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'Round my Indiana homesteads wave the cornfields,
In the distance loom the woodlands clear and cool.
Oftentimes my thoughts revert to scenes of childhood,
Where I first received my lessons, nature's school.
But one thing there is missing in the picture,
Without her face it seems so incomplete.
I long to see my mother in the doorway,
As she stood there years ago, her boy to greet.

Indiana State Song

Courtesy of

Indiana means "land of the Indians." The state was given that name because of the many Native Americans who lived there. Indiana's nickname is the "Hoosier State." The origin of the state's nickname is uncertain. Some people believe it comes from an old Saxon word meaning "hill dweller" because many of the regions early settlers were the children of English highlanders. Others believe it might come from the pioneer greeting, "Who's yere?" meaning "Who is here?" There are still others who trace the nickname back to the 1820s, when Samuel Hoosier, a contractor working on the Ohio Falls Canal in Kentucky, hired many men from the Indiana side of the river. The men Hoosier hired were first called "Hoosier's Men" and then simply called "Hoosiers." The abbreviation for Indiana is IN.


Courtesy of nationalatlas.govIndiana's state motto is the "Crossroads of America." The state calls itself this because many transportation routes pass through it. This is one of the reasons that Indiana is an important state in the country's commercial activities.

Indiana is an East North Central state bordered by Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west. The Ohio River flows along the state's southern border with Kentucky. Indiana is the smallest state in the Midwest; with the exception of Hawaii, it is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains. Important cities in Indiana include Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend.

Indiana's landscape includes fertile farmland on broad plains and many lakes and streams. The state has sand dunes running along Lake Michigan. Southern Indiana consists mostly of hills, forestland, small farms, and small rural towns. The northern region of the state is part of the Midwest's Corn Belt.

Because Indiana is located in the Corn Belt, agricultural is the main activity throughout a large portion of the state. Indiana ranks fifth in the country in growing corn for grain. The state is also a leader in the production of soybeans, hay, popcorn, hogs, cattle, calves, milk, and eggs.


Despite the fact that agriculture is the main activity throughout most of the state, manufacturing is Indiana's most important economic activity. The state's Calumet region, located near Illinois, helps make Indiana a major industrial state. Indiana's cities produce electrical machines, metals, transportation equipment, machinery, food products, and chemical products. American manufacturer Clement Studebaker made wagons in South Bend in 1852. Today, robots assemble cars in Lafayette. Indianapolis, the state's capital and largest city, is an important manufacturing center.

Indiana is known for the famous politicians associated with the state. President William Henry Harrison earned his nickname, "Tippecanoe," when he defeated the Indians in the Battle of Tippecanoe in the state. Visit the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Home in Indianapolis. Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison. Benjamin Harrison was the only President whose grandfather was also a President. See the log cabin Abraham Lincoln helped to build and lived in from age 7 to 21 at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Prior to becoming President, Ronald Reagan was the "Gipper" in a movie about Knute Rockne, who coached football at the University of Notre Dame near South Bend. Former Indiana Senator Dan Quayle became Vice President of the United States in 1989.

Tourists visit Indiana for many reasons. They can see racecar drivers compete in the Indianapolis 500, a famous 500-mile auto race held every Memorial Day weekend in the town of Speedway. If you like to boat, hunt, or fish, Indiana may be the state for you; it has many lakes and streams. If you're an artist or nature-lover, you'll enjoy the colorful rolling hills of Brown County. Explore Wyandotte Cave, one of the largest caverns in the United States; it's near Leavenworth. Bathe in mineral springs at Indiana's French Lick resort.



State Flag

Largest City...Indianapolis
Statehood...1816 (19th)
Area...ranked 38th
Motto...The Crossroads of America
Nickname...The Hoosier State

State Seal