Oil and Water: The Separation of Ohio River Appalachians from the Wider Appalachian Identity

The Ohio River has been significant throughout the United States history and has been used as a guide or boundary line for many purposes, such as the state border for Ohio and a boundary line for an Appalachian region. Another significant area associated with the Ohio River is the Ohio River Valley. The significance of these areas and the culture associated with them pose the question: do residents from the Ohio River Valley see themselves as part of the wider Appalachian region? The purpose of this question is to find the range of Ohio River Appalachians. With knowledge gained from surveys given out at fairs and festivals along the Ohio River, we can learn the areas where people say they are neither Appalachian nor from the Ohio River Valley, just from the Ohio River Valley, just Appalachian, and Ohio River Appalachians. Another part of the survey questions focused on demographic information to help determine if Appalachian identity is considered by people something you are born with or something you gain from staying in an Appalachian area. The study will focus on the statistical value gained from the survey results and the results will be revealed at the conference. The statistics will also help to answer the questions: is there a generation gap in Ohio River Appalachians and is there a correlation between education levels and identifying as an Appalachian? These questions help us to understand how Appalachian regions are changing and which residents are more likely to identify as Appalachian. This research is one step closer to understanding the underlying relationship between the Ohio River Valley and Appalachia.