Michigan, with the exception of the southwestern Upper Peninsula is on Eastern Time. It's all you've ever known. But it wasn't always this way.

When time zones were established, all of Michigan was on Central Time. In fact, the Eastern Time Zone was much smaller that it is today. A 1913 Time Zone map shows that Central Time was as far east as Buffalo, New York and reached the Atlantic Ocean at Savannah, Georgia.

1913 time zone map
via Wikimedia Commons

How Michigan's Time Zones Changed

At one time time zones were selected by city and used to regulate the travel of trains around the country. As early as 1885 Memoninee chose Central Time and the state followed suit.

Being today on the border between Eastern and Central Time it shouldn't surprise you that Michigan has wrangled with time a lot in the last 150 years.

More than you could ever want to know about Michigan's relationship with time can be found in this deep read on the Night Train to Detroit blog by Amy Elliott Bragg. And an MLive time line breaks down the time zone changes across the state. Here are a few key dates:

1885 - All of Michigan is on Central Time per the state legislature.

1922 - Detroit breaks away and asks to be placed on Eastern Time.

1936 - All of Michigan's Lower Peninsula goes on Eastern Time, The Upper Peninsula remains on Central Time.

1967 - All of Michigan goes on Eastern Time by act of the state legislature.

1973 - The four Upper Peninsula counties bordering Wisconsin asked the US government to be placed in Central Time. Their request is granted.

[h/t reddit]

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