- January 2018
Facts about Indiana for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AMISH, & ARCHAEOLOGY
Indiana has several AMISH settlements. Two of the most prominent settlements in the mid-west are located in Northern Indiana. Nappanee is the oldest Amish settlement in the country. The Menno Hof at Shipshewana tells the story of the Mennonites and Amish and attracts more than a million visitors each year.
September is ARCHAEOLOGY Month in Indiana when there are opportunities to visit digs. The Bone Bank site was the first archaeological site reported in the state. An Archaeology Resources are available for teachers and students. Indiana State University has an Archaeology Reseach Unit.
Over 400 species of BIRDS have been identified in Indiana and 125 are classed as rare, 10 have been introduced to North America, 3 are extinct, and 3 have been extirpated. Game birds are found in forests and Game-Bird Hunting is popular. Wetlands and shores have waterbirds. Endangered bird species including the Bald eagle, the peregrine falcon, and trumpeter swans. The Indiana Audubon Society promotes and conducts bird and wildlife research in Indiana, and there are a number of Birding Hotspots. The State Bird is the Cardinal.
Indiana has many BRIDGES including covered bridges and Railroad Bridges. The Medora Covered Bridge is the last standing triple span covered bridge in the state and one of the longest covered bridge still standing in the country. The first Bridgeton Covered Bridge was built in 1868. After its destruction by fire, it was replaced in 2006 by a reproduction. There are also Iron Bridges and Suspension Bridges some of which are still in use. Many of the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Indiana.
Indiana has several BYWAYS including part of the Ohio River Scenic Route, part of the National Historic Road, and Historic Pathways. The state has a Byway Program. Part of the Lincoln Highway passes through Fort Wayne where there is a replica of Lincolnís Log Cabin in Foster Park. The state also has a variety of Trails and participates in National Trails Day. The Turkey Run State Park has some of the most ruggedly beautiful hiking trails in the state. Indiana has many Roadside Attractions
Indiana has all forms of COMMUNICATIONS including newspapers, radio, television, telephone, and internet. The state has 6 Area Codes, and many Internet Service Providers. Webcams are located throughout the state.The Indiana Telecommunications Network provides access to government, schools, and public libraries.
Indiana has 92 COUNTIES. Allen County is the largest in size. Marion County has the largest population and is the most populated county in the country. Ohio County is the smallest in size and population. Nappanee is the only town in the country that uses the same letters twice. La Porte County is the only county in the country that has two functioning courthouses. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of local government below the state itself.
Indiana does not have any Mesozoic rocks so it probably did not have any DINOSAURS. The Childrens Museum in Indianapolis has a dinosaur exhibit. More than 60 species of Crinoids have been found in Crawfordsville. The state has an interesting Fossil History and Crinoid has been proposed as the State Fossil.
The Indiana Department of EDUCATION provides many programs and Services. New Harmony introduced educational and social reforms to America. The state also has many private schools and homeschooling is popular. Information about schools in Indiana is available at SchoolBug and GreatSchools.
Indiana has many EVENTS and festivals throughout the year including state and county fairs. A State Fair is held in mid-August in Indianapolis. Potawatomi is an annual festival in Attica, and there is a Hot Dog Festival in Frankfort. The International Circus Hall of Fame is in Peru. Car shows celebrate the automotive past and present in Indiana. Indiana observes Fixed Public Holidays and celebrates other special days.
The Indiana FOOD timeline dates back to 1,000 BC. When European immigrants began to arrive each nationality brought with them their culinary traditions. The favorite Hoosier delicacy of onion pie can be traced to them. Fried biscuits also became an Indiana specialty. Pork cookery is another well-developed culinary art in Indiana. Log Inn was founded about 1825 and claims to be the oldest eatery in Indian. Indiana has Food Festivals & Shows. Popcorn is the State Snack Food. The state is known for several well known brands of food. McCord Candies has been in business since 1912.
Indiana has had many forts. Most have been destroyed but are now a park and some are National Historic sites. Historic Old Fort Wayne has been reconstructed and has tours. Fort Ouiatenon has a museum that is open to tourists in the summer and every year it has a reinactment of pioneer life. Many rare artifacts from the original fort are displayed during that time. Fort Benjamin is a State Park. The new Lawrence Readiness Training Center opened there in 2011 and will house four units including the 76th Brigade Combat Team headquarters. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is the site of Fort Sackville. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the French, British and Americans built and occupied a number of forts at Vincennes.
Indiana has a number of GHOST TOWNS. Some houses and the oldest high school in the state are in Weedleville. The town of Byron has a few houses and 2 churches. Much of the town of Old English remains and there is a new golf course. Tippecanoe has cleared land and battlefield markers.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Indiana is approximately latitude 38-41 north by longitude 84-87 degrees west. Boone is the geographic center of the state and was named after frontiersman Daniel Boone. The state lies toward the middle of the North American continent and is bordered on the north by Michigan, the south by Kentucky, the west by Illinois, and the east by Ohio">. The topography of Indiana ranges from about 300 ft to 1,600 ft. Hoosier Hill is the highest point and the Ohio River is the lowest. Geocaching is an adventure game using a Global Positioning System, and Indiana has many geocaches.. The Indiana University has geocache activities and GPS Kits are available for checkout.
The HISTORYof Indiana dates back over 10,000 years. First there were the Paleo-Indians followed by the Archaic Indians, Woodland Indians, and Mississipian Indians. Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the 17th century. The state played an important role during the Civil War. Many Indiana cities became stations on the Underground Railroad in the years before and during that war. The Indiana War Memorial Museum portrays the history of Indiana's veterans through several wars. Indiana has had many historic disasters. The Tri-State Tornado in 1925 in was one of the worst disasters. The state participates in National History Day.
A wide variety of INSECTS and bugs are found in Indiana including many species of Mayflies and butterflies & moths. The Hilbert Conservatory at White River Gardens has a summer show called Marsh Presents Butterflies. The Mitchels Satye and Karner Blue butterflies are endangered. The Firefly is the State Insect.
Indiana has many ISLANDS. Some of them are listed on the Island Awards Program, a program for amateur radio bands. French Island has a marina and boat club. Fox Island is a County Park. There is no development & no access to Goose & Heron Island.
Indiana has several JELLYSTONE PARKS. All of them have some type of accommodation - lodges, cabins, and campsites. Most of them have a variety of activities including pools, fishing, and boats. Some also have tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and mini golf. A convenience store, restaurant and laundries are usually nearby.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Judicial System of Indiana consists of a Superior Court, Appellate Court, Tax Court, Circuit and Superior Courts, and City and Town Courts.
Many aspects of life in Indiana focus on KIDS. The House of Representatives has a Kids Page. Indiana Kids Election is a mock election for kids in grades K-12. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a Kids Page. AG in the Classroom has a kids page about agriculture. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page
Indiana has many LIBRARIES including an extensive public library system, academic libraries, Institutional Libraries, and Special Libraries. The State Library is in Indianapolis and is the oldest state government agency. The Indiana Library Federation helps libraries all across the state. The State Poem is "Indiana". The state has a Poet Laureate and celebrates National Poetry Month.
Indiana ranks hight in a variety of MINERALS including coal, clay, shale, and limestone which is the State Rock. Limestone is often called the building stone of the country, and quarries have supplied stone for construction throughout the country including the Empire State Building and the Pentagon. Coal is the number-one mineral in the state. Indiana has several bedrock areas and a large variety of rocks are found in the state. Gold and other treasures have been found in the state.
MUSEUMS are located throughout Indiana including Art Centers, Museums, and Galleries. The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in Indianapolis. The Children's Museum in Indianapolis is the largest museum in the world devoted to children. The National Model Aviation Museum is the world's headquarters for model aviation. The Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis houses many exhibits on the history of the state from prehistoric times up to the present day.
NATIVE AMERICANS were the first people to inhabit Indiana. Among the earliest was the Mississippian culture. They left behind beehive-shaped mounds of earth and are often called the Mound Builders. The most famous mound site in Indiana is Angel Mounds near Evansville. Other Indian groups that lived in Indiana included the Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware, Kickapoo, and Shawnee. One of the largest Middle Woodland settlements can be found in Indiana. The Potawatomi is a Federally recognized tribe. Several tribes have submitted a Letter of Intent.
Indiana is part of the OLD West (the area west of the Mississippi River in the 1800s). The state has Cowboys and Cowgirls and Cowboy Clubs. Horseback riding is popular and the state has many horse trails and rodeos are held throughout the year. The Eiteljorg Museum of Amerian Indians and Western Art is in Indianapolis.
Several OLYMPIC sports organizations have their national headquarters in Indiana. USA Track and Field, Gymnastics, Diving, Rowing, and Synchronized Swimming are in Indianapolis. Special Olympics Indiana is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics Programs that reach more than 2.5 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
Nearly 6 million PEOPLE live in Indiana and they are called Indianans, Indianians or Hoosiers. Many famous people were born or raised in Indiana. They include Wilbur Wright, inventor/aviator; Dan Quayle, former U.S. Vice-President; James Whitcomb Riley, poet; and Benjamin Harrison, 23rd U.S. President.
QUILTING is popular in Indiana. Quilt Guilds are located throughout the state and there are Quilt Shows during the year. The Quilters Hall of Fame is in Marion. The Wabash Weavers Guild has workshops and guest speakers.
REPTILES and amphibians found in Indiana in the 1930s are still found in the state. The copperbelly watersnake and the eastern massasauge are endangered. There is a Reptile Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and in Evansville. There is an Exotic Animal, Reptile, and Bird swap/sale in Valpariso. Indiana is part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Indiana has many navigable RIVERS. The State River is the Wabash which flows west across the entire state forming part of the Indiana-Illinois border. The name comes from a Native American word for limestone. The White River is a major river. The Ohio River forms the entire southern border of the state and is a Scenic Byway. The Blue River is a designated natural and scenic river. Twenty-three miles of Lost River travel underground. Many rivers and streams in the state are on the list of Outstanding Rivers and Streams
The Indiana STATE SEAL is used by the Governor to certify official documents. It has gone through several revisions since the region was a part of the Northwest Territory. The original seal was created by William Henry Harrison during his administration of the Indiana Territory. The current design of the seal was standardized by the Indiana General Assembly in 1963. The inner circle of the State Seal has a woodsman, a buffalo, two trees, three hills, and a sun setting.
Indiana has all forms of TRANSPORTATION and has an Adopt-a-Highway Program. The state offers several types of Personalized Licenses Plates including including one named Land of the Indians. Burton Tunnel is one of the longest railroad tunnels in Indiana. The Indiana Transportation Museum preserves railroad history in the state and offers a School Program and special events. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about Traffic and Road Closures in Indiana. To celebrate its 50th birthday, Matchbox cars issued a car for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the Union. The car for Indiana was the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette.
Indiana has a variety of TREES including oaks, maples, and willows. The State Tree is the Tulip Tree. The Forest Legacy Program helps identify and protect forest lands in the state. Hoosier National Forest includes smaller sites including the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest, Hemlock Cliffs, and Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower which is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
Several USS Navy ships have been named USS Indiana. The USS Indiana BB-01 saw service in the Spanish-American war and was used as a training ship in World War I. The USS Indiana BB-58 was the 3rd ship named after the state but only the 2nd completed and received 9 battle stars for World War II service. V IS FOR VEGETATION & VINCENNES
Four US Navy ships have been named USS VINCENNES after Vincennes which was the capital of the Indiana Territory and is the oldest city in the state. The 1st USS Vincennes (1826) was an 18 gun sloop-of-war. The 2nd USS Vincennes (CA-44) was a heavy cruiser. The 3rd USS Vincennes (CL-64) was a light cruiser. The 4th USS Vincennes (CG-49) was a guided missile cruiser.
WEATHER in Indiana is cold in the winter and warm in the summer with fairly high humidity. Weather changes occur every few days as surges of polar air moves south or tropical air moves up. The state experiences tornadoes mainly in April, May, and June. The Gulf of Mexico plays a part in the weather in the state. The Environmental Protection Agency has information for kids about Global Climate Change. NOAA provides activities for kids about the weather.
WILDLIFE in Indiana includes raccoons, foxes, skunks, and weasels. Most of the large animals are gone except for deer. The State Mammal is the white-tailed deer Indiana has a number of programs and funds targeted for wildlife habitat acquisition and biodiversity. Indiana Wildlife Federation supports backyard wildlife habitats. Endangered species include badgers, bobcats, river otters, wolves, and several types of bats. The Indiana Bat is a Federally endangered mammal. Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion is for rescued and retired animals. Indiana has a Wildlife Action Program. There are 3 National Wildlife Refuges in the state.
Time ZONES are established by the Coordinated Universal Time. The United States is divided into several Time ZONES. Indiana is in 2 Time Zones. Eighty counties are in the Eastern Time Zone and 12 are in the Central Time Zone. The entire state observes daylight savings time. The state has several Plant Hardiness zones.
Indiana has several ZOOS including the and Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. The Potawatome Zoo is the oldest zoo in the state. The Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville has more than 500 animals and features a butterfly exhibit during the summer. The Indianapolis Zoo is located in White River State Park.