Okemos, Michigan

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Okemos, Michigan
Welcome sign along northbound Okemos Road
Welcome sign along northbound Okemos Road
Location of Okemos, Michigan
Location of Okemos, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°43′N 84°26′W / 42.717°N 84.433°W / 42.717; -84.433Coordinates: 42°43′N 84°26′W / 42.717°N 84.433°W / 42.717; -84.433
CountryUnited States
TownshipMeridian Charter Township
 • Total16.9 sq mi (43.8 km2)
 • Land16.8 sq mi (43.4 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
840 ft (256 m)
 • Total21,369
 • Density1,275/sq mi (492.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
48805, 48864
Area code(s)517
FIPS code26-60340[1]
GNIS feature ID0633973[2]

Okemos (/ˈkəmɪs/ OH-ka-mis) is an unincorporated community in Meridian Charter Township, Ingham County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes and does not have any separate legal existence as a municipality. Local government is provided by the township. The population was 21,369 at the 2010 census.[3]

The Okemos Public Schools system includes Okemos and some immediate surrounding areas. The nickname of the school's sports teams is the Chiefs.


The settlement of Hamilton was founded in 1839 by Freeman Bray as a trading point with the surrounding Ojibwe people and as a farming community. In 1859, one year following the death of Chief John Okemos (on whose treaty lands the community was built), the area was renamed to honor the Native American chief. "Okemos" is from the Ojibwa ogimaa "chief" plus -s, the diminutive, thus "little chief".

It was originally a farming community, but has been entirely absorbed as a Lansing suburb, and is a popular residence community for employees of Michigan State University.

Four Corners of Okemos, Michigan


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.9 square miles (43.8 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (43.4 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.87%, are water.[3]

The Red Cedar River, a tributary of the Grand River, flows from east to west through Okemos.

The center of Okemos, referred to by many as "The Four Corners", is located at the intersection of Hamilton and Okemos roads. The most notable business is the Meridian Mall on Grand River Avenue (M-43) northeast of the Four Corners, including Schuler Books and Studio C! Cinema.

Chief Okemos sign at the Four Corners of Okemos


As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 21,369 people, 8,824 households, and 5,416 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,274.7 per square mile (487.8/km2). There were 9,384 housing units at an average density of 554.9 per square mile (214.2/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 76.5% White, 14.4% Asian, 5.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

There were 9,194 households, out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 14.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for an average household in the CDP was $62,810, and the median income for a family was $88,459 (These figures had risen to $75,736 and $101,903 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[4]). Males had a median income of $60,601 versus $41,393 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $33,401. About 3.3% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 0.5% of those age 65 or over.

In 2011, CNN Money Magazine rated Okemos as the 12th-best city to live in for "the rich and single".[5]

Notable people[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

  • Goetsch–Winckler House. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and of the earlier examples of his "Usonian" houses.
  • The Meridian Historical Village[11] and farmers market
  • Ferguson Park,[12] along the Red Cedar River on Okemos Road, is thought to be the meeting place where Chief Okemos and the war chiefs held their powwows.[citation needed] The park is part of the oldest settlement in the area along the plank road between Detroit and the Capitol in Lansing.[citation needed]
  • The Hamilton Building at 2160 Hamilton Road (near the Four Corners of Okemos), is the oldest commercial building in Okemos, and replaced the old Walker General Store, which was built in 1853. The Hamilton Building held its first ice cream social on June 11, 1904, and was built to house the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a charity organization. The planks in the building are from the walnut grove on which it sits. Along with Ferguson Park, it is also part of the oldest settlement in the area along the old plank road between Detroit and the Capitol in Lansing.
  • Nancy Moore Park[13]
  • Meridian Mall
  • The Hope Borbas Okemos branch[14] of the Capital Area District Library
  • Potter Park Zoo


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Okemos has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[15]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Okemos, Michigan
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Okemos CDP, Michigan". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  4. ^ 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, United States Census Bureau
  5. ^ "Best places for the rich and single". CNNMoney. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "About". James Hynes. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  8. ^ Montoya, Maria C. and David Cuthbert. "Theater Guy: Loyola stages Heather Raffo's nine-character monologue play Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine." The Times-Picayune. February 23, 2008. Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
  9. ^ a b https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EfUKeTDFCo
  10. ^ "r/rupaulsdragrace - Cute moment shared between Short Change and Kim Chi". reddit. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2020-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2020-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Okemos Library — CADL Website". web.archive.org. Dec 12, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "Okemos, Michigan Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved May 23, 2019.

External links[edit]