In rural western Marathon County, Wisconsin, near Poniatowski, a small county park has stood since 1969 marking the intersection of the 45th Parallel of Latitude and the 90th Meridian of Longitude.  Why is this important?  Only four of these hemispheric points exist on the earth and the point in Marathon County is the most accessible as two points are located in oceans (Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean) and one point is located in a mountainous region in China. 

A monument was placed by Marathon County on a 60’ x 100’ easement granted by a farmer near the 45-90 intersection.   In addition, a local tavern held a book which visitors from all over the world could sign, receive a commemorative coin, and become a member of the 45-90 Club.

With the increased use of handheld GPS receivers, it has been brought to the attention of several county departments by numerous visitors that the mark was in the wrong place and has left visitors disappointed.  The fact that the current monument is approximately 1100 feet away from the exact position, along with the deteriorating condition of the park, and inaccurate information on the sign has warranted the county to renovate the park and monument.  The Marathon County Surveying staff has been working with the Marathon County Parks and Highway Departments to update the monument, and has been granted an easement from the current landowner to build a path along the edge of his field to set a monument at the exact position of the intersection of 45⁰N Latitude - 90⁰W Longitude.  Monetary donations from local surveying societies as well as donations of engineering services from local firms have helped to start the construction of the path.  Donations of material, trucking, and labor have come from local gravel pits and excavating companies along with in kind services from a number of county departments.


45-90 Points on the Globe





New Ground Marker






FROM THE WEST OR EAST: From Highway 29, west of Edgar, exit North onto County Road “M”.  Continue North on County Road “M” for 3.5 miles, turn right (East) onto County Road “U”, Drive 1 mile and turn left (North) onto Meridian Road.  Continue North on Meridian Road for a little over a quarter (1/4) mile to the parking lot of the 45 – 90 Geographical Marker Park on the right side of Meridian Road.

45-90 Entrance Parking Lot

45 - 90 Entrance Parking Lot

 A book for visitors to the Poniatowski Marker (45 x 90, the 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.