Ontonagon is in Ontonagon County
(of which it is the county seat), and in the Northern Region
. This community is located southwest of Hancock
along US Highway 45 on the banks of the Ontonagon River near the shore of Lake Superior
. Also situated in Michigan's Upper Peninsula region.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 1,733, a decrease of 307 since 1990.
Ontonagon was settled in 1843 by James Kirk Paul, who built the first log cabin here. A post office was started here three years later, with Daniel S. Cash becoming the first postmaster. Paul spent several years platting the area, while finally and officially recording it in 1854. The town was incorporated as a village in 1885.
Ontonagon is considered the "gateway" to the Porcupine Mountains. Its economy is supported mainly by paper manufacturing and tourism, along with the processing of forest products. Interesting places to see include the Ontonagon Light House, the old Court House and the Ontonagon River...Not a bad fishing spot.