One hundred years ago, the hills and valleys of Ohio were plentiful with Buckeye trees. Pioneers built their cabins out of Buckeye wood. It has been said that Colonel Ebenezar Sproat, head of the Court of The Northwest Territory, was greeted by the Indians with the compliment, "hetuck, hetuck, hetuck", which translates as "eye of the buck". Walking sticks made from Buckeye wood were emblems of William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign in 1840. Since then, everyone referred to Ohioans as "Buckeyes". The Buckeye tree, (Aesculus glabra), became the state tree and in 1953, Buckeye became Ohio's official nickname. Oh . . . and some say that if you carry a buckeye in your pocket, it's good luck!
Gracing the top of our "O" Is for Ohio pages is our state insect, the "ladybug" or "Ladybird Beetle", adopted in 1975.
The state flower is the scarlet carnation, introduced by horticulturalist Dr. Levy Lamborn of Alliance, who claimed to grow the first carnation in America.
The white trillium, (Trillium Grandiflora), can be found in all 88 counties of the Ohio and was adopted as the state wildflower in 1987.
Today in Ohio, we are fortunate to say that you can still look out
your window in the spring and discover the state bird, the red cardinal,
officially named the state bird in 1933.
Throughout Ohio's woodlands, the white-tailed deer is found.
This magnificant species is our official state animal.
Only a few states in the nation lay claim to a state reptile
and Ohio's is the Black Racer.
The state gemstone is flint, originally used to make spear-points
and arrowheads by the Native Americans who lived in the area.
"Isoletus", commonly known as the Trilobite, existing in the
Ohio area 440 million years ago, is Ohio's state fossil.
Tomato juice was adopted as the official state beverage in 1965.
Ohio leads the nation in the production of tomato juice.
Ohio's State Seal, originally created in 1803, has undergone
several changes and stadardized in 1967. The sheaf of wheat represents
Ohio's agricultural strength. A bundle of 17 arrows and the 17 rays of sun symbolize Ohio as the 17th state. Mt. Logan and the rising sun signify Ohio
as the first state west of the Allegheny Mountains.
In 1918, songwriters Mary Earl and Ballard MacDonald wrote a song about cruising down the Ohio River under starlit skies. Here is their original version . . .
Drifting with the current down a moonlit stream
While above the heavens in their glory gleam
And the stars on high
Twinkle in the sky
Seeming in a paradise of love divine
Dreaming of a pair of eyes that looked at mine
Beautiful Ohio in dreams again I see
Visions of what used to be
Ballard MacDonald's lyrics were revised by Wilbert B. McBride of Akron to create our official state song, adopted in 1989, Beautiful Ohio. Here are the lyrics that we sing today . . .
Beautiful Ohio where the golden grain
Dwarf the lovely flowers in the summer rain
Cities rising high
Silhouette the sky
Freedom is supreme in this majestic land
Mighty factories, they hum in tune, so grand!
Beautiful Ohio, thy wonders are in view
Land where my dreams all come true
If you love rock 'n roll music, you'll be happy to know that
Ohio has an official State Rock Song.
Songwriters Bert Russell and Wes Farrell of Steubenville started it all with their tune about a girl they knew in school, Dottie Sloop. The Ohio pop group, "The McCoys", recorded the song in 1965 and it went all the way to #1 on the pop music charts. The Ohio State University adopted "Hang On Sloopy" as their signature song, performed at every Ohio State sporting event.
"O" Is for Ohio!
The music from Celeste's program is available on CD,
featuring a witty tune about our state symbols, "A Buckeye Is A Nut!"
Also includes the State Song,"Beautiful Ohio"
Just click on the CD link "O" Is for Ohio CD! to order yours now.