The Ohio Senate voted unanimously on Senate Bill 420 this past Tuesday to change the name of Lake Erie to Lake Ohio. Senator Shannon Jones (R) and Senator Joe Schiavoni (D) co-sponsored the bill in a most unusual spirit of bipartisanship in The Ohio General Assembly. Senator Jones stated on Friday morning, “I think most Ohioans are behind this name change and quite frankly, we own most of the lake anyways. This has been a long time coming.”
Lake Erie is the eleventh largest lake in the world (by surface area), and the fourth largest of the Great Lakes in surface area though the smallest by volume. Ohio has access to the largest portion of the lake or 11,700 sq mi (30,400 sq km) as compared to Michigan with a paltry 5800 sq mi (15,100 sq km.)
The greater part of its southern shore was at one time occupied by a nation known to the Iroquois League as the “Erielhonan,” or the “long-tails,” a tribe of Indians from which the lake derived its name. An unnamed Senator stated, “I think the Erielhonan descendants may not be happy with this change, especially since all they will have left named after them is the town of Erie, PA and that place is such a depressing mess.”
When questions about how most people remember the names of the lakes through the mnemonic, H.O.M.E.S. (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eri
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