the 45th Parallel

Cadott, Wisconsin

The small town of Cadott, northeast of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is proud of its history as a trading post and lumber center, as well as its location just south of the 45th Parallel. At the city park a large billboard declares Cadott's place in the world with an enormous globe and swooping arrow showing the "you are here" point where the viewer is now standing.


you are now

Between the Equator and North Pole

(Actual site of Midway point is 3 miles north of Cadott)

Erected by Cadott Lions Club

The sign was put up by the Cadott Lions in 1955 at the suggestion of local dentist and geographic trivia buff H.P. Landry. The sign in the photo above dates from 1999 when it replaced the deteriorating original wooden sign. The text of the both signs is the same, although on the earlier version, the globe extended beyond the rectangular border making for a more dramatic graphic.

About the same time that the sign was replaced, the town of Tilden a few miles northwest of Cadott put up its own rival sign proclaiming its location to be half way between the Equator and North Pole as well, though Tilden sits slightly north of the parallel.

A small caveat for geographic perfectionists on the Cadott sign notes that the viewer is not actually now half-way, because the real location of the 45th Parallel lies 3 miles farther north. At that location, where Highway 27 crosses 110th Ave there is another marker:


Though at first glance the sign seems mark the intersection of two streets named 45th Parallel Avenue & Geographical Marker Boulevard, the sign is simply a clever marker for the 45th Parallel. The actual "half-way" point described in the billboard in the first photo lies another 10 miles farther north, due to the distortion of sphere of the earth.

Thanks to Heather Holbus for providing these photos of Cadott.

View 45th Parallel Markers in Google Maps