There is an invisible line in the Florida Panhandle where the Eastern time zone bumps into Central time.
People talk about "fast time" and "slow time," fast time meaning Eastern Time and slow time referring to life in the hour-behind Central Time .
On November 18, 1883, at high noon a standardized way of keeping time was instituted throughout North America. Still, many communities resisted the government meddling with clocks and continued telling time by God's own sun.
A few years later, a Canadian civil engineer, Sanford Fleming, spiced things up even more by developing the concept of different time zones. A railroad man, his ambition was to help keep trains on reasonable schedules.
In Florida, the time line was established along the Apalachicola River beginning at the Georgia border. But things change near the coast.
As the time-zone line approaches the seaport town of Apalachicola , the line veers west and wraps around the town of Port St. Joe . Even though Port St. Joe is west of some Central time communities, it goes by Eastern Time. When Port St. Joe was a major shipping and railroad center, industry found it more convenient to go by Eastern time.
Panama City, Florida is located on the panhandle of northwest Florida on beautiful St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Panama City is known as a popular tourist location year round offering a comfortable climate and friendly atmosphere.
Pensacola, Florida has 52 miles of sugar-white beaches, a 400-year history, year-round festivals, outdoor adventures, and a world class aviation museum, as well as outstanding accommodations, facilities, and professional service. Southern hospitality combined with an uncluttered coast provide you with an ideal setting for your next vacation.
Located in the westernmost corner of Florida’s Panhandle, Pensacola’s vibrant cultural events and potpourri of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs make for a memorable vacation.
In 1982, Gulf County voters had a chance to change their time zone to Central. But by a 55 to 45 percent margin they decided to remain on fast time .
Gulf is the only county in Florida with two time zones. The main courthouse is in Port St. Joe with a satellite courthouse a half hour away in Wewahitchka , where time is maintained an hour slow.
State Road 71 roughly parallels the Apalachicola River. As you drive over a bridge into tiny White City, the time zone changes.
Beacon Hill is one of very few towns in the U.S. that shares two time zones. Usually, there is a river, state line or wide open space separating two zones, but here in the small Florida panhandle town between Panama City and Tallahassee , it's only 18 feet of asphalt.
Blountstown, population 3,500, is located on the west side of the river in Central time. On the other side of the river is Bristol, population 850, is in the Eastern Time Zone.
In the November 2000 US Presidential Election, voters on the Florida panhandle, who live in the central time zone, were improperly told by television broadcasters that the voting centers had closed.
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