What states border Pennsylvania? We’ll list them out in this post, and break down some other interesting facts about “The Keystone State” while we’re at it.
What States Border Pennsylvania?
Below is a list of Pennsylvania’s borders:
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Pennsylvania also is bordered by Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario. However, the border with Canada is the middle of Lake Erie, so it’s not really feasible to make a quick trip across the border, even if you live in the northern part of the state. Instead, you will need to drive up through New York and approach the Ontario border that way.
One additional fact that’s worth mentioning is that the border between Pennsylvania and Ohio has a little history of its own. The first marker was established in 1785, but is currently underwater due to the nearby river’s rising levels since then. Furthermore, the original establishment of this border generally marks the beginning of the surveying of what we now know as the Northwest Territory. This includes the area we now know as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Further reading: Why is Harrisburg the Capital of Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania and the Mason-Dixon Line
The border between Pennsylvania and Maryland is more than just a simple crossing point. It also marks the Mason-Dixon Line.
The original border between Pennsylvania and Maryland was established back in 1765, when both states were still just separate colonies. In the years prior, disputes around the Pennsylvania/Maryland border had emerged, culminating in Cresap’s War in 1733. Eventually, this series of border skirmishes would end in 1737, when King George II established a temporary border between the two colonies.
This temporary border worked until the early 1760s, when colonial surveyors struggled to settle an exact border due to cost overruns and miscalculations. Finally, English astronomers and surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were brought in to figure things out. And, using the most modern tools that were available, the Mason-Dixon Line was established.
Over time, the Mason-Dixon Line would enter popular usage among people living in the Northern United States. It came to symbolize a cultural boundary between the North and the South. Of course, most would not consider Maryland a “Southern state”, but it made for a convinient boundary, especially given Pennylsania’s abolishment of slavery in the late 18th century.
Other Facts About Pennsylvania
There’s a lot to learn about Pennsylvania, that’s for sure. Here are some other interesting facts about the state that you may not be aware of:
- Pennsylvania is home to the first baseball stadium in the country, located in Pittsburgh.
- The colony was founded by William Penn, who wasn’t named a US citizen until 1984. He died in 1718, before the US was founded, but he and wife Hannah got an honorary citizenship then.
- Philadelphia is home to the country’s first zoo as well as the first newspaper.
- Hershey, Pennsylvania, is considered to be the chocolate capital of the country.
- Pennsylvania is the only of the original 13 colonies not to be bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.
- In 1943, so many players from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers had to go to war, the two teams merged, becoming the “Steagles.”
- An accidental garbage fire spread to the coal mine in Centralia, PA, and it’s been burning underground ever since.
- Bethlehem, PA, is home to the oldest operating bookstore in the country.
- For a brief period, Philadelphia served as the capital of the US.
If you liked this post, you might enjoy these others from the Sporcle Blog:
- What States Border the Mississippi River?
- What States Border Arizona?
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Trivia Team Names