoolcraft Eagles
  • School Colors: Purple and Gold

Schoolcraft High School Michigan High School Athletic Association State Team Champions


  • Swartz, Mary Jane (1990). So I'm Told: The Nineteenth Century in Schoolcraft, Michigan. Berrien Springs, MI: Hardscrabble Books. p. 240. ISBN 0-915056-22-4.


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ Swartz (1990), p. 44.
  9. ^ Swartz (1990), p. 130-131.
  10. ^ Swartz (1990), p. 84.
  11. ^ Nathan M. Thomas House, Michigan historic preservation object.
  12. ^ Swartz (1990), p. 85.
  13. ^ Cooper's Island, Michigan historic preservation object.
  14. ^ Schoolcraft Ladies Library, Michigan historic preservation object.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°06′51″N 85°38′16″W / 42.11417°N 85.63778°W / 42.11417; -85.63778