Ontonagon County (pop. 6,780) is along Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula, west of Houghton County. It has the third-smallest population among Michigan’s counties.
“Ontonagon” is a word derived from a Native American word meaning “hunting river” or “bowl.”
Ontonagon County is the westernmost county in the U.S. that is entirely in the Eastern Time Zone.
The county seat is the village of Ontonagon (pop. 1,494), located at the mouth of the Ontonagon River on Lake Superior.
The Ontonagon Lighthouse dates from 1866; it was deactivated in 1964.
The unincorporated community of Matchwood was named for the Diamond Match Company, which owned large pine forests in the area. Diamond was America’s largest manufacturer of matches in the late 19th century.
The Porcupine Mountains are in the western part of the county, near Lake Superior. They contain North America’s largest stand of old-growth northern hardwood forest west of the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
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