Theoretical Half Way Point Plaque
The most obsessive of all of 45th Parallel markers are the plaque-on-rocks sponsored by Frank E. Noyes. We know that he sponsored them because he put his name on every one.
Frank was 82 years old, a faithful Episcopalian and 32nd degree Mason, and president, general manager, and editor of The Daily Eagle, a Wisconsin newspaper founded by his dad. For reasons lost to time, he became fixated on the intangible world of latitude in 1938 and put up plaques around his home town of Marinette to mark the halfway line.
The one south of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, is diplomatically labeled "Theoretical Half Way Point" because Frank knew that the 45th Parallel is not, in fact, the halfway line. The Earth is an oblate spheroid, flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator because of its rotation -- which shifts the halfway line slightly north.
The other two, in Beaver, Wisconsin, and Menominee, Michigan, are along the line Noyes calculated was the real midway point.
Did Frank regret that Marinette itself was not on the Parallel?