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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > About Indiana - History and Trivia > Anniversaries > Indiana Statehood Day - December 11 (1816) > Images from Indiana Statehood Day 2006 > Statehood Day Essays Statehood Day Essays

"What Indiana Means to Me" - FIRST PLACE ESSAY

by Ezra Stone Carotenuto, Indian Trail Elementary, La Porte

I am Proud to be a HOOSIER and happy to live in Indiana.

Here are facts I know about Indiana.  It’s the 19th state.  It has a lot of farms.  In Indiana there are places where you can get natural gas and coal.  Indiana also has a few oil refineries.  Indiana has a lot of open land.  The Wabash River runs through three quarters of Indiana.  In the southern part of Indiana there are hidden underground rivers.

But let me tell you why I like living in Indiana.  I moved here just 2 years ago from Virginia Beach.  I did not even know Indiana existed then.  I thought Virginia Beach was beautiful, but I had never seen such a beautiful black sky so filled with stars until I came to Indiana.  I have never seen the sky so large and so clear.  On any clear night I can see the Milky Way.  My Mom went out one night to see if you could read a book by moonlight and you could.

In Indiana I get to have a big back yard, I can ride my dirt bike in the yard and field.  I can enjoy fireworks in my own yard.  My neighbors put on such a fireworks show better than the 4th of July, in Virginia Beach you would be arrested for that.  I get to go to Corn Maze’s.  I have learned how to use a bow and arrow in Indiana.

Indiana is very exciting.  My first winter I played out side once for 6 hours in the snow, you don’t get snow in Virginia Beach.  I wanted to keep the snow in large black garbage bags to show everyone.  My frig still has snowballs I made.  I saw hail for the first time and wanted to scoop it up to taste and save it.  You can really see the power of lightning from the storms over the cornfields.  I have never seen wind so strong that it blew our big wooden decks into our pool.

I enjoy being able to camp out in my own back yard with a campfire.  I never slept before listening to coyotes, and then I got scared and came into the house.  My yard has deer and I can always see them and sometimes they sleep in the field on the side of my house.  We sometimes have wild animals come up to our house to eat food my Mom burns up and leaves out side.  One night a raccoon came by and ate Moms burnt waffle, and we call him waffle.

My Mom and Dad and me really like Indiana.

"Why I Love Living in Indiana" - SECOND PLACE ESSAY

by Rebecca Wooden, Mill Creek East Elementary School, Clayton

I like Indiana because it is spread out and open. We moved to Indiana from North Carolina last year. It is nice and quiet around Indiana. When we are driving, and see the cornfield, it looks like they are moving with us through all the curving hills. I like all of the beautiful farms and cows. We have all of our animals at home since we have moved to Indiana. It makes it easier to take care of all of them. We have horses, dogs, cats, bunnies, and guinea pig, a frog, catfish in the pond with herons, muskrats, a beaver, ducks, geese, and bullfrogs. We like to go canoeing and fishing in the pond. We catch the fish and give them a kiss, then throw them back in the water!

I like to go to the state museums. One that I like is the Native American Museum. I liked the quilts that the Indian women sewed. At the Children’s museum, I like to look at the dinosaurs and submarines. The carousel and the funny mirrors are fun to play on. I like the Indianapolis Zoo, too. The animals are fun to look at. I especially like the African and water animals. I like it when the walruses float on their backs and the elephants splashing in the waterfall.

I really had fun at the Indiana State Fair. The first time that we went to the fair, I went on  a very scary ride. It is called Mouse Trap. It went down hills and jerked you around. Another wild ride that I went on was called Rock and Roll. You have to scream just to hear yourself talk. Then we saw the world’s largest hog. It was as big as a cow. We also saw piglets with spots and curly tails. Some were plain pink.

These are all of the many reasons that I like Indiana.

That is why I like living here in Indiana.

"What Indiana Means to Me" - THIRD PLACE ESSAY

by Bryce Zimpelman, Mentone Elementary School, Mentone

Greetings, from Kosciusko County. It is late October and farmers are working day and night harvesting crops.

Three fields surrounding my house remain to be harvested. Soon I will see a John Deere combine in the field picking corn. Tractors, wagons, and semi-trailers will wait patiently for their crops. Neighboring bean fields are almost empty. Driving through the county, we meet load after load of crops exiting fields on their way to bins for drying and storage. Soon all the fields will be flat, empty, and frozen. Hundred of thousand of years ago, glaciers left behind wetlands, lakes, and rivers which provide the good soil for our farmland. This is how Indiana became known as a farming state.

Both of my great grandpas farmed land in Kosciusko County. I live on my great grandpa’s land. My uncle and cousin farm the same land that my great great great grandpa farmed with horses. Farming is easier now than before. They used to attach a two row corn or bean head to the front of a tractor. Now, we have a massive corn or bean head attached to a combine. During harvest time, I ride in the cab of the Case combine where it is air conditioned, dust free, and radio equipped. Because of technology and science, we produce many more crops.

Visitors coming to Northern Indiana will see why I feel that living in this beautiful farmland makes me a proud Hoosier.