Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Omer, Michigan

Omer is a city located in Arenac County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 337.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Demographics
3 History
4 Local Attractions
5 In The News
6 External Links


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 km² (1.2 mi²). 3.2 km² (1.2 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 337 people, 143 households, and 98 families residing in the city. The population density is 104.9/km² (272.2/mi²). There are 163 housing units at an average density of 50.8/km² (131.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 95.85% White, 0.00% African American, 1.19% Native American, 0.00% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 2.37% from two or more races. 1.78% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 143 households out of which 26.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% are married couples living together, 10.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% are non-families. 24.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.36 and the average family size is 2.82.

In the city the population is spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $28,125, and the median income for a family is $33,250. Males have a median income of $26,607 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,755. 15.2% of the population and 12.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 15.8% are under the age of 18 and 16.7% are 65 or older.


Omer was founded by George Gorie and George Carscallen, who set up a sawmill along the Rifle River in the mid-1860's. The town was originally named Rifle River Mills, but Carscallen, the first postmaster, wanted to rename the town Homer. However, he found a post office in another town called Homer, Michigan and simply dropped the leading H, producing the final name. Omer was incorporated as a city following the lumber boom of 1903.

Local Attractions

Like many small towns in northern mid-Michigan, the height of activity in Omer centers around an influx of people during the spring and summer. The Rifle River that intersects the city attracts thousands per year during the sucker season. Folks from all over the midwest and Canada line the shores and engage in the sport of sucker fishing in the spring. Up unil the late 80's, Omer held an annual Sucker Festival, but it was eventually ended presumably due to lack of funds.

During the summer, Omer is a popular weekend getaway for those looking to unwind by canoeing or tubing down the scenic river. There are also miles of unspoiled forests surrounding the city that bring in deer hunters from around the country in the fall. Hunting is such a popular sport that the local school in Twining, Michigan closes for the opening day of deer season rather than face the 50% or more absentee rate that would otherwise occur. Winter also brings snowmobilers and ice fisherman to the surrounding area, though not typically the city proper.

In The News

Omer, until recently known as Michigan's smallest city (edged out recently by Lake Angelus, Michigan), received international attention on two recent but separate occasions.

The first is the story of the "cussing canoeist", the man who received a ticket under a century-old law for shouting a long stream of expletives in the presence of a woman and her two young children after he fell out of a canoe on the Rifle River. The ACLU intervened on the canoeist's behalf and got the law struck down in an appeals court.

The second concerns the successful secession of two households from the city because the City of Omer was charging them a water tax while refusing to deliever water service to their property.

External Links

Cussing Canoeist

Secession from Omer