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See also the Town of Algoma in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. See also Algoma (Disambiguation).
Algoma, Wisconsin
—  City  —
Location of Algoma, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 44°36′30″N 87°26′32″W / 44.60833°N 87.44222°W / 44.60833; -87.44222Coordinates: 44°36′30″N 87°26′32″W / 44.60833°N 87.44222°W / 44.60833; -87.44222
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Kewaunee
 - Total 2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)
 - Land 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation [1] 581 ft (177 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 3,357
 - Density 1,374.9/sq mi (530.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
FIPS code 55-01000[2]
GNIS feature ID 1560759[1]

Algoma is a city in Kewaunee County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 3,357 at the 2000 census. Originally incorporated as Ahnapee in 1879, the city was renamed Algoma in 1897.[3]

Algoma is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Algoma is located at 44°36′30″N 87°26′32″W / 44.608226°N 87.442342°W / 44.608226; -87.442342 (44.608226, -87.442342)[4], along Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Ahnapee River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.4 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.3 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (1.61%) is water.




As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,357 people, 1,493 households, and 900 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,374.9 people per square mile (531.2/km2). There were 1,632 housing units at an average density of 668.4/sq mi (258.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.42% White, 0.09% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.51% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

There were 1,493 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 22.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,029, and the median income for a family was $46,552. Males had a median income of $30,349 versus $22,650 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,043. About 3.4% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.


The settlement which eventually became known as Algoma was founded in 1834 by Joseph McCormick of Manitowoc. In 1851, Irish and English pioneers moved to the area, and called the place Wolf River. This was a loose translation from the Indian word An-Ne-Pe, meaning "land of the great gray wolf" a legendary animal in stories told by the local Potawatomi Indians. (This animal eventually became the mascot of the Algoma School District.)

In the mid 1800s, immigrants from Germany, Bohemia, Scandinavian countries, and Belgium settled in this lakeside community. The earliest businesses consisted of a sawmill, general store, and churches. In 1859, the name of the town was changed from Wolf to Ahnapee.[5] The town which surrounds Algoma still bears this name.

In 1871, the town survived the Peshtigo Fire that swept from Green Bay and destroyed thousands of acres of land. Local residents were prepared for the worst, waiting with their boats and valuables at hand for a quick escape from the approaching flames. Fortunately, torrential rains drowned out the fire just before it reached Ahnapee.

Ahnapee incorporated as a city on February 23, 1879.[6] In 1897, the city was renamed Algoma, a name which may have come from an Indian term for "park of flowers." See also Algoma (word) [7] At that time the commercial fishing fleet located in Algoma was the largest on Lake Michigan. Sport fishing is still a major tourist attraction today.


Shanty Days is an annual celebration held the second weekend of August. There are ethnic foods, music, and beer. Features also include an arts and crafts show, a used-book sale, a parade, a 5k run/walk, wine tasting, fireworks and a street fair.[8]

The Concerts in the Park Series begins Wednesday evenings, following the Fourth of July and ends the Wednesday after Shanty Days.[9] These concerts are sponsored by the city of Algoma and various local businesses. The performances are located at Heritage Park, next to the Algoma Marina.

In popular culture

  • In "Buried", an episode of the television series Prison Break, fugitive Haywire enters a shop in Algoma and steals supplies from a crippled shopkeeper. The shopkeeper's dog, a border collie, chases Haywire until he reaches the shore of Lake Michigan. There, he tells the dog that he will build a raft and sail across the water to get to Holland.
  • In "The Message", an episode of the television series Prison Break, Haywire buys beer for two locals. He finds out that one of them has an abusive father just like himself. He follows the teenage girl back home where he kills the girl's father.

Notable residents



  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ 1929 Wisconsin Blue Book p. 629, The name was changed by action of the Wisconsin state legislature. The local newspaper also changed its name from the Ahnapee Record to the Algoma Record at the same time. See Library of Congress, Some sources erroneously have the name change taking place in 1879. (See, e.g., The Algoma Chamber of Commerce)
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "Ahnapee, Town of." Dictionary of Wisconsin History,
  6. ^ Laws of Wisconsin of 1879, Chapter 120
  7. ^ 1929 Wisconsin Blue Book p. 629, The name was changed by action of the Wisconsin state legislature. The local newspaper also changed its name from the Ahnapee Record to the Algoma Record at the same time. See Library of Congress, Some sources erroneously have the name change taking place in 1879. (See, e.g., The Algoma Chamber of Commerce)
  8. ^ Shanty days at
  9. ^

External links


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