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Michigan Counties

The boundaries of the eighty-three counties in Michigan have not changed substantially since 1897. Wayne County was the sixth county in the Northwest Territory, formed 15 August 1796 and organized in 1815. Wayne County was created 21 November 1815 as an original county of Michigan.

Ontonagon County, Michigan

Ontonagon County Education, Geography, and HistoryOntonagon County, Michigan Courthouse

Ontonagon County is a county located in the Upper peninsula of the state of Michigan. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,780, making it the third-least populous county in Michigan. The county seat is Ontonagon. Ontonagon County is named for a river called Nantounagon on an early French map. A derivation of the Native American word "Nondon-organ" meaning "hunting river."

Etymology - Origin of Ontonagon County Name


The county is named after the Ontonagon River and said to be derived from a Native American word Nondon-organ, meaning "hunting river" and which appeared as named for a river called Nantounagon on a 1670 French map. Alternatively, it is said to be derived from the Ojibwa onagon, which means "dish" or "bowl."


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Ontonagon County History

Ontonagon County is named for a river called Nantounagon on an early French map. A derivation of the Native American word "Nondon-organ" meaning "hunting river"

The county was set off in 1843, and organized in 1848. It had been part of Chippewa and Mackinac counties, and it was thereafter split to create Gogebic County

Set Off: 1843

Organized: 1848

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,741 square miles (9,690 km2), of which 1,311 square miles (3,400 km2) is land and 2,430 square miles (6,300 km2) (65%) is water. It is the third-largest county in Michigan by area.

At a longitude of 89.5°W, it is the westernmost county in the United States contained entirely within the Eastern Time Zone.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Keweenaw County (northeast)
  • Houghton County (east)
  • Iron County (southeast/CST Border)
  • Gogebic County (south/CST Border)
  • Ashland County, Wisconsin (west/CST Border)
  • Cook County, Minnesota (northwest/CST Border)


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