Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

The new Mason-Dixon Line

Posted January 9, 2009

I'm a native North Carolinian and, hopefully, a Southern gentleman.  When I first traveled to the North, I was shocked that sweet iced tea was not available in most restaurants.  Shocked!

"Well, I declare!" I declared.

You might say that sweet tea is a major factor in the cultural divide between the North and the South.  The Mason-Dixon Line, devised in the 1700s to settle a border dispute between the colonies, has been the unofficial line of demarcation between the North and the South.  The line ran mostly along the northern Maryland border.

But a lot has changed since the late 1700s.   Where is the "new" Mason-Dixon Line?

Someone on the Web studied McDonald's locations in Virginia and marked which locations served sweet iced tea.  It draws a new line to show the sweet-tea cutoff, suggesting the North is creeping southward.  It looks like Richmond, the old Confederate capital, is now on the northern side of the line!

What do you think?


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  • ncteacher22 Jan 14, 2009

    I actually hate my tea sweetened. I love unsweetened tea and could drinks gallons of sweeteners needed! Guess I'm sweet enough?

  • gearstickk Jan 9, 2009

    I do not think tea is the measuring stick.Remember the Boston Tea Party?The measuring stick should be cole slaw.

  • readme Jan 9, 2009

    I think the Mason Dixon line is where you say it is. In addition, there is a Mason Dixon "belt" around each major city creeping southward (this is why NC went for Obama, especially in the cities). NC is a great example. I am the only worker in my Raleigh office with a southern accent. I go to the places where I would expect to still hear a southern accent and all I hear is Spanish. We are invaded from the north and the (very far)south because those regions are less desirable to live in, so now our culture is becoming like theirs (and this is not at all a good thing). Where will we flee to next?

  • Oh Snap. Jan 9, 2009

    I'm a native New Yorker. When I first traveled to the South, I was shocked that sweet iced was available in most restaurants. Shocked!
    What is sweet tea?
    Can someone find me some good bread?!?

  • hogieman Jan 9, 2009

    I was in Milwaukee not long ago and they had sweet tea in McDonalds. In fact, I overheard a lady complain that it was too sweet. I had to agree with her. I had to dilute mine with unsweetened. They also had biscuits!

  • Broker - Back from Lurking Jan 9, 2009

    You're on to something there Shiger! And if they serve Scrapple but don't serve Biscuits or Grits they are totally North of the line! :)

    But in my observations, there are many people in MD and DE who are offended by the title of Yankee and see themselves as "leftover southerners". There are folks in AL who think of us in NC as being from "up North", although not *quite* Yankees. Given all the northern influx I believe they are on to something there!

  • Shiger Jan 9, 2009

    I'd be interested to see where the biscuit line is. In the North, they eat rolls.

  • urbizn Jan 9, 2009

    What I think is that with the proliferation of Type II diabetes over the last several years, many people who enjoy sweet tea must now out of necessity order UNSWEETENED tea and add saccharin(pink), aspartame(blue), or sucralose(yellow) sweeteners in order to control their sugar intake.

  • bigredtruckman Jan 9, 2009

    I have said for many years that the Mason-Dixon line is now somewhere just north of Richmond around Ashland. I guess my casual observation has been confirmed!

  • doyoubwn Jan 9, 2009

    There is no more Mason-Dixon line. Look around you. All the yankees have made laws in the North that they themselves cannot live with, thus they have moved South.

    In another 10 years, we will be moving to NY to escape the ferriners. :)




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