Welcome to: Indiana
Called “the crossroads of America,” Indiana borders Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west. Of all the contiguous states, Indiana is the smallest west of the Appalachian Mountains. Nicknamed the Hoosier State, Indiana was the 19th state to join the Union in 1816.
Since it’s namesake means “land of the Indians,” it’s not surprising that many different tribes have called it home. The original Native Americans who settled here were the Illini Indians, Miami Indians, and Shawnee Indians. After Europeans began settling the land, other tribes like the Lenape, Iroquois, Kickapoo, Muncie, Nanticoke, Potawatomi, Wyandot migrated here.
Today much of Indiana is farmland, although the northwest corner of the state is technically part of the
Chicago Metropolitan area. Kettle ponds formed by glaciers sprinkle the north, too. Bedford, Indiana is the “Limestone Capital of the World,” and has supplied the material for more than one landmark. The Empire State Building in New York City, the Pentagon, and National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. are all made from Bedford limestone.
The town of Fountain City – formerly called Newport – was one of the hubs of the Underground Railroad. Two hoosiers in particular helped more than 2,000 runaway slaves make their way north to freedom. Levi and Catherine Coffin are the reason Newport became known as the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.”
Some not as helpful railroad associations come with the Hoosier State, too. The first train robbery in the US happened here in 1866 when the notorious Reno Brothers stopped a train and stole $13,000.