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After 221 Years, Indiana-Ohio Border Still Challenged

Last updated on Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(UNDATED) - Last weekend marked the 221st anniversary of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. It pre-dates the presidency and enabled the territory north of the Ohio River to become thirty-one states, including Indiana.

Pamela Bennett with the Indiana Historical Bureau says one of the most contentious provisions of the ordinance involves ownership of the Ohio River.

Indiana's southern border was first established as the northern shore of the river. The problem was erosion was slowly moving the Ohio further north, cutting into Indiana's land. In the late 19th century, the Supreme Court ruled that Indiana's permanent southern border should be the Ohio River's low-water mark of 1792.

But ownership skirmishes still break out between states bordering the Ohio River. The latest incident involves an Ohio man who located a submerged boulder that had sentimental value from the man's youth. He arranged to have it moved to the Ohio shore of the river, but now the state of Kentucky is suing him for theft.

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