By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 1, 2024) – This edition of Fun with Maps teaches us a little about how “we” became known as Ohio.


This is another state based on Native American language. 

“Good River” in Seneca sounds very much like Ohio.  While it referenced the river, the state took its name from it.

There have been many different Native American people living in what is now Ohio.  The earliest human occupation dates to 13,000 BC.  The Adena people are believed to be responsible for building the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County between 1000 and 800 BC.  They evolved into the Hopewell, who were also mound builders.

A number of other cultures came and went, due to wars or just food supply availability.  The aggressive Iroquois conquered much of Ohio in the mid-17th century.  Then the French came setting up short lived fur trading posts in the middle of 18th century.

Eventually this land came under US control and the Northwest Territory was established in 1787, which included Ohio and future midwestern states to the north and west of Ohio.

Ohio became the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

This is a colorful county map of Ohio by Bradford from 1838.

Ohio – Circa 1838 (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.