Residents in This Michigan Town Must Drive Through Ohio First
The official state motto of Michigan is, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." True, our peninsula is quite pleasant but its layout is also very confusing. In my time living in various states across the Midwest I found that most Americans don't even realize Michigan is shaped like a hand. They also have no clue that the Upper Peninsula isn't part of Wisconsin!
Looking at Michigan on the U.S. map I can understand why non-Michigan residents would be a little confused. Upon taking a closer look at a map of the east side of the state, I recently noticed something I'd never realized before: there is a small section of Michigan that is only accessible through Ohio!
Michigan vs. Ohio
Now, Michigan has a long-standing feud with Ohio. Simply mention the words "Ohio State" or "Buckeyes" and any Michigander will turn their nose up. However, our beef with the entire state of Ohio goes beyond school rivalries as we literally went to war with Ohio in 1835 over the city of Toledo.
I'm sure we learned this in school as part of Michigan's history, but here's a quick refresher: The Toledo War, or the Michigan-Ohio War, was a boundary dispute between the state of Ohio and the territory of Michigan. Both states claimed jurisdiction over the region known as the "Toledo Strip" and things got so bad that President Andrew Jackson had to get involved.
Thankfully, there were no casualties in this war but there was some serious taunting and one-upmanship! In the end, Toledo went to Ohio with the tradeoff being the Upper Peninsula would go to Michigan. The joke's on Ohio because we love the U.P.!
The Lost Peninsula
Due to the border dispute between Michigan and Ohio, there was a small section of land, about 250 acres, that got lost in the shuffle. The land itself is attached to and only accessible via Ohio, but technically it sits above the Ohio border in the waters of North Maumee Bay which makes it part of Michigan!
Only about 140 Michiganders live in the "Lost Peninsula", but in order to get back to the rest of Michigan, residents must first make the 10-minute drive south into Ohio's Lucas County before they can head north to the Mitten. How bizarre is that?!
Those who reside in the Lost Peninsula have water and sewer access provided by the City of Toledo, but children who attend schools in Michigan must ride the school bus through Ohio and into Michigan.
I'd heard of places like The Northwest Angle regarding Minnesota and Canada, but had no idea we had something like this in our own backyard!