I spent the weekend in Missouri, and even though I've been there a bunch I continue to learn.

Thinkstock photo

The Arch is pretty amazing obviously, but over the weekend I had a chance to tour and firehouse and visit The Citygarden in downtown Stl.

So much rich history in Missouri, it got me thinking about things maybe we don't know about in Illinois.

According to MentalFloss here at 15 Things you Don't Know About Illinois:

  •  The name Illinois translates to "ordinary speaker".
  • The state is the country's largest producer of pumpkins
  • There is a Chicago sandwich called a jibarito.
  • The state fossil,Tullimonstrum gregarium, is called the Tully Monster
  • Illinois is one of the flattest states in the U.S.
  • Chicago's low elevation and lack of a sewer system led to serious flooding and disease outbreaks in the 19th century.
  • During the Great Fire of 1871. The Chicago Water Tower was one of the only buildings to survive.
  • The Chicago River Flows backwards.
  • The only U.S. President actually born and raised there was Ronald Reagan.
  • Illinois has an official state soil.
  • The very beginning of Route 66 is the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard in Chicago.
  • The Windy City, has nothing to do with meteorology.
  • Very first Ferris Wheel in 1893
  • Superman's fictional hometown of Metropolis shares its name with a real city in Illinois about 300 miles from Chicago.
  • Matt Groening Simpson's creator revealed the yellow families hometown of Springfield isn't based on the city in Illinois