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5 Interesting Facts About Ohio

The state of Ohio was named for the river “Ohio”, which in Seneca means “The Great River”. It is home to some of the greatest inventors, the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison. Ohio is one of the top manufacturing states. Ohio is also home to one of the largest Amish populations.  

Bessie

Like many other places with large lakes, Ohio has its own legend about a lake monster that haunts Lake Erie. It is known as South Bay Bessie, the Lake Erie Monster or just plain old Bessie. The first recorded sighting occurred in 1817, when the crew of a schooner reported a 30 to 40 ft snake like creature. A couple more sightings were reported that year. Since then, sightings have been intermittently reported and with a bit more frequency in the last few decades. There has even been a grainy video or two but still no definitive proof that Bessie exists. Ohio has embraced their local monster and have even named their hockey team after it, the Lake Erie Monsters.   

David Grohl Alley

Warren, Ohio happens to be the birthplace was one of the greatest drummers of all time. Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana and is the front man for the Foo Fighters, as well as lending his drum skills to many other bands. The town wanted to honor their famous son so they dedicated an alley to him in 2009, David Grohl Alley. The man himself even showed up for the dedication. Over the years the alley has grown and changed and artwork has been added. In 2013, the World’s Largest Drumsticks were installed. They are made of polar logs and are each 23 ft long and weigh half a ton. The town and Joe O’Grady, who led the effort, wanted a place to inspire the local youth and it has become a popular local destination. 

Rock and Roll

Cleveland, Ohio is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is a hall of fame and museum dedicated to the genre. Cleveland may seem like a random choice for the RRHOF, and many other cities competed for it, but it is where the term Rock and Roll was coined. Local DJ Alan Freed is the one who named the new genre of music and was a major part of promoting it. The RRHOF Foundation was founded in 1983 by Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. The first group of inductees occurred in 1986 and included Alan Freed. Eventually a museum was built and was dedicated in 1995 with a huge ceremony that included an all-star concert. Each year new inductees are voted in.  

Superman

When you think of Superman you probably think of the fictitious Metropolis or Smallville, Kansas, and not Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio happens to be the birthplace of the popular superhero. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, both sons of Jewish immigrants, met in high school at Glenville High School in the 1930s. They became fast friends and after high school decided to go into comics. In 1933, they came up with Superman. They first imagined him as a villain but then decided he should be a force for good. The house where Jerry Siegel lived and first dreamed up Superman in the attic, is still there. Outside the house is Superman’s red symbol and a sign stating that this is where Superman was born. The current owners have embraced the house’s history and have said that the Superman Society can have first crack at it whenever they decide to sell.  

Buckeye State

People from Ohio are referred to as Buckeyes and Ohio is known as “The Buckeye State”. So, where did this nickname come from? Ohio is filled with buckeye trees. The name comes from Native Americans who called the nuts from the tree “hetuck” which means “buck eye”. The markings on the nuts resemble that of a deer’s eye. The term started to be associated with people from the Ohio area in the late 18th century. Then with William Henry Harrison’s 1840 presidential campaign the nickname spread. Now there are many, many things called Buckeye in the state, including the Ohio State football team, the Buckeyes.