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Evansville
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Simply Iconic

Where can you find these Indiana state emblems in the Evansville area?

Plenty of Hoosier emblems and symbols related to the state’s history, culture, geology, and
more are found in Evansville. Here are a few.

Aircraft: P-47 Thunderbolt
In World War II, Evansville was an inland manufacturing hub. Made at Republic Aviation, the Hoosier Spirit P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft was the first off the tarmac with its inaugural flight on Sept. 19, 1942. One of the four remaining operational P-47s returned to Evansville in 2020 and was renamed Hoosier Spirit II. It’s displayed at the Evansville Wartime Museum.

Photo of Matthew Graham provided by source

Poem: Indiana
“God crowned her hills with beauty,/Gave her lakes and winding streams,/Then He edged them all with woodlands/As the setting for our dreams,” are the first four lines of “Indiana” by Arthur Franklin Mapes of Kendallville, Indiana. Evansville has its place in Indiana poetry history — retired University of Southern Indiana creative writing professor and award-winning poet Matthew Graham became Poet Laureate in 2020, serving for two years.

Bird: Cardinal
If you are searching for the Hoosier state bird, look no further than spots such as Howell Wetlands, Eagle Slough, Wesselman Woods, and Angel Mounds State Historic Site.

Insect: Say’s Firefly
The state firefly’s namesake, Thomas Say, lived in New Harmony, Indiana, where he first described the firefly that would eventually bear his name in 1826. Say’s fireflies typically are most active from early May through mid-July. In June, New Harmony hosts the Firefly Festival featuring walking and golf cart tours of the densest areas for fireflies.

Motto: “Crossroads of America”
Three major highways — Interstates 64 and 69, as well as U.S. 41 — pass through or near the River City. However, not all crossroads are roads, and the Ohio River has long served as a stopping point for many barges transporting goods, including ports at Mount Vernon Indiana, and Evansville. The city also hosts river cruises with American Cruise Lines after service in Evansville started up again last July for the first time since the 1970s.

Oak Hill Cemetery photo by Zach Straw

Stone: Limestone
The limestone that built many of Indiana’s most impressive structures can be found in the Four Freedoms Monument on the Ohio River in Evansville’s Downtown, the Oak Hill Cemetery & Arboretum administrative building, and the base of the Ford Center arena. The Bitterman Building and the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse sport brick facades laid partially in limestone.

Snack: Popcorn
With corn production a huge part of Indiana’s agriculture, it’s not surprising that popcorn isn’t just a snack, it’s also a business. Evansville offers a slice of homemade popcorn with Pappy & Grammy Popcorn’s hand-popped kettle corn and flavored popcorn.

Tree: Tulip Tree
Another reason to stroll through Wesselman Woods is to enjoy being among its massive trees. The forest claims the Vanderburgh County Champion tulip tree, the state tree of Indiana as of 1931.

Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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