To the east of the city of East Lansing is the sizable unincorporated community of Okemos. Its natural landscape consists of several wooded and open areas, as well as the presence of the Red Cedar River running westward through the community. Lawn Tech serves people in this relatively affluent population, who care about the property values of their homes. We keep their lawns and plants healthy and free of threats throughout the entire growing season, and make sure they are prepared for rest each winter. We are proud to add to the beauty of this welcoming community.
This unincorporated community lies within Meridian Charter Township, and was originally named Hamilton. Upon its founding in the year 1839, it served as a trade post with the local Native American tribes. As the settlement grew, it became an agricultural community. Two decades later, upon the death of Okemos, leader of the Ojibwe tribe that frequently traded with Hamilton, the townspeople renamed their community after the widely respected chief. During the latter half of the 20th century, the community evolved from agriculture to a mid-size suburb of Lansing, a large portion is residential, and there is a downtown area with various small businesses that have made this an attractive community to live in. They have done their part to foster a good relationship with their residents, the same way Lawn Tech has done with many of the properties of this town. The population of Okemos was 21,369 as of the 2010 census. The community covers 16.9 square miles, with 0.1 square miles of it being water.
Today, while the farms are largely gone from the town, however, trade certainly has not. Near the spot of the original trading post stands Meridian Mall. Built in 1969, it is nearly one million square feet, consisting of five anchor stores, and 125 total stores. It is the community of Okemos’ largest attraction. The cheaper restaurants make it a popular place for students of Michigan State University. The residents of Meridian Charter Township also stay loyal to their local mall, and it is also one of the preferred retail hubs in a radius of several towns. It also is the easternmost point for the Capital Area Transportation Authority.
Despite its lack of incorporation, Okemos does have a public school system. Its origination dates back to before the Civil War, in 1849. It now has grown to serve the majority of Meridian Township, along with some small sections of Williamston and Alaiedon, with a total of over 4,200 students in attendance.
At the site where Chief Okemos and his tribe held their pow wows, now stands Ferguson Park. There is a picnic area complete with tables and grills. It is an access point for canoes and kayaks to go into the Red Cedar River. There is playground equipment for children, and fishing is also allowed.
In 1904, the community’s oldest existing commercial building was built. Carrying the original name of the settlement, the Hamilton Building was first built for a charity organization. It is located near the center of Okemos, which is ironically termed “The Four Corners,” in reference to the trading activities of its original founding.
In an effort to preserve history, the Meridian Historical Village is set up in Okemos. It has historical buildings that have been relocated and restored to their previous state as they existed in the 19th century. Free public lectures are held here, as well as special events such as the Heritage Festival in September. The Meridian Historical Village also hosts weddings, and a farmer’s market.