Poniatowski, Wisconsin: Exact Center of the Northern Half of the Western Hemisphere
- 5651 Meridian Rd, Poniatowski, WI
- FROM WEST: Hwy 29 exit 145 (Hwy 97). North two miles, then right on Spruce Lane. Drive a little over three miles, then left on Meridian Rd. The marker is about two miles up this road, about 1/4 mile past Cherry Lane (Hwy U), on the right, in a little fenced-in rectangle. FROM EAST: Hwy 29 exit 151 (Hwy H). North two miles, then make the third left onto Cherry Lane (Hwy U). Go through the "town" of Poniatowski, then right on Meridian Rd. Marker is about 1/4 mile up road, in a little fenced-in rectangle.
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The ultimate destination for fans of longitude and latitude, or for people who want to feel extremely centered. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Visitor Tips and News About Exact Center of the Northern Half of the Western Hemisphere
The book for visitors to the Poniatowski Marker (45 x 90, Exact Center of the Northwest Hemisphere) to sign is now available [at the new Visitors Center at 219 Jefferson St, Wausau, WI]. People who sign the book can also receive a commemorative coin of their visit. Rothschild Visitor Center open M-F 8 AM - 5PM; S-Su 9 AM - 5PM.[Christine Martens, 10/13/2007]
Can you find the mistake on the sign? 45 x 90 is NOT a geological marker - it's a geoGRAPHical marker! If it were a special outcrop of rock, it would be geoLOGical. Whoever puts up these signs needs a science lesson![Paul Strelka, 09/11/2007]
Exact Center of the Northern Half of the Western Hemisphere
The marker Mr. Barrington alludes to is near the town of Poniatowski, WI. It's not in town -- nothing much is. Poniatowski is one of those rare Polish names with a superabundance of vowels. I have it on good authority that you don't need them all. Instead, you say the name Pon-uh-TUSK-y.
It would be discourteous to suggest that Poniatowski is in the middle of nowhere. Rather, let us say that it is in the middle of everywhere. Here is the text of the marker:
"This spot in Section 14, in the Town of Rietbrock, Marathon County is the exact center of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. It is here that the 90th meridian of longtitude (sic) bisects the 45th parallel of latitude, meaning it is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, and is a quarter of the way around the earth from Greenwich, England. Marathon County Park Commission"[Chuck Rhode, 05/25/2005]
You mentioned for Wisconsin there are a lot of "halfway to the north pole" sites. This may be the best. Near Poniatowski, just north of Wis. 29, is the Exact Center of the Northern Half of the Western Hemisphere (45 north latitude, 90 west longitude). When last visited, it boasted a sign in a fenced-in area, and a small marker you could place your foot on (it's about a foot off the ground, so no standing.).[Ray Barrington, 04/09/2000]