The real story of every place named Ypsilanti on Earth

f you’re from or have lived in Ypsi for any length of time, you often start to notice just how unusual our home is. In fact, for a long time, I thought my Ypsilanti was the only one. Turns out, though, there are actually five different places named Ypsilanti on this big blue marble of ours and they’re all kind of weird in their own way.

Ypsilanti, MI

We already know about our quirky yet unusually human city of about 20,000 people – the water tower, historic Depot Town, our undercurrent of classism and gentrification.

It’s a quiet, explorative space that focuses less on aesthetics and more on living well. We’re a small city that’s only 4.52 sq mi in total area, but we’re gigantic where it counts: phallic symbolism.

The city is named after Demetrius Ypsilanti some Greek guy who, “had nothing to do with its founding, and never, in fact, visited North America.”

In fact, our city got the name based on the power of Ypsilanti’s war story where he and 300 men held off a horde of 30,000 Turkish soldiers for 3 whole days and escaped without a single casualty.

Although, I suppose if only 299 men made it, the story would lose some of its luster and we might have never been named after him at all.

There are other fun stories about the origin of the Ypsilanti name. One includes noble white man Major Thomas Woodruff guided by a savage “cross-eyed Indian.” Fun.


Ypsilanti Township, MI

The forgotten sister of Ypsilanti proper often goes unrecognized as an individual locality, since it doesn’t have any major landmarks and wasn’t settled by a wealthy noble white guy. Yet it’s actually much bigger by area (31.7 sq mi) and population (about 54,000). It’s so big that it wraps around 3 sides of Ypsi proper.

Ypsilanti Township, like it’s namesake, is also a quiet place to live, but it resembles more of suburb than a city. It’s your typical Midwestern city with not much to do, but a million places to shop. There’s also a ton of parks and other nature to look upon, during the 6 months of the year we can actually leave our houses.


Ypsilanti, ND

In 1879, out of the goodness of their heart and love of charity, the US government gave 621 acres of land in Southeastern portion of North Dakota to one of the most powerful companies on Earth at the time, North Pacific Railway. It was here that former Ypsilanti, MI residents William Hartley Colby and his “partner” Lloyd DePuy. W.H. Colby planned out what would become new Ypsilanti and new Ypsilanti Township.

Will the real Ypsi please stand up? I mean, seriously. While, we went out and got our name from an all but forgotten legendary European war hero, ND’s copycat just stole its name from us. Rude.

In fact, Ypsilanti, ND isn’t even real locality; it’s a 0.6 sq mi “census designated place.” They don’t have a government just some representatives and all of its business is handled by Ypsilanti Township.

With a population of 104, there’s like no one, other than a Wikipedia page, that admits this place exists. So, until otherwise proven false, I’m just going to believe it’s a top secret military base or a mirage like ND itself.  Actually, on second thought, this is probably the biggest weed farm in that part of the country.


Ypsilanti Township, ND

At a spry 107 years old, Ypsilanti Township is the definition of cool. This is a place that used horses for power until 1920. It’s only social media representation hasn’t posted since May 2011, has 76 followers and it’s most riveting post reads thus:

“Many of you know this, But a reminder that many of the roads in the area are not is good driving condition, soft spots and roads washed out. Please drive carefully and check to make sure the road is open where you need to go.”

Maybe they should have stuck with horses. Still, somehow they manage an average home price of about $220,000, which is surprising.

Ypsilanti Township, ND is actually about the same size as it’s MI cousin at 36.1 sq mi. It’s populated by only about 168 people according to the 2010 Census; 2014 estimates put their population at closer to 117. There are only about 5 people per sq mi of the township and none of them are registered sex offenders. Almost everyone, 99.4 percent, of them are white and the one person throwing off their perfect score is noted as being multi-racial.

Other than that and it’s corporate beginnings – there’s basically nothing to say about this place. I’m sure the people who live there would disagree, but it seems to be a sleepy place with not much going on accept daily life. A Bing search for “Ypsilanti Township North Dakota” returns 153,000 results with lots of duplicates – swapping Michigan for ND, I get 3,810,000. I think that speaks for itself.


Ypsilanti, GA

More than blink and you’ll miss it, Ypsilanti, GA might as well not even exist. Even if you search for it, you might come up empty-handed. Best I can figure:

·         Ypsilanti, Georgia is populated by people or at least a person who resides there permanently.

·         It is not recognized as an incorporated area by any official body.

·         It’s located in the county of Talbot County, GA at latitude 32.743 and longitude -84.413

·         The nearest major airport is Columbus Metropolitan Airport.

That’s pretty much it. I know it’s not super exciting, but I did promise info on every place named Ypsilanti in the world so, there you go.


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