The Tri-State Marker
Finding the Tri-State bench marker is easy. About seven miles east of Fremont on Rd. #120 you meet the Michigan line. A little road (Cope) leads south. Proceed 0.7 miles. Long Lake is in both Indiana and Michigan. The west end of the lake is in Clear Lake Twp. (Indiana's most northeastern township) in Steuben County. The east end of the lake is in Hillsdale County, Michigan. Five miles south of Long Lake you can see an important bench mark where the three states (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) join. Strangely, many think the N.E. corner of Indiana as being where the three states join—this is not true.
In 1977 the Hillsdale County Historical Society erected a fine stone memorial which points to the bench marker where the three states join. The Hillsdale Society is to be highly commended for the monument and markers which explain the states’ positions.
Living at the Corners is different from living in the central part of the state. State boundaries affect you in different ways, but you learn to adapt rather quickly. I was born in Williams County, Ohio, lived in Hillsdale County, Michigan and grew up in Steuben County, Indiana—all within a radius of seven miles.
There was always some good-natured bantering going on about which state was the best. You may be in two, and on many occasions, three states on most any day. We touched three states traveling to see my grandparents, who lived seven miles away. Teenaged connoisseurs in the art of auto driving at the Corners in the 1920s and '30s were always talking about which state's police should receive the highest marks for efficiency, but now in our highly computerized age I'm sure they are all equally efficient. According to legend, at the turn of the century when chicken thieving was in vogue the subject could escape the sheriff quite easily by crossing to the bordering state. Many farmers pay taxes in two states on a single farm. I know of one farmer living where the three states join who pays in three states. When you go fishing in one of the several lakes nearby divided by a state line, be sure your fishing licenses are all in order. This applies to hunting licenses too. When a serious violation of the law happens in the Corner area the police may converge from three states. During election years, slates of candidates of three states are all around you with pictures, promises, slogans and big bill boards. It can become a little confusing. Ohio and Michigan go on fast time part of the year, while Indiana doesn't. Always check so that you won't be early or late at some dinner or program in your neighboring staes. Maybe you can save on sales taxes, and people are knowledgeable about driving to neighboring states to do their trading ... and so on.
All of us who lived on the lines or near the junction of the three states would somehow agree that living there added a savor or special flavor to our lives.
Lee S. Duguid
Fort Wayne, Indiana April 22, 1983