By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 11, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates the 19th state joining the union.


“Indiana Wants me, Lord, I can’t go back there…” by R. Dean Taylor or “Back home again in Indiana…” by James F. Hanley are probably the best-known songs about Indiana.   Both portray Indiana as a place to be for those who left. (Note: Click on either song title to listen) 

And, yes, Indiana is the place to be – while no presidents were born there, Indiana boasts the premier car race in the Indianapolis 500, the largest steel mill in Gary and the birth of fluoridated toothpaste at Indiana University in Bloomington (working with Procter and Gamble).

Indiana became the 19th state of the US on December 11, 1816.

So, the elephant in the room is where does the nickname Hoosier come from?  Unclear is the answer.  Some believe it is from “who is here”, or from the name of the foreman Mr. Hoosier, who preferred Indiana folk to work on the Portland canal at Louisville. 

Ruth White’s pictorial map of Indiana is presented here from 1938.  

Indiana – 1938 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.