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Kalamazoo Downstreamers Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4384

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of one scrapbook, two DVDs, and one folder of documents relating to the Kalamazoo Downstreamers Canoe Club, 1973-2008.

The scrapbook is filled with photos, handwritten descriptions, newspaper clippings, a poem, and a brochure. The photos are mostly glossy and taped to the pages of the scrapbook. There are both black & white photos and color photos. Most photos are paired with a description handwritten in blue or black ink. The scrapbook features several newspaper clippings (primarily obituaries of former Downstreamers) that are loosely placed behind taped-photos. A poem printed onto a white piece of paper is loosely placed in the scrapbook, as is a brochure containing information and a map relating to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine. The scrapbook’s first pages feature four drawings designed by Kalamazoo artist Mike Hardy.

The folder contains a history of the Kalamazoo Downstreamers Canoe Club typed in black ink. It also houses newsletters describing various activities and events organized by the Club. Multiple maps of rivers and streams from across the Midwest are contained in the folder. Handouts describing river conditions and load in/out points are also included. The folder also holds a membership list from 1977 that lists the names and addresses of Downstreamer Club members.


  • Creation: 1973-2008


Biographical / Historical

The Kalamazoo Downstreamers Canoe Club was founded in 1967 by Bill Carnes and Carl Bennett. The club was formed to encourage family fun on area waterways, participate in local river cleanups, and promote water sport safety. The Downstreamers took part in two or more river runs every month. The group offered canoe rentals and low dues-rates to encourage participation. The Kalamazoo Downstreamers regularly trekked to rivers across the Midwest where they canoed, camped, and participated in river cleanups.

In 1976 the Kalamazoo Downstreamers Club lobbied for the passage of the Michigan Bottle Bill, which raises money for community cleanups and pollution prevention by creating a bottle deposit. The deposit encourages consumers to recycle their products. The passage of the Bottle Bill was a victory for the Downstreamers and environmentalists across Michigan.

The Downstreamers Club remained active into the 2000s. The club held public canoe clinics and an annual Club Picnic. In 1967, there were fifty families actively involved with the Downstreamers Club.


.10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The scrapbook and two DVDs were donated by Bill and Andrece Rogers. Additional materials were donated by Jason Wade, son of other members.

Physical Description

This collection amounts to .10 cubic feet and is comprised of one scrapbook, two DVDs, and one folder. The scrapbook contains photos and documents pertaining to the Kalamazoo Downstreamers Club from the years 1973-1990. The scrapbook measures 14.5”x12.75” and is comprised of 106 pages. The pages contained within the scrapbook measure 14”x11.5”. The folder holds a history of the Downstreamers Club, newsletters, maps, a membership list, and handouts spanning several decades.

The cover of the scrapbook is marbled with blue and gray. It features a gold outline and gold letters spelling “SCRAPBOOK.” The cover has a glossy finish with padding. There is a photo taped to the cover that depicts a red tarp fashioned with the Kalamazoo Downstreamers name and logo. The pages comprising the scrapbook are tan in appearance and feature slight tears and creases.

The scrapbook is in good condition. The corners of the cover are slightly torn and there are minor tears along the face of the scrapbook. The pages are in mostly great condition, although there are some tears and/or creases along the edges. The scrapbook was created by club members Bill and Andrece Rogers.

The documents in the folder are in good condition. Some are slightly torn or creased. Some pages show signs of age such as yellowing.

Kalamazoo Downstreamers Collection finding aid
Bailey Miller; Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490