Tucked away in the northeastern edge of the Midwest region in the U.S. sits the Buckeye state of Ohio. Ohio is a popular place for people looking to relocate, start a new business or franchise, move an existing business, or simply visit on vacation.
Ohio borders Lake Erie to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia, and Kentucky to the southeast and south, Indiana to the west, and Michigan to the northwest.
Ohio has a lot to offer, being ranked one of the best states to do business in, coupled with a low cost of living, a fantastic educational system, and abundant recreational opportunities. There really is a lot more than meets the eye with the Buckeye State, that’s why we have created a list of interesting facts about Ohio, unraveling some of the many amazing things that are associated with this state.
24 Interesting Facts About Ohio
1. Ohio is known by many as “The Mother of Presidents”, this is because 7 U.S. presidents originated from Ohio.
- Ulysses S. Grant | Rutherford B. Hayes | James A. Garfield | Benjamin Harrison
- William McKinley | William Howard Taft | Warren G. Harding
2. The capital of Ohio is the famous city of Columbus. Boasting a population of more than 920,000 people, Columbus is by far the largest city in the state by population, with the next biggest being Cleveland, with a population of over 379,000.
3. Situated in the middle of Lake Erie is Kelleys Island, where you will find Glacial Grooves State Memorial. The state memorial is the largest easily accessible set of glacial grooves on the entire planet! These grooves were formed due to glacier movement dating back to the Pleistocene era, with the largest being 400 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 10 feet deep.
4. Ohio’s name originates from a word from the Iroquois people’s language, “ohi-yo” which means “great river”.
5. Ohio was admitted to the union in March 1803, becoming the 17th official US state. Ohio didn’t get the presidential stamp of approval until President Dwight Eisenhower signed it off in 1953, he later back-dated the declaration to the original date of 1803.
6. Ohio’s famous nickname, the “Buckeye State” was derived from the plethora of buckeye trees commonly found throughout the Ohio River Valley. The trees produce small nuts, brown in color that many believe resembles the eye of a deer. It is said by many that carrying one in your pocket will give you good luck!
7. Ohio is home to some of the most revolutionary inventions in the world, not just the U.S. One of the most notable inventions was the cash register, making its debut in 1878 and invented by the Ohio native, James Ritty. James was a saloon owner and had run into a problem with employees stealing money from the business. So, he came up with the ingenious idea of creating a machine that kept track of money transactions, with the goal of discouraging theft from his employees.
8. The iconic western classic, “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory, located in Mansfield, OH.
9. Ohio is home to the “One and Only Presidential Museum”. This famous museum pays homage to John Hanson, who was the first-ever president of the U.S.
10. Ohio doesn’t just have a reputation for producing US presidents, the state has also created many NASA astronauts throughout the year too, proving that the state has a rich talent pool that keeps on providing more and more influential people! There are 25 NASA astronauts from Ohio, including the first to have walked on the moon, (Neil Armstrong), the first to orbit Earth (John Glenn), the first woman to walk in space (Katheryn D. Sullivan), and the first to take a spacewalk from the International Space Station (Michael L. Gernhardt).
11. Ohio is famous for its production of tomatoes, and more specifically, tomato juice. It is one of the U.S.’s main producers of tomato juice.
12. Did you know that just over 50% of the US population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio? Columbus enjoys one of the best locations in the U.S. and is home to numerous trucking companies.
What is Ohio famous for?
Ohio is famous for an abundance of brilliant reasons, with one of the more notable being Cedar Point. Cedar Point is a famous amusement park situated in the town of Sandusky, you can find the amusement park sitting on a 364-acre piece of land next to Lake Erie. The park is the second-oldest amusement park that is still in operation in the entire nation.
Unique Facts About Ohio
Here are some more unique facts about Ohio, and some interesting facts about the Ohio River:
13. The Ohio River stretches over 981 miles, beginning at the confluence of Allegheny and the Monogahela Rivers in Pittsburgh, PA, and finishing in Cario, Illinois, where it finally flows into the Mississippi River and ends its journey.
14. The Ohio River flows through or borders 6 states in total. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, in addition to these states, water from areas of New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama has somehow managed to find its way into the Ohio River too!
15. Here is a list of cities that can be found along the Ohio River:
- Pittsburgh | East Liverpool | Wheeling | Parkersburg
- Huntington | Ashland | Cincinnati | Louisville
- Owensboro | Evansville | Henderson | Paducah | Cairo
16. The river-draining basin covers a total of 490,600 square km (189,422 square miles).
17. The Ohio River provides drinking water for over 3 million people!
18. Ohio’s population is over 11.69 million people, making the Buckeye State the 7th largest state in terms of population, closely followed by Georgia.
19. The state’s first university, Ohio University was founded in 1804 and was the first university established in the Northwest Territory, which is how people thought of the region back in the early 1800s.
20. Cleveland, Ohio was the first city in the United States to successfully incorporate electric lighting all the way back in 1879.
21. When you take a look at each state’s flags you notice that they are all rectangular shapes, usually with colors and patterns that represent the state to some extent. However, Ohio’s state flag is the only state flag to not be a rectangular shape, it is an extremely unique design and according to the Ohio State Flag Code, the flag is folded 17 times to represent Ohio being the 17th state to join the union!
22. The European explorers first arrived in Ohio back in the 1670s, led by French explorer, Rene-Robert Cavelier. During this time, the French settlers soon discovered a multitude of Native American tribes still inhabiting the area.
23. Before pursuing what has been an eventful and illustrious television career, Jerry Springer was the 56th mayor of Cincinnati, he even considered running for Senate at one point, however, he was concerned that his show’s somewhat negative reputation would ruin his chances.
24. There are more than 996,000 small businesses operating in the state of Ohio, which accounts for over 99% of all the businesses within the state! For more economic facts about the Buckeye State, make sure to check out our page on this.