the 45th Parallel

Oconto, Wisconsin

Oconto Park

Between Oconto and Peshtigo, Wisconsin there is a small rest area on the west side of Highway 41 with this marker. This plaque marks the point where the 45th Parallel intersects Highway 41. The marker was originally located on the east side of the highway in a clump of cedars but was moved in 1954 when this picnic area was created to provide a spot for travellers and 45th Parallel tourists to pull off the road.

Oconto Sign

Latitude 45° N

Theoretical Half-Way Point

North Pole
3117.55 Miles

3097.39 Miles

The spheroiodal shape of the earth makes degrees of latitude in the north longer than in the south. The true half-way point between pole and equator on Highway 41 is marked 710 feet north of Menominee. On Highway 141 see marker 3/4 mile north of Beaver.

Erected by Frank E.Noyes, 1938

Frank E. Noyes (1856-1941) was editor and publisher of the Marinette Daily Eagle. His father had started the paper in 1871, and his son would later inherit it. Frank Noyes was involved with many civic organizations in Marinette and a booster of the young town. A history buff, he became interested in the 1930s in creating several bronze plaques around town at the sites of historic events. In order to create a monument marking the 45th Parallel, Noyes spent several years corresponding with the National Geographic Society to pinpoint its location, and ultimately decided to place three plaques honoring the 45th Parallel in the area.

Several miles north of this point are two other monuments at Beaver and Menomineee, MI also erected by Frank Noyes to mark the exact halfway point between the Equator and North Pole. Due to the slight bulging of the earth at the Equator, the halfway point is not the same as the line of 45° latitude.

View 45th Parallel Markers in Google Maps