Formerly called Woodruff's Grove, originally a French settlement on the Huron River, and a summer home for Detroit business leaders long ago, WWII changed the town with a massive influx of workers from the south, Tenn., and KY. EMU is mostly a blue collar commuter school, a trainer of teachers, and must live in the shadow of Ann Arbor. Many of the folks who drive the buses, mop the floors, wash the dishes, and such in the region live in Ypsi because it is cheaper to live there than Ann Arbor. Some areas of town are high crime, some are safe. Depot Town is neat, though small. Downtown is mostly bleak, but there are a few bright spots. Unemployment is an issue. Ypsi boasts a water tower which is unique, by Eastern's campus.
Nearby towns of Plymouth, Saline, and Ann Arbor have more to offer, but are also more expensive places to live.