By Guest Writer Jess Nessler
We found something interesting right here in Marathon County, WI! There are four points on Earth which are considered the geographical centers of each hemisphere. These four points are halfway between the geographical poles, the equator, the prime meridian, and the 180th meridian. Two 45°-90° points are located in the ocean (Pacific and Indian Oceans). One point is located in a remote mountainous area of China. Finally, the last 45°-90° marker is in Poniatowski, Wisconsin (just west of Wausau, WI in Marathon County – central Wisconsin).
An unassuming marker.
As I drove through a stretch of cornfields, unsure if I was headed anywhere special, I stumbled across a small dirt parking lot. Curiosity overcame me and I just had to stop. I mean, why is there a random parking lot in the middle of a cornfield?
It’s only 8:00 AM and we had the place to ourselves. As we get out of the vehicle, we notice these signs filled with technical geography jargon explaining geographic markers and their locations. The nerd in me got very intrigued and I had to follow the path. It’s a short, paved, hike with woods on one side and corn on the other. Totally accessible to everyone. The path led to a small opening, surrounded by a simple post fence and, of course, more corn. In the middle of it rested a large coin. Engraved in the coin was, “Marathon County Wisconsin, 45° North Latitude x 90° West Longitude.”
Right here in Wisconsin! 45 x 90
Standing on the coin felt amazing. I was literally in the middle of the Northwestern World! Although I didn’t actually feel any physical pulls or tugs, there was definitely a vibe about being there. It was something special and well worth the stop.
Don’t forget to dance around the marker with your bestie. Afterwards, stop at the local LaQuinta Hotel in Wausau (1910 Stewart Ave. Wausau, WI) to sign the geographic marker club book and receive your commemorative coin. Once you get your coin, congratulations you are now an official member of the 45×90 Club!
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Theresa “Resa” Leppert
Guide, Iowa & Wisconsin
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