Nestled in the heartland of the United States, Ohio is a state known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and industrious spirit.
Bounded by the waters of Lake Erie to the north and the mighty Ohio River to the south, Ohio is a state that is as scenic as it is dynamic.
Ohio is a state full of interesting and unique facts. Here are some facts about Ohio that will surely amuse and surprise you…
Common FAQs About Ohio
When did Ohio become a state?
Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803, and was the 17th state to join the Union. At the time, it was the first state to be carved out of the Northwest Territory.
How did Ohio get its name?
The state is named after the Ohio River, which forms its southern border.
How big is Ohio?
It is the 34th largest state in the country, covering an area of approximately 44,825 square miles.
What’s the capital of Ohio?
Columbus is the capital of Ohio and is the 15th largest city in the United States. In 1920, it was the 5th largest!
Where is Ohio located?
Ohio is a state located in the Midwest region of the United States.
Because of this location, it’s estimated that 50% of the national population lives within 500 miles of Ohio, making it the perfect vacation destination when traveling by car.
What states border Ohio?
Ohio is bordered by five states — Michigan to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Indiana to the west.
What water borders Ohio?
Ohio is bordered by Lake Erie to the north. Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America.
It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and touring lighthouses.
In addition to Lake Erie, the Ohio River forms the state’s southern border. The river is approximately 981 miles long and is a major transportation route for goods and people.
Also, it is a popular destination for recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, and camping.
Historical Facts About Ohio
To say that Ohio has an interesting history is an understatement. Since this history is extensive, here are a few highlights that everyone should know.
Ohio didn’t start flourishing until the late 1700s.
The history of Ohio dates back to the early settlements of Native American tribes, such as the Shawnee, Miami, and Erie. The first European settlement was established by French fur traders in 1663, but it wasn’t until the late 1700s that Ohio began to see significant growth and development.
The Ohio River had a major impact on the state’s growth.
During this time, the Ohio River served as a major transportation route for settlers moving westward. Many early settlements were established along the river, including Marietta Ohio, the first permanent settlement in Ohio, which was founded in 1788.
Ohio contributed a substantial amount to the Civil War.
During the Civil War, Ohio played a major role in the Union’s victory. More than 300,000 Ohioans served in the Union Army, and the state was a major supplier of food, equipment, and ammunition.
Ohio had a significant role in helping slaves through the Underground Railroad.
Ohio played a key role in the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escape to freedom in the North. Many abolitionists, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” lived in Ohio.
More Miscellaneous Facts & Ohio Trivia
- The first ambulance service in the United States was established in Cincinnati in 1865.
- The first gasoline-powered automobile was invented in Ohio City in 1891 by John William Lambert.
- The world’s largest basket is located in Dresden Ohio. The basket is 192 feet tall and can hold up to 30,000 basketballs.
- Ohio was home to the first professional baseball team — the Cincinnati Red Stockings, which was established in 1869.
- The cash register was invented in 1879 in Dayton Ohio by James Jacob Ritty.
- The first traffic light in the United States was installed in Cleveland Ohio in 1914.
- Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the country.
- Ohio ranks 7th in the nation for tomato production.
- The state ranks 4th in egg production.
- Ohio is a leading producer of Swiss cheese.
The Cuyahoga River is a famous natural feature in Ohio.
One of the state’s most famous natural features is the Cuyahoga River, which flows through the city of Cleveland and was once so polluted that it caught fire in 1969. Today, the river is much cleaner and is home to a variety of fish and wildlife.
Ohio is the birthplace of aviation.
The Wright Brothers — Orville and Wilbur, who invented the first successful airplane — were born in Dayton Ohio and conducted their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk North Carolina in 1903.
Today, you can visit the Wright Cycle Company Complex in Dayton to see where the brothers tinkered with inventions, which enhanced their flight experiments.
Ohio is home to the world’s largest aviation museum.
Ohio is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which is the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world. The museum is located in Dayton Ohio and has more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display.
Ohio is home to the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This museum celebrates the history of rock ‘n’ roll music and features exhibits, artifacts, and performances from some of the most famous musicians in the world.
Ohio has two large amusement parks.
Ohio is famous for its amusement parks. Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio is known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World” and has been named the best amusement park in the world for several years in a row.
Kings Island in Mason is home to the world’s longest wooden roller coaster — The Beast.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton Ohio.
This museum honors the greatest players, coaches, and contributors to the sport of football. You can see exhibits and artifacts related to the history of football and the people who have made it great.
Notable Famous People From Ohio
Ohio has been the birthplace of many famous people who have made significant contributions to society. From astronauts to inventors to sharpshooters, these individuals have left their mark on history and continue to inspire future generations.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Wapakoneta Ohio. He was a U.S. Navy officer and astronaut who became famous for being the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission.
Armstrong’s famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were heard by millions of people around the world.
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and was born in Milan Ohio. He was an inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, motion picture camera, and alkaline storage battery.
Edison’s inventions and innovations helped shape the modern world as we know it today.
Annie Oakley, a famous sharpshooter, was born in Darke County Ohio. She was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter who toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.
Oakley was known for her incredible accuracy and ability to shoot targets from great distances. She was a trailblazer for women in shooting sports and inspired many to take up the sport.
Some other notable people from Ohio include:
- John Glenn — astronaut and U.S. senator
- Harriet Beecher Stowe — author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
- Steven Spielberg — film director and producer
On top of that, Ohio was the birthplace of several U.S. presidents — Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft.
Iconic Ohio Foods
When you wonder “what is Ohio known for,” you might be interested to know about Ohio’s famous food. Ohio has a variety of delicious foods to offer, and here are some fun facts about its most famous dishes.
Cincinnati-style chili is a unique dish that originated in Ohio. It’s made with ground beef, tomato sauce, and a blend of spices that includes cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. The chili is served over spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese on top. Locals enjoy it with oyster crackers and a side of hot dogs or coneys.
Buckeyes are a sweet treat named after Ohio’s state tree — the buckeye tree. These candies are made by rolling peanut butter into balls and dipping them in melted chocolate, leaving a small circle of peanut butter exposed to resemble the nut of a buckeye tree.
Buckeyes are a popular snack in Ohio and are often enjoyed during football games or as a dessert.
The Ice Cream Sundae
The origin of the ice cream sundae is a popular debate between Cleveland Ohio and Ithaca New York. Contrary to a legend circulating in New York, Ohioans claim that the first ice cream sundae was served in Cleveland Ohio in 1892.
We’re not ones to argue with Midwest ice cream connoisseurs, so we’ll just enjoy the best ice cream in Ohio along this Ohio ice cream trail.
Ohio State Symbols
Ohio has several state symbols that represent the state’s history and culture. Many kids in Ohio learn these symbols in elementary school, so quiz your favorite student to see if you’re smarter than a 5th grader!
- Ohio state bird — northern cardinal
- Ohio state flower — scarlet carnation
- Ohio state tree — buckeye tree
- Ohio state mammal — white-tailed deer
- Ohio state insect — ladybug
- Ohio state reptile — black racer snake
- Ohio state fossil — trilobite
- Ohio state gemstone — Ohio flint
- Ohio state beverage — tomato juice
- Ohio state food — Ohio burger
- Ohio state motto — “With God, all things are possible.”
Ohio State Flag
Ohio’s state flag features a red, white, and blue background with a white circle in the center. The circle contains a red disc that represents the sun and has 17 rays that represent Ohio’s status as the 17th state to join the Union.
Ohio State Rock Song
Did you know that Ohio has a state rock song? In 1985, the 116th Ohio General Assembly passed a resolution to make “Hang On Sloopy” the state’s official rock song.
This iconic song was made famous in Ohio by the Buckeye Marching Band. It can be heard at sporting events across the state and is taught to elementary students. There’s even a “Sloopy step” that the Buckeye band performs during its on-field performances.
Explore More Facts About Ohio When You Visit
Ohio is known for its diverse economy, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the famous Cedar Point amusement park, the Buckeye State offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors and residents alike.
Whether you are a history buff, a sports fan, or someone just looking for a fun vacation destination, Ohio has something to offer. With its unique blend of urban and rural areas, Ohio is full of fun facts that are definitely worth exploring.
What fun facts about Ohio did we miss? Tell us in the comments!