The Midwest Devan & Matthew
Introduction When pioneers moved west the states that were the west are now known as the Midwest because so many settlers moved past the west and it couldn't be called the west anymore. Most of the Midwest was shaped by Glaciers.
People and History People lived in the Midwest nearly 2,000 years ago. However, there were no written records so we don’t know a lot about their lives. Archeologists called them the Adena and Hopewell tribes. A snake shaped mound, called the Serpent Mound, is enormous and can be found in Adams County in Ohio. It is a quarter mile long and 20 ft. wide. St. Louis is thought of as the gateway to the west because so many settlers began their westward journey there. In 1803 the United States purchased the Louisiana territory from France. The Louisiana Purchase included the states that are now Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
Land in the Area The Midwest has hot summers and cold winters. The summers in Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri range from wet and mild, to very cold in the north. There can be frequent heat waves and drought. Many farmers need to rely on irrigation systems to water crops during droughts. On Mackinac Island, Arch Rock, a natural limestone formation is 50 feet wide and 149 feet high. Lake Superior is the largest Great Lake and covers more than 32,000 square miles.
Plants and Animals Animals: white tailed deer, bison, peregrine falcons, bats, fish, pigeons, and starlings are animals you might see in the Mid-west. Also, in the 1900s there were 300,000 white-tailed deer. Now there are more than 30 million deer. Now they are no were near endangered. Plants: prairie grasses, tall grasses, mosses, oak trees, yellow pimpernel and false foxglove. There are Woodlands and Prairies in the Midwest. The Woodlands are dominated by trees and are found by rivers, streams and other sources of water. But in the drier prairies, grass is most common plant.
Cities and Towns Chicago, Illinois, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Detroit Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio are the states in the Midwest. The Sears Tower is the 4th tallest tower in the world. It’s 1,450 ft. high and has 110 stories. On a clear day, from the tower, you can see 4 states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. The Sears Tower is in Chicago, Illinois. Another city, (also a capital) is Madison, Wisconsin. It is called “City of Four Lakes.” It’s built on a isthmus. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land surrounded by water.
Rural Life The Iowa state fair is one of the nation’s oldest and largest state fair. It started in 1854. It has been called “America's Classic State Fair.” The rural population in the Mid-west is low. Many people are beginning to move to big cities. On average there is about two people per square mile. There are more than 6,000 ghost towns in Kansas alone. Farming tractors are a big investment. One could cost $150,000!!! But, tractors are important to the success in farming. By 1954 it exceeded the number of horses for the first time.
Getting Around The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s lower Peninsula to the upper Peninsula. It opened in the year of 1957. Since then, more than 100 million vehicles have crossed it. It goes five miles across open water and is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges. For nearly 200 years, barges have been in use on the Mississippi River. It is cheaper to ship goods by barge than by freight trains or semi trailers. They are held together with steel cables and pushed by towboats.
Work in the Area A lot of the food sold in the US is grown, produced, or packed in the Mid-West. That is why the the Mid-West is called the nation’s breadbasket. A lot of steel that was used to build railroads and skyscrapers throughout the U.S. was mined or milled in the Mid-West. There are many different kinds of jobs in the U.S. that keeps the cities going. Kansas leads the nation in building airplanes for businesses and military use. Dr. John Kellogg and his brother Will invented flaked corned cereal in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan was the first automobile plant to include nearly every aspect of automobile manufacturing in one place.
Free Time Chicago-style pizza is very famous in this region. It has a deep, thick crust. Wrigley Field built in 1914 is the home to the Chicago Cubs baseball team. It is the second oldest baseball field in the United States. The Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a popular sporting event in the Mid-west. It is where cars race each other at top speed. The only way people in Detroit feel a hotdog should be served is with chopped onions, chili, and yellow mustard only! It is believed that the first ice cream cone was invented on a hot summer day at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. A person selling ice cream and a person selling waffles teamed up to sell the tasty combination.
Conclusion • The Lake Erie Islands are popular in the summer. They are not far from Ohio. • Farms are always important to the Midwest. The Midwest is important in the world’s food chain. • Many famous television broadcasters came to the Midwest including David Letterman, Tom Brokaw, and Johnny Carson. • The Midwest is full of surprises and contrasts. There are many small towns and big cities, open prairies and towering skyscrapers, rolling farmland and even the Great Lakes.
Works Cited • Curry, Elizabeth and Judson. Regions of the United States: The Midwest: Chicago, Illinois: Raintree, 2006.