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Ypsilanti is a city located in Washtenaw County in Michigan. Ypsilanti has the largest historic district of any city in the state of Michigan, called Depot Town. The city is named for the great Greek patriot, General Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek war for independence.
Ypsilanti is a town on Old U.S. 12. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 22,362. It is noteworthy as a residential, commercial, and farm-trade center. Eastern Michigan University and Cleary College are in Ypsilanti.
Ypsilanti is located where an old Indian trail crossed the Huron River and long before the coming of the white man, was the camping and burial ground for several Native American tribes.
In 1823 Gabriel Godfrey, proprietor of the trading post, followed by Benjamin Woodruff, established a small settlement on the river a mile south of the post and named it Woodruff's Grove, the first settlement in Washtenaw County.
In the struggle of the Greek people against Turkish tyranny appeared an outstanding heroic figure, Demetrius Ypsilanti. With three hundred men he held the Citadel of Argos against an army of thirty thousand. He was admired by Americans for his part in a struggle for freedom so like their own. When a fire destroyed the school at Woodruff's Grove, that small settlement was abandoned in favor of Ypsilanti.
Travel from Detroit by stagecoach became possible in 1830 and by 1832 three stage lines served Ypsilanti. In 1835 the military road to Chicago was officially opened, with new towns springing up along its length. Three years later the railroad from Detroit reached Ypsilanti.
The first wood frame depot was built in 1838 and two decades later a large brick masonry station was constructed. Adjacent to the depot, a small commercial district arose east of the river known as Depot Town. Most of the structures still standing in Depot Town today were built within three decades following the mid-19th century.
In the budding years, the community gained recognition for its educational institutions. The Ypsilanti Seminary was established in 1845 and in 1849 a teacher training school was established known as the Michigan Normal School, now Eastern Michigan University. Cleary College was founded in 1883.
Over the years Ypsilanti grew and flourished as people and community played a predominant role. The early development of the community was predisposed and enhanced by the presence of the river and its abundant water power. As the years progressed the river industries of the mid to late 19th century yielded to manufacturing and the mills gave way to auto related commerce.
In 1941 Ford Motor Company built a plant in Willow Run. That plant was quickly converted to wartime production when the U.S. entered World War II. The famous B-24 bombers rolled off the Willow Run Assembly line and thus gained credit on the part of Ypsilanti.
Traveling back in history and then reviving its jubilant hues is always an experience worth sharing. The rich array of historic architecture was approved as a Historic District and with growing pride, Ypsilanti works to protect and enjoy its heritage.Some of the noteworthy historical places in the vicinity are:
? Water Tower - Located at the corner of West Cross and Washtenaw Avenue, this landmark water tower (originally known as the Water Works Sand Pipe) was a part of the Ypsilanti water system installed in 1889, which included 85,580 feet of pipe.
? Old Ypsilanti Fire House - in 1873, Ypsilanti's fire department was formed. For $7,150 the building at the corner of Washington and Cross streets was completed in 1898. In 1916 the first motor-driven apparatus was purchased. It is currently a privately-owned antique auto/truck/fire museum.
? Preston Tucker Home - The unique 1948 Tucker Torpedo, car of tomorrow, was designed by Ypsilanti resident Preston Tucker. His home can be seen at 110 N. Park Street.
? Hutchinson Mansion (600 N. River) - The famous Hutchinson mansion, former home to one of the S&H Green Stamp magnates, features a mixture of Queen Anne, Tudor, Revival and Craftsman styles. Currently, it is the site of High/Scope, the world famous educational research foundation.
? Eastern Michigan University - The birth of Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in 1849 had a profound impact on Ypsilanti when the State Legislature selected it as the site for the new teacher training school. Located along Cross and Forest streets, EMU has many beautiful historic buildings to view.
These must-see venues make Ypsilanti a place worthy of appreciation and applause. This magnetizes the tourists and forces them to spend some of the most memorable moments of their life at a place hard to scratch from the palette of their minds. The place is anxiously awaiting to display its hospitality towards its visitors.