Facts About America's Midwest States That Actually Surprised Us

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Vote up the facts about the American Midwest you never knew before.

The spectacular American Midwest is often referred to as “America’s Heartland” because most of the nation’s manufacturing and farming is done in this region. Yet, did you know that this patchwork of small towns and big cities offers the broadest representation of American culture? In the American Midwest, there are many interesting facts brimming beneath the surface. The region lays claim to more than a quarter of American presidents, as well as many entrepreneurs and inventors who created much of the technology that fuels the world. 

From a Stonehenge junkyard and the most crooked street in the world to the invention of the Twinkie, the American Midwest has more than meets the eye. If you’re interested in learning a few intriguing and surprising American Midwest facts, the below list is the perfect place to start learning more about this region.

  • 1
    602 VOTES

    Michigan Supplied Most Of The Wood That Rebuilt Chicago - And Sacrificed The City Of Singapore To Do It

    The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was incredibly devastating, with two-thirds of the city being destroyed and more than 1,000 people losing their lives. Although this fact is common knowledge, many don’t know that the city of Singapore, MI, supplied most of the wood that rebuilt Chicago. 

    Many trees were logged in Singapore to be sent to Chicago, and this extreme logging led to erosion. The mill town quickly ran out of lumber, and the erosion led to shifting sand swallowing up much of the town. 

    Although many residents tried to live in the city, it was impossible. With dunes shifting and continuously swallowing more of the town as days went by and the main city mill being moved to St. Ignace in 1875, the town held no promise of a future. By 1875, only four years after the Great Chicago Fire, the city of Singapore ceased to exist. 

    602 votes
  • 2
    494 VOTES

    Iowa's Snake Alley Has Been Dubbed The 'Crookedest Street In The World'

    In Burlington, IA, in 1894, a street dubbed “Snake Alley” was constructed as an experiment between Columbia and North Sixth streets by German immigrants. The road consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves that span 275 feet with a drop of 58 feet. According to Ripley's Believe It or Not! the odd yet visually pleasing “Snake Alley” is the “Crookedest Street in the World.” 

    Despite its crooked nature, “Snake Alley” was constructed to be a more convenient road that offered a direct link between shops and businesses. Unfortunately, the road was not easily accessible for horse carriages, which were the primary mode of transportation at the time. 

    494 votes
  • 3
    429 VOTES

    Every Day, 286 Million Gallons Of Water Gush Out Of Missouri's Big Spring

    The volume of water gushing out of Missouri's Big Spring could fill a football stadium every day. Yes, you read that right. Every 24 hours, it’s estimated that 286 million gallons of water gush out of Big Spring.

    Part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, this spring is not only the largest in Missouri, but also one of the largest in the world. It can take up to 130 days for the water to flow from Big Spring to the spring’s outlet, and the water maintains a temperature of between 55 and 58 degrees year-round. 

    429 votes
  • 4
    432 VOTES

    South Dakota Is Home To The Largest Concentration Of Mammoth Remains In The World

    Hot Springs, SD, boasts the largest concentration of mammoth remains on the planet. The 26,000-year-old sinkhole where they are found is an active paleontological dig site.

    The current mammoth count is sitting at 61, with 58 of them being Columbian mammoths and three being woolly mammoths. Interestingly, this site revealed the first time Columbian and woolly mammoth species had been discovered together. 

    The fossils found at this dig site are not petrified but rather dry and fragile. Besides mammoths, archaeologists and paleontologists have found giant short-faced bears, coyotes, prairie dogs, camel, llama, fish skeletons, and mollusks at the Hot Springs dig site.

    432 votes
  • 5
    327 VOTES

    Colon, MI, Is Known As The Magic Capital Of The World

    Although Colon is home to only a little more than 1,000 people, there are around 30 magicians buried in the small town’s cemetery. 

    This town’s cemetery is the final resting place for a few of the great magicians, namely Monk Wason, Karrell Fox, Bob Lund, Don Alan, and Jack Gwynne. Yet, this town is known as the “Magic Capital of the World” for a reason other than famed magicians being buried in it. 

    Each year, the town of Colon hosts an annual gathering of magicians known as “Abbotts Magic Get Together.” This event sees several hundred magicians from all over the world convening and discussing magical tricks with each other and the town’s citizens.

    327 votes
  • North Dakota Is Traditionally Considered The Geographical Center Of The USA
    Photo: RschDev / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
    339 VOTES

    North Dakota Is Traditionally Considered The Geographical Center Of The USA

    Although it has been contested in recent years, many still believe North Dakota to be the geographical center of America. Since 1931, the town of Rugby, ND, has been recognized as the geographical center of the US with a stone monument proclaiming the fact. 

    Yet, how was this geographical center determined? The method was far from exact. According to reports, an employee from the US Geological Survey took a cutout of the map of North America and balanced it on top of a pin. The spot where it was evenly balanced was determined to be the geographical center of North America. 

    This point was roughly 16 miles southwest of Rugby. Government mappers have tried to refute the town’s claim, and stated that the method used to determine the geographical center is based on an outdated practice that holds no scientific weight. Yet, despite their naysaying, the town and much of the US still consider Rugby the center of America.

    339 votes