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The US has a large amount of strange sections of land. For instance, a careful look at the borders of Mississippi River states shows that the state borders follow the old course of the river, which means that states like Arkansas & Tennessee and Missouri & Kentucky physically touch each other. These are not the only instances of strange borders. Here are some other ones:

~The New Madrid earthquake in the early 1800's caused the Mississippi River to change it's course slightly. One such place was just southeast of the town. The river bent farther south than previously. Since the border between Kentucky and Tennessee was already laid out on a straight line, and the Mississippi River had crossed that line, a part of Kentucky was completely cut off from the rest of the state. This section of land, called the Kentucky Bend, is the only section of a state surrounded by other states on all sides.
~a straight-line border is used between the US and Canada through the entire West. This line is standard, until it reaches Boundary Bay and the Pacific Ocean in Washington. The line continues into the sea, and one section of land juts out from Canada past that line. The town of Point Roberts sits on that piece of land, accessible by land to the rest of Washington through Canada only.
~ The northernmost point in the continental US is Angle Inlet, Minnesota. This section of land is connected by land only to Canada, and sits on the other side of the Lake of the Woods from the rest of Minnesota.
~Delaware is the only state with a semi-circular border for part of its border. This border is derived from the old statehouse, which was located in New Castle until the capital was moved to Dover in 1777. The cupola of the capitol building was used as the center of the circle, and it radiated out 12 miles. The semi-circle continues into the Delaware River, and so all of the Delaware River up the the low-tide point on the New Jersey side is considered to be a part of Delaware. The Army Corps of Engineers dredged the ship channel in the river and deposited the mud and soil along the New Jersey side of the river. That pile of soil grew until it was above the water level. Since the border with New Jersey still stood, that section of artificial land, known as the Kilcohook Disposal Area, is claimed by Delaware. At the southern end of the semi-circle, more dredging has resulted in a similar land connection at Artificial Island, which really isn't an island. (Read about the Kilcohook area HERE, along with some other articles.)


Also, what are some border disputes that you know about? A couple that I am aware of:

~Both Oklahoma and Texas claimed the land now known as the Oklahoma Panhandle. When it was being disputed, it was called No Man's Land, and was a haven for outlaws.
~The land of Central Oklahoma was known as the Unattained Lands, before the Oklahoma Land Rush took place.
~Delaware's border with Pennsylvania, the semi-circle, does not match up perfectly with the border with Maryland, the Mason-Dixon Line. As a result, a small wedge of land sat between the Mason-Dixon Line and the semi-circle. This piece of land, known as The Wedge, was claimed by both Pennsylvania and Delaware. Delaware won in a court ruling, and a short straight line went west for only a couple hundred yards from the semi-circle to the Maryland border.


Are there any other places that seem to be in the middle of nowhere or are out of place? Here are a couple places with less-thrilling stories, but seem cut off from the rest of the country:

~Block Island, Rhode Island
~Matinicus Island, Maine
~Farallon Islands, California
 

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Fisher's Island, New York, is closer to both Rhode Island and Connecticut than it is to any point of NY, being right off the coast of New England and considerably distant from Long Island. More famously and less interestingly is Staten Island, which is separated by New Jersey by a mere strait (or, to use the proper bizarre Dutch-influenced NYS terminology, a "kill"), yet from Long Island by "the narrows", which aren't terribly narrow--the longest suspension bridge in the country spans it. I also believe the landfill at either Ellis Island or Liberty Island (forget which) belong to NJ, while all the natural parts of the island belong to NY.
 

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the northern tip of Minnesota is across the Lake of the Woods from the rest of the state and the nation and can only reach those places by boat withot going through Canada.

The area around Toledo was disputed territory which almost made Ohio and Michigan go to war. The area was ceded to Ohio and Michigan was compensated by receiving the upper peninsula.Could this explain the passion of the Ohio State-Michigan football game every year?

The area that today is the Chicago area was slated to be part of Wisconsin, but when the state of Illinois was carved out of the Illinois Territory, it pushed for Lake Michigan frontage, moving the border some 40 miles north and preventing the existence of a place known as Chicago, Wisconsin, allowing Windy Citians today to make fun of cheese heads rather than being ones.
 

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I got another one:

Washington, D.C. used to be a perfect 100 square mile diamond with a geographic center at the center of the US Capitol. In 1847 Virginia took back the land they donated for the creation of the city forming what is now Arlington and part of Alexandria. Now, the District of Columbia consists of land donated by Maryland exclusively.
 

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Fisher's Island, New York, is closer to both Rhode Island and Connecticut than it is to any point of NY, being right off the coast of New England and considerably distant from Long Island. More famously and less interestingly is Staten Island, which is separated by New Jersey by a mere strait (or, to use the proper bizarre Dutch-influenced NYS terminology, a "kill"), yet from Long Island by "the narrows", which aren't terribly narrow--the longest suspension bridge in the country spans it. I also believe the landfill at either Ellis Island or Liberty Island (forget which) belong to NJ, while all the natural parts of the island belong to NY.
Staten, Liberty, and Ellis Islands are more closer to NJ than they are to NY. If you really know the dates on its bridges, the Bayonne, Gothels, and Outerbridge Crossing were there at least 30 years before the Verrazano-Narrows Br was. A comprise was made that Ellis Island would be split in half between the two states, so that there would be a border in the middle. Unfotrunately, NY kept Liberty Island in the end b/c they claimed that the Statue of Liberty was built for their them.
 

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I have wondered why the Delmarva peninsula isnt just all part of Maryland.....it should be. ;)
 

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Giants Stadium over in the Meadowlands has some dispute. The fact that it's in the state of NJ and both the NY Jets and Giants are NY teams. Many residents of the state do not like the fact that there can be NY teams in their state. Also, there were many that were not happy when the NY-NJ Metrostars changed their name to the NY Redbulls and removed the NJ part of the mentioning, making them a NY team only. Honestly, I wouldn't mind there being a stadium in NY for the Jets, but I only opposed it, b/c I didn't want to be the one paying for it.
 

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Giants Stadium over in the Meadowlands has some dispute. The fact that it's in the state of NJ and both the NY Jets and Giants are NY teams. Many residents of the state do not like the fact that there can be NY teams in their state. Also, there were many that were not happy when the NY-NJ Metrostars changed their name to the NY Redbulls and removed the NJ part of the mentioning, making them a NY team only. Honestly, I wouldn't mind there being a stadium in NY for the Jets, but I only opposed it, b/c I didn't want to be the one paying for it.
How about how the NJ Nets new arena will be in Brooklyn?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have wondered why the Delmarva peninsula isnt just all part of Maryland.....it should be. ;)
Actually, it almost was. William Penn was granted the land that is now Pennsylvania, and Penn wanted access to the sea without having to really leave his colony. He claimed the land all the way down to Cape Henlopen, when is at the end of Delaware Bay. The Calverts in Maryland objected, and used their King's charter to claim the land for Maryland. Penn also used his King's charter to claim the land for Pennsylvania. It turned out that in the Calvert's charter, all unoccupied land from the Chesapeake to the ocean was part of Maryland. The Dutch had settled in Delaware for just one year, however, at present-day Lewes, at a settlement that they called Zwaanendael. Therefore, the land was considered to be occupied, and was given to Penn.

If Zwaanendael had never existed, Delaware would have been and might still be part of Maryland.
 

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Fisher's Island, New York, is closer to both Rhode Island and Connecticut than it is to any point of NY, being right off the coast of New England and considerably distant from Long Island.
I've seen Fisher's Island from the opposite side in Connecticut, I have no idea why that is part of NYS instead.

The only notable thing about that little island is that it gives New York a water border with Rhode Island, since these states obviously don't border each other by land.
 

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so would someone please explain how Pennsylvania got Erie Co? I assume they were hell bent on Great Lakes shorefront.
 

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The Toledo War (Ohio-Michigan War 1835 to 1836) was a dispute fought over the Toledo Strip claimed by both the Territory of Michigan and State of Ohio dating back the early 1830's. Ohio's congressional delegation, which, of course, outranked Michigan territorial officials, originally blocked Michigan's first attempt at statehood over this dispute. Ultimately, no one was killed in this conflict.



What ended up happening was that in order for Michigan to gain statehood, President Jackson mandated that they reliquish their claim of the disputed land in exchange for western 3/4 of what is now the Upper Peninsula. Michigan rejected this offer at a convention in Ann Arbor in June of 1836, but in deep financial straits, and realizing that a $400,000 government surplus was about to be distributed to states and not territories, Michigan accepted the offer in December of that year, and made a state the next year.

So, hard-headed Michigan gave up its claim for badly needed money and statehood.
 

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I have wondered why the Delmarva peninsula isnt just all part of Maryland.....it should be. ;)
please tell me that you are just talking about the small Virginia section and not the whole state of Delaware. sounds like you want to be able to shut Joe Biden up forever.
 

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The Toledo War (Ohio-Michigan War 1835 to 1836) was a dispute fought over the Toledo Strip claimed by both the Territory of Michigan and State of Ohio dating back the early 1830's. Ohio's congressional delegation, which, of course, outranked Michigan territorial officials, originally blocked Michigan's first attempt at statehood over this dispute. Ultimately, no one was killed in this conflict.
But didn't Woody Hayes get suspended or something for pushing a Michigan player off the field when he was in the process of scoring a touchdown?
 

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Interesting question: would the Macinack Bridge ever have been built if it didn't make a necessary connection between the two Michigan peninsulas?

If the UP were part of Wisconsin and Michigan just a mitt with a thumb, would a bridge been built?
 

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Giants Stadium over in the Meadowlands has some dispute. The fact that it's in the state of NJ and both the NY Jets and Giants are NY teams. Many residents of the state do not like the fact that there can be NY teams in their state. Also, there were many that were not happy when the NY-NJ Metrostars changed their name to the NY Redbulls and removed the NJ part of the mentioning, making them a NY team only. Honestly, I wouldn't mind there being a stadium in NY for the Jets, but I only opposed it, b/c I didn't want to be the one paying for it.
let me get this straight: they find the New York Giants and New York Jets offensive in the Meadowlands, but embrace Jimmy Hoffa's residency there?

My biggest fear is that Tony will be joining Jimmy under the end zone this Sunday night.
 
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