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Minocqua, Wisconsin
—  Town  —
Location of Minocqua, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 45°50′48″N 89°49′50″W / 45.84667°N 89.83056°W / 45.84667; -89.83056
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Oneida
 - Total 168.1 sq mi (435.3 km2)
 - Land 150.8 sq mi (390.6 km2)
 - Water 17.3 sq mi (44.8 km2)
Elevation [1] 1,598 ft (487 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 4,859
 - Density 32.2/sq mi (12.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
FIPS code 55-53225[2]
GNIS feature ID 1583727[1]

Minocqua is a town in Oneida County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,859 at the 2000 census. A large number of seasonal residents live in the town during the summer. The town is the largest population center near the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation.



Minocqua was officially organized on March 13, 1889. There are differing explanations for its Ojibwe name, one of which is that Minocqua means "fair maiden."[3] The name is also said to be derived from the Ojibwe word Ninocqua, meaning noon day rest.[4] The town might also be named after a tribal chief named Noc Wib or Minocquip. The town was probably first known as Maniwaki. Another explanation for the name may refer to the fact that the town is an island surrounded by several lakes (aqua). Residents call Minocqua the "Island City".

In 1891 the town consisted of 29 saloons, two hotels, two general stores, a small market and about 15 homes. In 1912, a fire which started across from where the post office sits today destroyed most of the buildings along Front Street. Locals tried to stop the fire with dynamite.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 168.1 square miles (435.4 km²), of which, 150.8 square miles (390.6 km²) of it is land and 17.3 square miles (44.8 km²) of it is water. The total area is 10.29% water.

Termed the "Island City," a portion of the town is situated on an actual island, which is accessible by bridge on Highway 51. Much of Minocqua has sandy soil, although areas of the far northwest and the northeast are clay. The majority of the soil is highly acidic and many areas are covered by forests. The marshes between Minocqua and Wisconsin Rapids are cultivated for cranberry production.

The highest point in Minocqua is Squirrel Hill, located near Winter Park (1735 ft per Wisconsin Blue Book). The second highest point on the island is located at Island Golf (1608 ft). The highest structure in Minocqua is the Lakeland Sanitary District water tower, a steel tank on Hwy 51 North put in place in the 1960s for improving water supply during the winter.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there are 4,859 people, 2,189 households, and 1,488 families residing in the town. The population density is 32.2 people per square mile (12.4/km²). There are 4,284 housing units at an average density of 28.4/sq mi (11.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 97.65% White, 0.04% African American, 1.03% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.95% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2,189 households out of which 22.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% are married couples living together, 5.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% are non-families. 27.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.22 and the average family size is 2.68.

In the town the population is spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 47 years. For every 100 females there are 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $40,333, and the median income for a family is $50,466. Males have a median income of $41,272 versus $23,147 for females. The per capita income for the town is $24,461. 6.5% of the population and 4.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.5% of those under the age of 18 and 5.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Tourism plays a substantial role in the economy of Minocqua. As a forested lake community, there are outdoor activities such as waterskiing, boating, fishing, hiking, bike riding, berry collecting, swimming, go-karting, miniature golf, movie-going, and viewing the Min-Aqua Bats water ski show in the summer.

During the fall, rifle and bow hunting draw many hunters, as does the annual downtown merchants' Beef-a-Rama held the last Saturday in September. In winter, available activities include: snowmobile festivals, Nordic (cross country) skiing, ice fishing, downhill skiing in nearby mountains, snow tubing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling and dining at area restaurants. Minocqua's nightlife includes bars featuring live music in the summer. During fall, driving through the northwoods admiring the fall colors is a popular activity. The arts play an important role in tourism and include the Northern Lights Playhouse and the annual HMMGG Festival of Arts and Culture.


Minocqua has one elementary school, Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School, and one high school, Lakeland Union High School. A satellite campus of the Nicolet Technical College is located next to the high school.


External links

Coordinates: 45°52′17″N 89°42′40″W / 45.87139°N 89.71111°W / 45.87139; -89.71111



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