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The city of Ypsilanti has the most often misspelled and mispronounced name of any community in the state of Michigan. To add to the fun, the city is named after a man who not only had nothing to do with its founding, but was never even in North America. Local historian James Mann shares the story of how this came about.

Podcast speaker:


James Mann

James Mann is a local historian and writer. His books include Wicked Washtenaw CountyWicked Ann Arbor, and Wicked Ypsilanti. He is a regular contributor to the Ypsilanti Gleanings, the publication of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.


Photograph of the south side of Cross Street showing five businesses, Hon's Flowers and Fancies, Depot Exchange Antiques, Artrain, Framing & Matting and Sidetrack Bar & Restaurant.

Portrait of Demetrios Ypsilantis, painted by Spyridon Prosalentis and housed at the National Historical Museum in Greece.

A distance photograph looking east at the Depot Town Festival during the summer of 1986.

Close-up photo of the bust of Demetrios Ypsilantis, with the Ypsilanti Water Tower in the background. Courtesy of Cmadler on Wiki Commons.