Pennsylvania Nickname

State Nickname of Pennsylvania

The Beaver State


Pennsylvania’s nickname “The Keystone State” cannot be traced to any single source. The word “keystone” comes from architecture and refers to the central, wedge-shaped stone in an arch, which holds all the other stones in place. It was commonly accepted soon after 1800.

At a Jefferson Republican victory rally in October 1802, Pennsylvania
was toasted as “the keystone in the federal union,” and in the newspaper Aurora the following year the state was referred to as “the keystone in the democratic arch.” The modern persistence of this designation is justified in view of the key position of Pennsylvania in the economic, social, and political development of the United States.