original (uncolored) outline map from here

This page will be updated as I learn more and visit more places. My Mom typed the stuff for Indiana through Wisconsin for me but I had to do the research and tell her what to say. That was the start of my map.  Since then I have typed Canada, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC and Missouri and I will be typing everything else that comes after Virginia.

On February 17, 2007, I made some slight changes to the listing for North Carolina. I got an email letter from a man who lives in NC who was upset at the thing I said about how "Tar Heel" was originally an insult.  My Grandpa is a "Tar Heel" and I wouldn't ever say anything to imply my Grandpa is not a good guy!  I hadn't explained that later, being called a "Tar Heel" became something to be proud of, so I added that in so that I wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings by not being accurate and I am very sorry if I did.

I also added notes to some of the states telling who in my family was born there.  I haven't been to Texas yet, and that's where my Mom was born.  And I haven't been to Germany (which is not in the US) yet and that's where my Uncle Alvin was born.  But most of my family is listed now except for cousins and my sisters' husbands and my aunts' and uncles' husbands and wives because I have too many of them to list them all!  I also didn't list my great-grandparents because I don't know for sure where they were all born.  Only two of them are still alive now.

We live in Ohio.
Here are some things I have learned about Ohio:

Ohio is the dark purple state on the map above.

Ohio is nicknamed the "Buckeye State."  The capital of Ohio is Columbus.  The state bird is a cardinal.  The state flower is a scarlet carnation and the state tree is the Buckeye Tree.  Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803.  Ohio means "beautiful river" and it is an Iroquois word.

My brother, sisters and I were all born in Ohio and so was my nephew Caleb. Ohio is sometimes called the "Mother of Presidents" because seven (so far!) US presidents have been born here.  They were:  Ulysses S. Grant (18), Rutherford B. Hayes (19), James Garfield (20), Benjamin Henry Harrison (23), William McKinley (25), William Howard Taft (27) and Warren G. Harding (29).  Some other cool people born in Ohio (besides me!) include:  Toni Morrison (a writer), Thomas Edison (the inventor), Steven Spielberg (the director), Annie Oakley (a sharpshooter who was part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show), Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, Jr. (famous astronauts) and Judy Resnick (one of the first female astronauts, who died when the Challenger Shuttle exploded). 

Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio was the first US College to enroll both men and women.  The Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team and Akron was the first city to use police cars!  You can visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Canton, and the Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta.  You can also visit the Maritime Museum in Vermillion right on Lake Erie, the house where Thomas Edison was born in Milan, and the Adena State Memorial in Chillicothe or the Gardens of Zoar, an 1817 settlement where men and women had equal rights long before the rest of the country!

So far, I have been to these states:

Indiana Michigan Kentucky Tennessee
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Indiana is nicknamed the "Hoosier State."  It is sometimes called the "Mother of Vice Presidents" because five of our Vice Presidents have come from Indiana.  Indiana's capital city is Indianapolis, and their state flower is the peony.  Their state bird is the cardinal and their state tree is the tulip poplar.  Indiana became a state on December 11, 1816.  The name "Indiana" means "Land of the Indians."

My Grandma Jeannie and both of her brothers and my Dad were all  born in IN.  Indiana is where they have the Indianapolis 500, which is a really big race.  You can also go to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Indianapolis.  Or you can go to a town called Twelve Mile and see an Annual 500 Riding Lawn Mowers Race!  The College Football Hall of Fame is in South Bend.  The very first major league baseball game was played at Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The first goldfish farm in the country was opened in Martinsville in 1899.  A lady who lived in Indianapolis created the original Raggedy Ann doll!

Michigan is nicknamed the "Wolverine State" or the "Great Lakes State."  Michigan borders four of the five great Lakes and contains more than 11,000 other lakes.  The capital of Michigan is Lansing.  The state bird is a robin and the state tree is a white pine.  Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837.  The name "Michigan" comes from the word "Majigan" which is a Chippewa Indian word meaning "clearing."

A cool place to visit in Michigan is "Greenfield Village" in Dearborn.  You can find a model of Thomas Edison's lab there and the Wright brothers' bicycle shop.  You can also go to the "Motown Museum" in Motor City.  In Marshall, there's the American Museum of Magic. The world's largest manufacturers of magic supplies is located in Colon.  Michigan is called the Wolverine State but there aren't any more wolverines in the state!  There is also a place in Michigan, called Mackinac Island, where you can't have any cars!  There is also the remains of a famous fort there on Mackinac Island. 

Kentucky is the "BlueGrass State" and also the "Hemp State," "Tobacco State" and the "Dark and Bloody Ground."  Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky.  The state bird is the cardinal and the coffee tree is the state tree.  "Kentucky" is derived from the Cherokee word for "land of tomorrow" according to one theory.

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and you can see his home in Bardstown.  You can go to the Kentucky Derby.  Muhammad Ali was born in Kentucky, and so were the Hill sisters, who wrote the song "Happy Birthday to You."  There's a place in Cumberland Falls where you can see a "moonbow" which is a kind of rainbow that you can only see at night.  There's also the Daniel Boone Museum.  And in Corbin is the very first KFC ever!  Fort Knox is in Kentucky and there's a cave called "Mammoth Cave" that's made up of more than 350 miles of underground passageways, full of underground lakes, rivers and even waterfalls.

Tennessee is the "Volunteer State" because so many soldiers volunteered during the War of 1812.  Nashville is the capital.  The state tree is the tulip poplar, the flower is the iris and the bird is the mockingbird.  It became a state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee got it's name from the Cherokee Indian word "Tanasi" but no one is sure what that word means. 

Davy Crockett was born in Tennessee in 1786 and Elvis Presley's home and grave are in Memphis.  Nashville is the heart of country music and you can find the world's largest underground lake - The Lost Sea - in Craighead Cavern.  There are more than 3,800 *known* caves in Tennessee.  The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis memorializes Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated there.  There is a monument in Greeneville that honors both the Union and Confederate armies.  Its the only monument of its kind in the country.

Nashville is where the Grand Ole Opry is and that is where a lot of country singers live.  I love country music!

North Carolina

South Carolina


West Virginia

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North Carolina is the "Tar Heel State."  The capital is Raleigh and the state tree is a long leafed pine (Southern Pine).  The state flower is the dogwood and the state bird is a cardinal.  North Carolina became a state on November 21, 1789.  It was the twelfth state.  The state was originally named in honor of King Charles IX of France, and then later for King Charles I and II of England. 

Two presidents (and my Grandpa!) were born here, the 11th president, James Polk (you can see his birthplace in Pineville) and Andrew Johnson, the 17th president, who's birthplace is in Raleigh. You can go to Spivey's Corner for the National Hollerin' Contest, or visit the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst.  NC also has the world's tallest lighthouse at Cape Hatteras.  It used to be illegal to sing out of tune in NC!  NC's official nickname, Tar Heel State, was originally actually an insult.  During the Civil War, when NC Confederate troops were chased from their position by Union troops,  the Mississippi Confederate soldiers said it was because the NC troops had forgotten to "tar their heels" so they would stick to the ground!  The NC troops didn't get mad, they just turned it into something to be proud of and told the other troops that someone should tar their heels so that they would not run away from the NC troops!  Today everyone in NC is proud to be called a tar heel.  NC is also where many of the Cherokee Indians hid out when they were being forced to go on the Trail of Tears.

South Carolina has a whole bunch of nicknames, including the "Swamp State," the "Keystone of the South Atlantic Seaboard," the "Iodine State" and the "Palmetto State."  South Carolina's capital is Columbia and the tree is the palmetto.  The flower is a yellow jessamine and the bird is a Carolina wren.  South Carolina became a state on May 23, 1788 and was named in honor of King Charles IX of France, and then later for King Charles I and II of England, just like North Carolina.

One president was born in South Carolina, Andrew Jackson, the 7th.  There is a state park near Lancaster where he was born.  It is the state with the first public museum and also the oldest minor league stadium in the nation, Duncan Park in Spartanburg.  SC also has an official state amphibian (salamander) and dance (the shag).  The nickname, Palmetto State, is because the first battle of the Revolutionary War was won by SC soldiers from a fort built with palmetto logs -- Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.

Georgia is known as the "Peach State" and its capital is Atlanta.  The state tree is the live oak, the flower is the Cherokee rose.  The state bird is a brown thrasher.  Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788.  It's name was to honor King George II of England.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, was born in Georgia and so were all of my sister Anna's little boys who are my nephews.  The lady who founded Girl Scouts is from Savannah.  The Okefenokee Swamp is the world's largest freshwater swamp (and it has the coolest name!).  It covers over 700 square miles, and is filled with 54 species of reptiles, 49 types of mammals and 234 kinds of birds.  There is the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of the bloodiest battle in American history, the Battle of Chickamauga.  Georgia is not only known for its peaches, it is also the leading producer of peanuts and pecans and the only state that grows the sweet Vidalia onion.  Georgia was the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world to give a woman a degree.  Georgia is the home to Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting (which owns CNN).   

West Virginia is named after Queen Elizabeth the first of England, who was called the "Virgin Queen."  It used to be a part of Virginia, but President Lincoln made it its own state on June 20, 1863 after it tried to secede from Virginia without its permission.  West Virginia didn't want to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War.  The state capital is Charleston and the tree is the sugar maple.  The flower is a big rhododendron and the bird is the cardinal.  West Virginia is sometimes called the Panhandle State or the Mountain State.

In West Virginia you can visit lots of sites and museums, like Watters Smith Memorial Park (a 200 year old pioneer farm) and Harper's Ferry National Historic Park where they tried to end slavery by raiding an armory to steal weapons in 1859.  You can also visit the West Virginia State Farm Museum in Point Pleasant.  Point Pleasant is also where the Mothman is supposed to have first appeared and it was spooky driving across that bridge!  Grafton is where the first Mother's Day was celebrated in 1908.  The first radio observatory built in the country (The Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory) is in WV.  And if you go to Parkersburg, thats where they make most of the glass marbles!

Pennsylvania Illinois



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Known as the "Keystone State" and the "Quaker State," Pennsylvania got its name because William Penn, the founder, wanted to name it Sylvania (Latin for "woods") but King Charles II wanted to name it after Penn himself.  They compromised, and Pennsylvania means "Penn's Woods."  It became a state on December 12, 1787 and it's capital is Harrisburg.  The state tree is a Hemlock and the state flower is the mountain laurel.  They have the ruffled grouse as their state bird.

PA is where my Grandma was born.  PA is also where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were written.  The Liberty Bell was first rung in Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776 after they read the Declaration of Independence in public for the first time.  The 15th president, James Buchanan was born here. Valley Forge National Historical Park and Gettysburg National Military Park are here.  You can also see the famous Betsy Ross House and the first presidential mansion.  You can also go to Hershey Park -- the chocolate people!  PA also has the first fire department and the first hospital.  America's first magazine (called American Magazine!) was published here in 1741.  It only lasted for 3 months.  PA is one of the largest growers of Christmas trees and Louisa May Alcott was born here.  The famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, lives here too!

Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln" and the "Prairie State," Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818.  The capital is Springfield -- not Chicago! -- and their tree is the white oak.  Their flower is a violet and the bird is a cardinal.  The name Illinois comes from a Peoria Indian word, "ilini" which means man or warrior. 

One president (Ronald Reagan, 40th) was born here, and one lived here from the time he was 21 until he became president -- Abraham Lincoln.  Ulysses S. Grant lived in Illinois for a long time too.  The world's busiest airport - O'Hare - is here and so is the famous ball park, Wrigley Field.  The famous Sears Tower is in Chicago -- 110 stories and 1454 feet high.  The Monadnock Building is the tallest building made entirely of masonry.  Chicago was also the home of the very first skyscraper, the 10-story Home Insurance Building built in 1885.  The first McDonald's ever was opened in Des Plaines in 1955.  Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, in 1865.  The first ferris wheel ever was built in Chicago in 1893 by (who else?!) George Ferris.  The first aquarium opened in Chicago in 1893 and John Dillinger was shot by the FBI at the Biograph Theater, where you can still see movies. 

Known for its production of cheese, Wisconsin is known as the "Badger State."  It became a state on May 29, 1848 and it's capital is Madison.  Their tree is the sugar maple, wood violet is the flower and the robin is their bird.  The name is believed to have come from a Chippewa word that means "grassy place" but this isn't for certain. 

Wisconsin provides 40% of the nation's cheese and 20% of the butter.  They also are the home to the country's original kindergarten, founded in 1865.  They also had the first minimum wage requirement, and were first to have workers comp, pensions, sate income taxes and unemployment insurance.  They have a water park named "Noah's Ark" in Wisconsin Dells, and the Galloway House and Village in Fond du Lac.  They have Cave of the Mounds near Blue Mounds and Stonefield Village near Cassville.  The Historical Society Log Village and Museum is in Reedsburg and the Circus World Museum is in Baraboo was built to honor where the Ringling Brothers Circus began in 1882.  Laura Ingalls Wilder was born here and so was Frank Lloyd Wright.  Golda Meir, the woman who later became the prime minister of Israel at the age of 70, grew up in Milwaukee.  The first typewriter was designed in Milwaukee in 1867.  Seymour, Wisconsin is the home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame; Milwaukee is the home of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. 

Virginia was named for Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was called the Virgin Queen. Virginia is called the "Mother of Presidents" because eight different presidents were born there! Also, there were six presidents' wives born there and seven presidents are buried there.  Virginia became a state on June 25, 1788, but they do not call themselves a state they call themselves a commonwealth.  Virginia's capital is Richmond and the state tree and state flower are both dogwood.  Their state bird is the cardinal. 

My Uncle David was born in VA. You can visit George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon, and Monticello, which is the house that Thomas Jefferson designed for himself.  In the capitol building in Richmond, you can see a full size statue of George Washington.  There is a cemetery in Virginia called Arlington Cemetery.  It is where soldiers are buried.  There is a tomb there called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. This tomb has some soldiers buried there who nobody knows who they are. They stand for all the soldiers who have died for this country.  Virginia is where the American Revolution was fought.  That is the war that made the US free from England.  There is a place in Virginia called Colonial Williamsburg and that is a place where everything is just exactly the same as it was back in the 1700's!!  The first peanuts ever grown in the US were grown in Virginia but their biggest crop is actually tobacco. 

Maryland Washington, D.C. Missouri  
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red dot w/yellow

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Maryland's capital is Annapolis and at one time that was the capital of the United States! Maryland is called the "Old Line State" because Maryland soldiers "held the line" against the British forces. The song "The Star Spangled Banner" which is our national anthem, was written by Francis Scott Key during the war of 1812 when he was a prisoner on a British warship off the coast of Maryland. Maryland became a state on April 28, 1788.  The state tree is a white oak, the flower is a black-eyed susan and the bird is the Oriole.  Maryland got named by Lord Baltimore who named it that in honor of Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I of England. 

My Aunt Cindy was born in Maryland. There is a ship called the US Frigate Constellation and it is docked in Baltimore's inner harbor.  This is the oldest ship still afloat! Maryland is where two famous baseball players were born (Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken, Jr.) First things in Maryland are the country's first railroad station for passengers which was built in Baltimore in 1830, and the National Aquarium, which is the largest in the US.  A woman named Harriet Tubman, who was born as a slave in Maryland founded the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad led a lot of slaves to freedom.   In 1696, the first school in the whole United States was opened in Maryland! Sixteen of the 23 Maryland counties border on tidal water. The combined length of tidal shoreline, including islands, is 4,431 miles.

Washington DC is the capital of the United States. It is very tiny, it is less than 70 square miles total! Virginia and Maryland each gave up a little bit of land for DC to be made.  It is not a state, it is just a district, but it is the most important district in the US.  It is called the District of Columbia and it is nicknamed Nation's Capital.  The District of Columbia only has one city: Washington City! 

DC has a bird, the wood thrush and a flower, the American Beauty Rose.  It is named for Christopher Columbus and George Washington, our first president.  

Almost all of our government buildings, including the White House, are in Washington DC.  There are a lot of monuments there and they even have their own flag!  This is what it looks like:

That is all I know about the capital Washington DC right now. But I will learn more so come back soon!!

The capital of Missouri is Jefferson City. Missouri is called the "Ozark State" and it's also the "Show Me State."  Other names for Missouri are the "Cave" state and the "Lead" state.  Originally, they named the sate after the Missouri River. That river got its name from an Indian word for "canoe possessor" which is a funny way to say somebody who owns a canoe! Missouri became a state on August 10, 1821. Its state tree is the flowering dogwood and flower is a hawthorn. They have the bluebird for their state bird.

President Harry S. Truman, who was the 33rd president of the US, was born in Missouri. 

Missouri is where the first World's Fair was held, in 1904. They say that iced tea was invented there and ice cream cones too. St. Louis has the St. Louis Arch which is 630 feet high.  I stood under it!  They also have two halls of fame, the National Bowling Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.  The very first presidential radio broadcast was made from St. Louis University in 1921 by President Warren Harding. 

St. Joseph, Missouri, is the place where the old pony express started in 1860.  It took ten days to get to San Francisco from St. Joseph back then. 

Hallmark Cards is in Kansas City, Missouri.  There is a Kansas City, Kansas too!

Mark Twain was born in Hannibal Missouri in 1835. He wrote Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. 


I have also been to Canada:

Windsor, Ontario - Canada.

- Canada is the grey area above the US - Windsor is located on the part with the red dot.-

Here is some of what I know about Windsor and Canada:

Windsor is a city in the province of Ontario.  Think of the provinces like states, only they're a whole lot bigger!

Canada has these provinces:


Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia


New Brunswick





Yukon Territories

British Columbia

Northwest Territories




Here's what I learned about the history of Windsor, so far:

The first European settlement in the Detroit-Windsor area occurred in the year 1701 when approximately 100 military and civilian personnel arrived to found Fort Pontchartrain on the Detroit side of the river.  Settlement remained mostly on the Detroit side of the river until 1748 when the Jesuit mission to the Huron Indians was established on the south (Windsor) shore near the present Huron Church Road and the Ambassador Bridge. From 1748 to 1760, a French settlement developed along the Windsor side of the river, a similar settlement developed on the Detroit side.   Although Fort Pontchartrain officially surrendered to the British in 1760 and the Detroit side of the river was again officially surrendered to the United States in 1783, both sides of the river remained under British control until 1796, when U.S. forces took over occupation of Detroit. During this time, the Windsor settlement continued to grow but remained predominantly French, and until 1791 French civil law remained in effect.

When we were there, it was kind of strange because all of the signs, measurements, money and everything is in metrics and Canadian -- but sometimes it's French-based and sometimes it's British!  It was funny to see American places like McDonald's there, and they even have things on their menus that we don't have!  Some things were just the same as at home, other things were different and sometimes weird.  We saw a place called the "Roadkill Cafe" but we didn't eat there.  Mommy said she couldn't quite get past the concept, even if it was just a joke!  Later on we learned that this is an actual chain of restaurants and they even have places in the United States.  Mommy says she's still not eating there.  I brought home a bunch of Canadian money, even though I can't spend it here, just because it was so neat looking.  I also learned that the American dollar is worth a lot more than the Canadian dollar.  Sometimes things seemed really expensive until you remembered to convert it to American money and then it was much less.  I had a lot of fun in Canada but really couldn't learn a whole lot about the history of the city of Windsor.  The information in the previous paragraph came from stuff on their webpage.

At the Windsor "Rose City" Feis, they gave everyone who danced a little pin with the city seal on it.  That's kind of neat and I have it with my medals and trophies.  Next year I want to spend more time there and maybe try to find a museum of history or the chamber of commerce where we can learn more about the city and about Canada too.  I also want to go see Niagara Falls.

The dark grey areas between the US and Canada are the Great Lakes.
The five Great Lakes are:  Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.
If you want to learn more about the Great Lakes, you can do that at this site.

You can learn more about United States History: State Trivia here.
More about US Presidents here.
And all kinds of trivia in general (including geography, history and politics) here.
Some of the things I learned about Washington DC I found at the Political Graveyard.


©2002-2011 by Kathleen Helms. All Rights Reserved.