July 3, 2012

Ohio – “The Buckeye State”



Just the Facts…

bird – Cardinal
flower – Scarlet Carnation
tree – Ohio Buckeye
capital – Columbus
union – 17th state on March 1, 1803
population – about 12 million




The Basics 

Ohio is part of the Great Lakes region and links New England to the Midwest region of America.   It is bordered to the north by Lake Erie and to the east by the Allegheny Mountains.   Most of central and western Ohio is fairly flat with rich fertile soil perfect for farming.

The name “Ohio” came from the Iroquois word that meant “great river.”  The Ohio River forms part of its southern border, but the name is deceiving – Ohio actually owns very little of the Ohio River!  Kentucky and West Virginia own most of the Ohio River (the border was described as the northern shore of the river rather than the middle of the river – oops!).

Ohio is the only state to have a flag that is not rectangular.  Rather, it is called a burgee (which is kind of like a sailing flag or a pennant).   It is narrower at one end, like a cut off triangle.


Its Claim to Fame

Ohio is considered to be a miniature version of America – it contains both urban and rural areas, as well as agriculture and manufacturing.  Blue collar workers, white collar workers, liberal and conservatives alike live in Ohio.  Many cultures converge in Ohio – it is part midwestern, part eastern, and part southern.  As a result, it is an important state politically and is influential in presidential elections.

Ohio is sometimes called “the Mother of Presidents.”  For nearly 100 years (from about 1850-1950), Ohio sent more people to the Oval Office than any other state.  Seven Ohio residents became Presidents – can you name them?


What Makes it Tick

During most of the Colonial times, France claimed to own a large area of land that included Ohio.  The British took it over after the French and Indian War and reserved the area for relocating Native Americans.  Ohio did not become officially open for settlement until Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, which organized the area into America’s first official territory.

The first town in the Northwest Territory was Marietta, Ohio.  Settlers came from all parts of New England in search of Ohio’s fertile farmland.  In 1803, the federal government approved the boundaries for the state of Ohio, but never formally admitted it into the Union!  Congress finally passed a law admitting Ohio into the Union in 1953.

Agriculture was the backbone of Ohio’s economy for many years.  As Ohio became more industrial (around the turn of the century), people left farming and moved to cities to work in the factories.  Many goods were manufactured in Ohio for most of the 20th century.  And, thanks to Lake Erie, these goods could be shipped to many places within the United States.

And, most important of all – our fabulous service dog, Ziggy, was born in Ohio!


If You Visited

If you visited Ohio, you might follow one of the paths of the underground railroad.  With Kentucky and Virginia to the south, Ohio was a very important part of the underground railroad.  In fact, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati was also home to Harriet Beecher Stowe.  She who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was a very popular book prior to the beginning of the Civil War and inspired people to do their part to abolish slavery.

You might also tour one of the three Honda plants in Ohio.  Do your parents drive a Honda? If so, maybe it was made in Ohio.  Or, maybe the tires on your family car were made in Ohio.   For many years, Akron was considered to be the rubber capital of the world and many of the tires on the road were made in Ohio.  In fact, the very first Goodyear Tire factory was in Akron and at one point, Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone were all headquartered there.

Or, you might visit one of Ohio’s many museums – such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame, and the Armstrong Air and Space Museum.   Neil Armstrong was from Ohio.  He was part of the Apollo 11 crew and landed on the moon in 1968.  Neil Armstrong was one of the first men to walk on the moon!  As he stepped onto the moon, he said the famous words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


Want to Know More? 

Check out Ohio’s state scrapbook for an industry map, state symbols and information we received from the Governor and Board of Tourism.

Do you live in Ohio? Or, maybe you have visited Ohio?  We want to hear from you!!  Post a comment at the end of this page.

  • What is your very favorite thing about Ohio?
  • What is your favorite thing to eat?
  • What is your favorite thing to do?
  • What other special or unique facts do you want to share about your home state?


Do you have any photos of Ohio to share? Email them to: info@grandtourkids.com. Or, post them to our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GrandTourKids

Our tour includes just a few things that are interesting and special about Ohio.  Visit these websites to learn more: