Author Archives: lynngarthwaiteblog

The book is done!

I’m a bit late to post this, but the book is out! Check for “Our States Have Crazy Shapes: Panhandles, Bootheels, Knobs and Points” by Lynn Garthwaite on Amazon.com and http://www.bluespectrumbooks.com. This book is the perfect gift for the Cliff … Continue reading

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Hawaii and its extensions

  Find “Our States Have Crazy Shapes” on amazon.com and bluespectrumbooks.com You would think that in a discussion about how the states got their shapes that Hawaii would be a no brainer. – – – ocean surrounds a few chunks … Continue reading

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Arkansas is two notches above

Arkansas began life as an almost rectangle that later had two notches carved out of it.  When Congress started to divide up the Louisiana Purchase, a couple of historic decisions played a part in the shape of Arkansas that stands … Continue reading

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West Virginia breaks away

How did West Virginia get that goofy shape?  Is it possible that someone intentionally created a state that looks like this? Not exactly.  West Virginia was “spun off” from Virginia when residents on both sides of the Appalachian Mountains acknowledged … Continue reading

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A river runs through it and around it

One of the more interesting side stories about states’ borders are the cases in which disputes about these borders continue long after the state is admitted into the union.  Surveying errors, disagreements about markers, and disputes about which state is … Continue reading

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Our states looked like stripes

By the time the colonial settlers were setting boundaries for their territories in the New World they were already aware that far to the west this chunk of land ended at the Pacific Ocean.  Both the Spanish and the French … Continue reading

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Wyoming takes a bite out of Utah

By the time westward expansion brought settlers across the Mississippi River, states started to take on rather uninteresting shapes.  Unimaginative shapes – – – like “rectangle.”  As explained in an earlier post, the advent of railroads had removed the need … Continue reading

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