Bourbon Sesquicentennial


Time Zone Headaches

Bourbon bordered on the brink of confusion for years as the town struggled with the issue of time zones and Daylight Savings Time. Although South Bend and Mishawaka were against joining the Central Time Zone, city officials bowed to the state mandate for daylight savings times. Not only was choosing which time zone to observe arbitrary, apparently the date of starting to observe it was, too. Various excerpts from the News-Mirror remind us of those perplexing days.

Sept. 23, 1954. Those of us who have been breaking the law of the State of Indiana by operating under Daylight Savings Time can join the ranks of legal citizens again this Sunday morning at 2 o’clock when Central Standard Time becomes the time for everybody.

Nov.18, 1954. Announcement was made this week that the Bourbon-Etna Green basketball game to be played Thanksgiving Evening in Etna Green will start at 7:30 EST, which means 6:30 Bourbon Time. Should Bourbon change to EST in the meantime, however, that will change the game time back to 7:30 for everybody.

Oct. 27, 1955 CST vs. EST or how many clocks y’ got?

We don’t want to try your patience, but we’re still full of thoughts about the forthcoming time switch, which our Town Board tells us should be this Sunday.

We’ve just received work from the Federal Building (that’s the Post Office in common parlance) that Uncle Sam’s mail service will continue to be on Eastern Standard Time. This is because the mail trucks, which handle a preponderance (big word for most) of mail from the East of us, will continue to run on EST, therefore the Post Office will be on EST. That makes sense. Very little else about our time change makes any sense at all.

We’ve been thinking about a fellow who lives in Etna Green, works in Bourbon, and has a girl who also works in Bourbon at a factory on EST, but lives in Plymouth. Now, suppose he says to her, "Honey let’s see a movie tonight." She says, "Good idea. Pick me up at 7 o’clock."

All right. So he goes home from work at 5 (CST). Finds out supper’s over, having been served at 5:30 EST. so he cleans up, hustles back to Bourbon, eats supper and gets through about 6:30 CST. Calls Warsaw to find out what time the feature starts. Girl says 9 o’clock. Drives to Plymouth to pick up date. Date’s mad, having been waiting since 6 CST (7 EST). Passing over the next 15 minutes of exasperation, explanation, hesitation, and osculation, we find our hero and his girl leaving at 8:15 for the 9 o’clock show in Warsaw. Arrive in Warsaw to find show’s been on for half an hour (EST). Date’s mad again, boy’s tearing his hair out by the roots.

As near as we can tell you at the present time (EST), the school, some churches, one factory, some business houses, and as many people as feel like it, will set their clocks back one hour this Saturday night. The Post Office, one factory, some business houses and some other people will let their clocks alone.

PS. As for us, we’re going on Bourbon Time-otherwise known as Half-Fast time. This is just one half hour in between EST and CST.

September 26, 1957. Principal Crooke said Bourbon schools would observe CST in accordance with state law by September 30 and school would begin at 7:20 CST and end at 2:41 CST. However if the entire community goes on CST, then the schools will begin at 8:20 CST.

Oct. 23, 1958. The time muddle is with us again. Sunday, October 26 most places west, including Marshall county, South Bend, and Chicago will switch to "Slow Time". to our East, Warsaw and Kosciusko county, including Etna Green will stay on "Fast Time".

In Bourbon you will probably need two clocks. The Town Board has recommended that the town revert to "Slow Time". Most of the town will follow the recommendation. Those remaining on "Fast Time" will be the Post Office, and Orthopedic.

Sept. 24, 1959. Both the Bourbon Town Board and the Bourbon Schools have decided to go along with Plymouth city and school officials in changing from fast to slow time on October 25, instead of September 27, it was announced today.

Although a state law requires the change to be made Sept.. 27, Marshall county officials have found it is not binding and have adopted the October 25 date to conform with South Bend.

Mar. 31, 1960. The Bourbon businessmen strongly endorsed a proposed resolution to the Interstate Commerce Commission that would move the EST time zone line from the Ohio State line to a line on the western border of Marshall County.

Oct. 27, 1960. The Bourbon Town Board passed a resolution adopting "fast time" throughout the year. This action was taken after it was learned that the town’s three largest industries all intended to remain on Fast Time schedule which normally would have ended on Oct. 30.

Nov. 9, 1961. About 85 percent of the state is now observing Eastern Standard (Fast) Time according to a survey taken by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. bourbon pioneered remaining on fast time throughout the year in 1960 and this year all of Marshall County has followed the lead. St. Joseph, LaPorte, Porter, Lake, Newton, and Jasper counties plus western and southwestern Indiana counties remain on CST.

One of the complicating factors of the school consolidation was the time zone boundary that ran between Kosciusko and Marshall Counties. This annual problem was solved for the winter months by the town of Bourbon repeatedly ignoring the Spring Forward-Fall Back ritual most of the nation observes.

Nov. 3, 1966. Max Ames and Seward Bitting attended a meeting of the Tri-Township School Board to represent the town of Bourbon on the issue of time. The difficulty being that Etna Green is in the Eastern Zone. After considering the issue, the town reps felt the school had the bigger problem and decided to go along with the school decision. The school board decided to stay on the present time and the town went along with Bourbon remaining on Fast Time.

September 28, 1967. The town of Bourbon decided to stay on Eastern Standard Time for another year. There are no penalties for non-compliance.

So stubbornly did Bourbon and other mid-state communities hold out against change that eventually most of the state followed suit.


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