Background: The Ohio State Capitol located in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo created by Alexander Smith

Living in Ohio

Ohio - Birthplace of Aviation

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Ohio

Ohio USA Map
Ohio USA Map

Since 1803 when Ohio was admitted to the Union, it's geographic central location has proven to be an essential link between the states in the Northeast and the balance of the southern and western expanses of the country.

With a strong diverse population, a mixed economy based upon both industrial manufacturing and agriculture, with affordable housing and a mixture of urban and rural populations - Ohio continues to be the true American crossroads

Ohio's biggest employment sector continues to be transportation and trade followed by education and health care, federal employment, hi-tech and professional services, and manufacturing.

Ohio is typically ranked in the lists of top 10 for the best business climates and largest economies and of all 50 states, with practically 60 major corporations calling the the state home including Abercrombie & Fitch in New Albany, Goodyear in Akron, Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, AK Steel in West Chester Township, and Wendy's in Columbus.

First explored for France by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, in 1669, the Ohio region became British property after the French and Indian Wars. Ohio was acquired by the U.S. after the Revolutionary War in 1783. In 1788, the first permanent settlement was established at Marietta, capital of the Northwest Territory.

The 1790s saw severe fighting with the Indians in Ohio; a major battle was won by Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne at Fallen Timbers in 1794. In the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver H. Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 1813

Climate

Ohio is located in the humid continental zone and has a generally temperate climate. Winters are cold and summers mild in the eastern highlands. The southern region has the warmest temperatures and longest growing season—198 days on the average, compared with 150 to 178 days in the remainder of the state.

Demography

  • Ohio Geography, Facts and History
  • Ohio Facts & Trivia
  • Ohio Flags
  • Famous People from Ohio
  • Ohio Timeline
  • Ohio Official Song
  • Economy

    Ohio is most often noted as the Nation's Industrial Capital, dating to its roots in the Rust Belt and Ohio's present-day intelligence and scientific dominance. Ohio was one of four states in the U.S. to have areas make the Intelligent Community Forum's list of global Smart 21 Communities for 2014, with Columbus, Ohio receiving the honors. Ohio has 5 of the top 115 colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2010 rankings,

    Education

    Ohio Colleges. Ohio University, the first university in the Northwest Territory, was also the first public institution in Ohio. Substantially, the system in Ohio is similar to that in other states. At the state level, the Ohio Department of Education, overseen by the Ohio State Board of Education, is responsible for the administration of primary and secondary schools. At the municipal level, there are around 700 school districts nationwide. The Ohio Board of Regents coordinates and assists with Ohio's higher education institutions, which were recently reorganized into the University System of Ohio under Governor Strickland. The system has an average annual enrollment of over 400,000 students, making it one of the top five state university systems in the United States.

    Flora and Fauna

    Ohio State Flower - Scarlet carnation
    Ohio State Flower - Scarlet carnation

    Ohio State Tree Ohio Buckeye
    Ohio State Tree Ohio Buckeye

    More than 2,500 plant species have been found in Ohio. The southeastern hill and valley region supports pitch pine, bigleaf magnolia, and sourwood, with undergrowths of sassafras, witch-hazel, pawpaw, hornbeam, and various dogwoods. At least 14 species of oak, 10 of maple, 9 of poplar, 9 of pine, 7 of ash, 7 of elm, 6 of hickory, 5 of birch, and 2 of beech grow in the state, along with butternut, eastern black walnut, wild black cherry, black locust, and sycamore. A relative of the horse chestnut (introduced to Ohio from Asia), the distinctive buckeye—first called the Ohio buckeye and now the official state tree—is characterized by its clusters of cream-colored flowers that bloom in spring and later form large, brown, thick-hulled nuts. Five Ohio plant species were listed as threatened in 2003, including eastern prairie fringed orchid, northern wild monkshood, and lakeside daisy; the running buffalo clover was listed as endangered that year by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The Buckeye State is rich in mammals. White-tailed deer, badger, mink, raccoon, red and gray foxes, coyote, beaver, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, least shrew, and opossum are found throughout the state's five wildlife districts; the bobcat, woodland jumping mouse, and red-backed mole are among many species with more restricted habitats. Common birds include the eastern great blue heron, green-winged teal, mourning dove, eastern belted kingfisher, eastern horned lark, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern cowbird, and a great variety of ducks, woodpeckers, and warblers; the cardinal is the state bird, and the ruffed grouse, mostly confined to the Allegheny Plateau, is a favorite game species. Bass, pickerel, perch, carp, pike, trout, catfish, sucker, and darter thrive in Ohio's lakes and streams. The snapping, midland painted, and spiny soft-shelled turtles, five-lined skink, northern water snake, midland brown snake, eastern hognose, and eastern milk snake appear throughout Ohio. The northern copperhead, eastern massasauga (swamp rattler), and timber rattlesnake are Ohio's only poisonous reptiles. Fowler's toad, bullfrog, green pickerel frog, and marbled and red-backed salamanders are common native amphibians.

    Acting on the premise that the largest problem facing wildlife is the destruction of their habitat, the Division of Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources has instituted an ambitious endangered species program. The US Fish and Wildlife Service listed 20 Ohio animal species as threatened or endangered in 2003, including the bald eagle, Indiana bat, Scioto madtom, and piping plover.

  • Ohio State Bird (Northern Cardinal)
  • Ohio Official State Flower (Scarlet carnation)
  • Ohio Official State Tree (Ohio Buckeye)
  • Government

    Ohio State Capitol
    Ohio State Capitol
    The Ohio Statehouse is the state capitol building and seat of government for the state of Ohio. The Greek Revival building is located on Capitol Square in downtown Columbus. The capitol houses Ohio General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It also contains the ceremonial offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, and state auditor. Built between 1839 and 1861, it is one of the oldest working statehouses in the nation.

    Officials elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, and treasurer, all of whom serve four-year terms. (The 19 members of the state Board of Education, who serve six-year terms, are also elected by voters.) Effective in 1959, a constitutional amendment changed the governor's term from two to four years and forbade a governor from serving more than two successive terms. The governor appoints the heads of executive departments, as well as the adjutant general and members of most statutory boards. Candidates for governor must be 18 years old, US citizens, qualified voters, and state residents. .

    To vote in Ohio, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and have been a state resident for at least 30 days prior to election day. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of Ohio Official Website
  • Attractions

    There are wonderful possibilities in the state for visitors looking for a cosmopolitan experience, a small-town retreat, or a full-on escape to nature. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton offer many of the state's best cultural attractions, great shopping, and a full repertoire of things to do. Head into the countryside to discover the best of Amish Country, or hit the summer fun towns, like Sandusky, and spend a day at an amusement park. From spring until fall, the lakes and forests are inviting destinations to discover Ohio's best outdoor adventures, many of which can be found in the national and state parks. In winter, you can even try your luck out on the lakes ice fishing. Regardless of the season, you can find interesting and fun experiences in Ohio

    Fairport Breakwall Lighthouse
    Fairport Breakwall Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in Ohio - List of all lighthouses in the state of Ohio as identified by the United States Coast Guard and other historical sources.

    Focal height and coordinates are taken from the 1907 United States Coast Guard Light List, while location and dates of activation, automation, and deactivation are taken from the United States Coast Guard Historical information site for lighthouses.

  • Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism
  • Amusement Parks

    The Beach at Adventure Landing, Mason
      The Beach at Adventure Landing is a 35-acre water park 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. Previously known as The Beach Waterpark, it features 10 water attractions, several children's areas, sand volleyball and basketball courts, pool-side beverage service and other special events
    Cedar Point, Sandusky
      Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park located on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio. Opened in 1870, it is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States behind Lake Compounce. Cedar Point is owned and operated by Cedar Fair and is considered the flagship of the amusement park chain. Known as "America's Roller Coast", the park features a world-record 71 rides, including 17 roller coasters
    Coney Island, Cincinnati
      Coney Island is a small amusement park and waterpark located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Anderson Township, on the banks of the Ohio River 10 miles east of Downtown Cincinnati.
    Erieview Park, Geneva - Closed
    FunTimes Fun Park, Alliance
    Jungle Jack's Landing, Powell
      Jungle Jack's Landing is a small amusement park attached to and owned by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio. The park was originally part of Wyandot Lake before the zoo purchased the property in 2006, splitting it into two separate sections. The water park became known as Zoombezi Bay while the dry ride area became Jungle Jack's Landing. The amusement park was named after zoo director emeritus Jack Hanna and opened on May 26, 2008. It debuted with 16 rides and attractions.
    Kings Island, Mason
      Kings Island is a 364-acre amusement park located 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park first opened in 1972 by the Taft Broadcasting Company. The park features over 100 attractions including fifteen roller coasters and a 33-acre water park.
    Lincoln Park Family Aquatic Center, Marion
    Long's Retreat Family Resort, Latham
    Memphis Kiddie Park, Brooklyn
      Memphis Kiddie Park is an 11-ride amusement park located in Brooklyn, Ohio, designed specifically for children and families. The park is home to the "Little Dipper" roller coaster—the oldest operating steel roller coaster in North America.
    Pioneer Waterland & Dry Fun Park, Chardon
    Richland Carrosuel Park, Mansfield
    Sluggers & Putters, Canal Fulton
    Stricker's Grove, Ross
      Stricker's Grove is a family owned amusement park located in Ross, Ohio. Unlike other amusement parks, Stricker's Grove is closed to the public for most of the year. Instead, it is rented out for private functions, such as weddings. The park is open to the public for 8 days of every year, on July 4, 4 days in mid July for the Hamilton County 4-H Community Fair, the second Sunday in August (Family Day), Labor Day, and a Sunday in October called "Customer Appreciation Day".
    Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park, Olmsted Township
    Tuscora Park, New Philadelphia
      Tuscora Park is a municipal park that features a carousel, Ferris wheel, train and other rides, along with miniature golf and batting cages. Tuscora Park was originally built as a project of the Works Progress Administration; original stone work gates, paths and retaining walls still adorn the park. The park is now the home of the Park Place Teen Center, a facility for high school students that provides entertainment of all types. Events at the park include a Summer Showcase and the annual First Town Days festival.

    National Parks

    Cuyahoga Valley National Park Cuyahoga Valley National Park
    Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland and Akron, OH
      Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
    Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Dayton, OH
      Three exceptional men from Dayton, Ohio, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar, found their creative outlet here through accomplishments and failures, and finally success. However, these men offered the world something far greater, they offered the world hope, and the ability to take a dream and make it a reality.
    Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Chillicothe, OH
      Earthen mounds and embankments forming huge geometric enclosures grace the landscape of the Ohio River Valley. These monumental structures were built by Native American hands almost 2,000 years ago. Hopewellian people gathered at these earthworks for feasts, funerals and rites of passage. Come learn about these sacred spaces and reflect upon the lives of these American Indians.
    National Aviation Heritage Area, Dayton, OH
      Aviation is chock-full of tradition & history and nowhere will you find a richer collection of aviation than here, the birthplace of aviation. From the straightforward bicycle shops that fostered the Wright brothers' flying ambitions to the complex spacecraft that carried man to the moon, the National Aviation Heritage Area has everything you need to learn about this country’s aviation legacy.
    North Country National Scenic Trail, Seven States-New York to North Dakota MI,MN,ND,NY,OH,PA,WI
      Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers 10,000 years before. Here you’ll find clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, wide open prairies, and distant horizons. Historic sites along the way tell the story of how America settled and grew as a nation. From New York to North Dakota, you're never far from adventure.

    Wayne National Forest
    Wayne National Forest

    National Forest

    Wayne National Forest - 243,180 acres
      Ohio's only National Forest, Wayne is located in the Appalachian foothills and has over 300 miles of trails. The North Country Trail passes through several sections of the forest.

    Sports

    Ohio is home to major professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse and soccer. The state's major professional sporting teams include: Cincinnati Reds (Major League Baseball), Ohio Machine (Major League Lacrosse), Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cincinnati Bengals (National Football League), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association), Columbus Blue Jackets (National Hockey League), and the Columbus Crew (Major League Soccer).

    Ohio played a central role in the development of both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Baseball's first fully professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, were organized in Ohio. An informal early 20th century American football association, the Ohio League, was the direct predecessor of the NFL, although neither of Ohio's modern NFL franchises trace their roots to an Ohio League club. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.

    On a smaller scale, Ohio hosts minor league baseball, arena football, indoor football, mid-level hockey, and lower division soccer.

  • Ohio Sports
  • Taxes

    State Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 0.495% - 4.997%
    • Local income tax: 0% - 3%
    • Sales tax: 6.5% - 8%
    • Property tax: 1.56% effective rate
    • Gas tax: 28.01 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport
    Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport Photo by Brandon Blackwell

    Port of New Cleveland
    Port of New Cleveland

    Ohio Airports. There are 175 public airports in Ohio. Ohio airports are well equipped to handle the heavy traffic that flows into the state every year. Ohio airports are customer friendly and their services are tailored to this purpose. Ohio's international airports include Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, and the James M. Cox International Airport in Dayton. There are also international general aviation airports in Ohio. These are Akron Fulton International Airport in Akron and Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus.

    The Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport serves nearly 12 million passengers every year. The airport has many shops and restaurants, ATMs, a chapel, currency exchange, business and convention centers, lounges. The airport also offers special assistance for people with disabilities. It has TTY phones, wheelchair assistance, wheelchair accessible toilets, handicapped accessible lifts and parking for people with disabilities.

    Ports

    • Ohio truly is a Maritime State with 716 miles of navigable waterways surrounding the state on three sides.
    • Ohio is 8th in the Nation for total water tonnage moved
    • Ohio’s maritime ports and river terminals handle over 103 million tons of commodities valued at $11 Billion worth of cargo per year.
    • Ohio’s Lake Erie and Ohio River ferry boat lines move over one and a half million passengers along with hundreds of thousands of freight tons of cargo per year

    Rail

    Ohio is a paradise if you are a railfan, as rail lines run every which direction featuring Class I main lines, regionals  and even local short lines. In comparison to the state's size, Ohio is loaded with action! What's more, the Buckeye State was also the home to the famous Lima Locomotive Works (based in Lima) that built durable, high quality steam locomotives through the early 1940s.

    Roads

    Many major east-west transportation corridors go through Ohio. One of those pioneer routes, known in the early 20th century as "Main Market Route 3", was chosen in 1913 to become part of the historic Lincoln Highway which was the first road across America, connecting New York City to San Francisco. In Ohio, the Lincoln Highway linked many towns and cities together, including Canton, Mansfield, Wooster, Lima, and Van Wert. The arrival of the Lincoln Highway to Ohio was a major influence on the development of the state. Upon the advent of the federal numbered highway system in 1926, the Lincoln Highway through Ohio became U.S. Route 30.

    Ohio Housing

    The median home value in Ohio is $135,800. Ohio home values have gone up 6.8% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 6.2% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Ohio is $105. The median price of homes currently listed in Ohio is $167,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $134,000. The median rent price in Ohio is $1,095.
    Ohio Association of Realtors
    Ohio Division of Real Estate
    Ohio Real Estate Listings

    Ohio Cities & Villages

    There are 88 counties, 247 cities and 686 villages in Ohio. Cities in Ohio are incorporated municipalities whose population is greater than 5,000. Smaller municipalities are villages. The largest city is Columbus is 860,090 with residents the smallest village is Rendville with 36 residents
  • Ohio Cities and Towns
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