You know about Okemos. You’ve driven through there numerous times. But how much do you know about it? Long-time residents will know most of these, but there still might be one or two things to learn. So here are:


1) It was founded as ‘Hamilton’ in 1839.

2) In 1859 the town was re-named ‘Okemos’ in honor of Chief John Okemos, who passed away one year earlier.

3) Chief John Okemos’ real name has been listed as "Ottawatamie Okemos Kinne-boo", "Pottawatamie Okemos Kinne-boo", and "Ogimaans Kinne-boo" among others. "Ogimaans" was Ojibwe for "little chief" and was anglicized to "Okemos". He added the name "John" himself.

4) The school sports teams are The Chiefs.

5) Downtown (Hamilton & Okemos roads) is referred to as ‘The Four Corners’.

6) The Meridian Mall actually has its own motto: “"Meridian Mall is the One, with a Million Square Feet of Fun!"

7) A mall ghost? At J.C. Penney’s in the Meridian Mall, if you use the ladies restroom, a woman will come in the bathroom behind you, go into a stall, and disappear.

8) Even though Okemos is a census-designated area, it remains an unincorporated community.

9) The Meridian Historical Village at 5151 Marsh Road, is a recreation of 1800s lifestyles.

10) A few years ago, CNN Money Magazine’s list of the best cities for “the rich & single” listed Okemos at #12.

11) James Hynes, author of “The Wild Colonial Boy”, “Publish and Perish”, “The Lecturer's Tale”, “Kings of Infinite Space”, and “Next” was born in Okemos in 1955.

12) The Hamilton Building (2060 Hamilton Road) is Okemos’ oldest commercial building. It held its first ice cream social on June 11, 1904.

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