Indianapolis Area Real Estate Blog

Historical Indiana Facts or not......

I am one of those people who really enjoy history and facts. So, I hope to bring you a few factoids here and there.

This one is probably fact .

Origin of the Name Indiana

The name 'Indiana' simply means 'land of the Indians.' This refers to a large number of Indians that were located throughout the state when the first settlers to this state arrived. I have never seen an Indian in Indiana although I have seen several in the West and Southwest states. I m not sure we even have an Indiana reservation in Indiana.
This next one has been debated time and again .How did the people of Indiana pick up the moniker of Hoosiers? Well, you can believe one of the following, or another you have heard.

Origin of the Nickname Hoosier

Indiana may have been referred to as the 'Hoosier State' as early as the 1830s. There are many explanations as to why we are called Hoosiers. Some of the explanations are funny, illogical and believable. Here are some of the most common explanations. The Who's Here Story-on the early Indiana frontier, log homes were few and far between in the Indiana interior. There were no real close neighbors, so when someone knocked on a cabin door or was heard coming through the woods, a person would yell out 'Who's here' or 'Who's yere.' This evolved into the word 'Hoosier.'
The Who's Ear Story-this story was popularized by the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. In frontier Indiana there were many small taverns and saloons scattered throughout the state. Continually fights broke out in these bars with punching, biting, scratching and gouging occurring. The next morning the bartender was likely to find an ear on the floor of the saloon, nudge it with his foot and call out 'Who's Ear?' This evolved into the word 'Hoosier.'
The Hoosier River Men Story-Along the waterways of the state there were bullying and rambunctious Indiana rivermen, always ready for a brawl, who were reputed to be quite successful in winning all of their fights, 'hushing' their opponents. They became known as 'Hushers' and eventually 'Hoosiers.' Mr. Hoosier Story-it is said that a contactor named Hoosier liked to hire Indiana men to work on the Louisville and Portland Canal. These men became known as 'Hoosier's men' and later, 'Hoosiers.' Information provided from the Northern Indiana Center for History website. Check out their site for much more about Indiana.


#1 By Mana Tulberg at 1/21/2008 0:45 PM

I love history as well and Paula, this was a great history lesson.

#2 By Terry McDonald at 1/21/2008 1:09 PM

Not sure about a Hoosier, any more than anyone can tell me where the nickname Tar Heel is from... I did go to the Levine Museum of the New South today, a fascinating look at Charlotte, race and the South and what it all means.

#3 By Ashley Gephardt at 1/21/2008 2:55 AM

Paula - I always love state trivia. The whose ear one is very humorous! - Ashley

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