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Ontonagon, Michigan
Village of Ontonagon
River Street (US 45) in downtown Ontonagon
River Street (US 45) in downtown Ontonagon
Location within Ontonagon County
Location within Ontonagon County
Ontonagon, Michigan is located in Michigan
Ontonagon, Michigan
Ontonagon, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Ontonagon
Township Ontonagon
Founded 1843
 • Type Village council
 • Total 3.84 sq mi (9.95 km2)
 • Land 3.69 sq mi (9.56 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
617 ft (188 m)
 • Total 1,494
 • Estimate 
 • Density 338.48/sq mi (130.69/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 906
FIPS code 26-60860
GNIS feature ID 1621113

Ontonagon ( ON-tə-NAH-gən) is a village in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,494 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat and only village of Ontonagon County.

The village is located within Ontonagon Township, at the mouth of the Ontonagon River on Lake Superior. Industry was centered on the Smurfit-Stone Container production facility at the river mouth until the plant closed in 2010.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.86 square miles (10.00 km2), of which, 3.71 square miles (9.61 km2) of it is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) is water.

Ontonagon is the westernmost incorporated community in the United States in the legally designated Eastern Time Zone as determined by the United States Department of Transportation. In the summer the sun sets over Lake Superior at 10 p.m. local time with dusk lasting until almost 11 p.m. By contrast in the winter the sun does not rise until just before 9 a.m. and it is still pitch black at 8 a.m. Ontonagon is within one degree of longitude to the east of the 90th meridian west, which is actually the meridian for the Central Time Zone. Therefore, Ontonagon is geographically situated in the Central Time Zone, not the Eastern Time Zone. As a result of this idiosyncrasy, Ontonagon actually has its solar noon occur either at or near 1 p.m. during the winter when standard time (EST) is being observed and 2 p.m. when daylight saving time (EDT) is being observed. The same is true for solar midnight, which occurs at or near 1 a.m. while on standard time and 2 a.m. while on daylight saving time.


Major highways

  • US 45
  • M-38
  • M-64


The village is served by the Ontonagon County Airport (KOGM).


Ontonagon was formerly the terminus of the Milwaukee Road Chippewa-Hiawatha. While service ended in 1953, Ontonagon station remains today.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,267
1910 1,964 55.0%
1920 1,406 −28.4%
1930 1,937 37.8%
1940 2,290 18.2%
1950 2,307 0.7%
1960 2,358 2.2%
1970 2,432 3.1%
1980 2,182 −10.3%
1990 2,040 −6.5%
2000 1,769 −13.3%
2010 1,494 −15.5%
2019 (est.) 1,250 −16.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,494 people, 717 households, and 390 families residing in the village. The population density was 402.7 inhabitants per square mile (155.5/km2). There were 910 housing units at an average density of 245.3 per square mile (94.7/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.3% White, 0.1% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 717 households, of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.6% were non-families. 41.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.99 and the average family size was 2.66.

The median age in the village was 51.1 years. 17.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.5% were from 25 to 44; 33.3% were from 45 to 64; and 25.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ontonagon has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

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