For every preconceived notion, there is about Indiana, there is also a little known, interesting fact about our great state. From raising vice presidents to housing one of the largest sand dunes, Indiana has a rather fascinating history.
Learn more about the Hoosier state by reading these little-known facts gathered by Indiana’s official travel planning source, Visit Indiana (www.visitindiana.com).
1. Raising Goldfish – Believe it or not, the first successful goldfish farm in the U.S. was opened in Martinsville, Indiana in 1899.
2. Dear Santa – Every year, Santa Claus, Indiana still receives more than 500,000 “Dear Santa” letters.
3. Corn, Corn, Corn – Indiana is actually one of the biggest popcorn producers in the U.S., contributing over 20% to the supply. And almost 50% of all cropland in Indiana is corn.
4.Peaches Aren’t Just In Georgia – Indiana actually has its own 20-foot tall “Big Peach” that stand next to a Washington Monument replica in Bruceville, Indiana. You can see it if you’re driving on U.S. 41 just north of Vincennes.
5. Mother of Vice Presidents – Did you know that there have been 5 men from Indiana who have served as vice president? These men include Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall, and Dan Quayle.
6. Odd Indiana Laws – There are 2 really strange laws still intact in Indiana:
- “Before you go fishing, check your gear because it is illegal to catch a fish with dynamite, firearms, a crossbow or your bare hands.”
- It’s illegal for liquor stores to sell you cold soft drinks or water
7. Falling Money – In 1972, Lowell Elliot of Peru found $500,000 cash on his farm that seemed to have fallen from the sky. Instead of keeping the money for himself, he actually returned the money to the police. Later, it was found that the money had actually fallen from the sky when a parachuter dropped the stolen money over Elliot’s farm.
8. “Grave in the Middle of the Road” – Nancy Kerlin Barnett was buried on a small hill near the village of Amity overlooking Sugar Creek in 1831 and, later, a cemetery was formed. When Camp Atterbury was being formed, many cemeteries were being uprooted and moved to different locations, including the one Nancy was in, but Nancy’s son objected. Not too much later, the town wanted to build a bridge where she was buried, and this time, a grandson protected the burial site. The county had to build a road around it, and it was named a historical marker in 1912.
9. It’s Sandy – The shore of Lake Michigan in Indiana is home to the Indiana Dunes, a place that habitats “many unusual plants, including prickly pear cactus, lichen mosses, bearberry and more than 20 varieties of orchids.” The largest living sand dune, Mount Baldy, “moves away from the shore a few feet each year.”
10. The Slippery Noodle Inn – As one of Indiana’s older bars, The Slippery Noodle Inn has served a variety of patrons, including the Al Brady and John Dillinger gangs during Prohibition. Using the back of the building for target practice, “several bullets remain embedded in the lower east wall.”
11. Back Home Again in Indiana – Composed by Ballard MacDonald and James F. Hanley in 1917, “Back Home Again in Indiana” is the best-known song about Indiana. Every year over Memorial Day weekend, it is sung during the opening ceremonies of the Indianapolis 500.
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