Welcome To Onota Township

Photos from Onota Township, Michigan

We appreciate your visit to our website. Here you may find public resources such as documents (including minutes, forms, property tax files, the Master Plan, & the Zoning Ordinance).  Information provided covers a range of topics, such as our directory of elected & appointed officials, public notices (see below), recreation, waste disposal, and the Deerton Cemetery. We also have links about the area for our citizens. Please feel free to contact the township with questions or suggestions about this site.

Public Notices

Board of Review: The Board of Review will be held July 20 at 2 pm. This meeting is to correct errors, omissions, & mutual mistakes of fact. Homeowner’s principal residence exemptions (PRE), Agricultural Exemptions, and certain poverty exemption requests may also be heard. In compliance with Executive Order 2020-87, appeals normally heard during the March Board of Review meeting may be heard at this meeting.


Zoning Administrator position: The position of zoning administrator is vacant (a detailed job description will be posted soon). If you would like to apply, please send a letter of interest and/or a resume to the township board via mail (PO Box 100, Deerton, MI 49822) or email (onotatwp@tds.net).


Dumpsters: Please STOP dumping trash on top of the dumpsters when they’re full! The lids are designed to be bear-proof – overfilling and leaving lids unlocked defeats that purpose. The dumpsters are emptied 3x/week – if full, bring your garbage back after they are empty.

We have had multiple reports of out-of-area & non-resident commercial businesses disposing of material here. If you see this happen, please take a photo (or write down the name of the business) and report it to the township (contact info @ bottom of page). These violators are stealing your tax dollars.


Elections: To encourage absentee voting, the state mailed an absentee ballot application to every voter. Voters who applied may check the status of an submitted application through the Michigan Voter Information Center Leave site.

Area Information
Onota Township
Laughing Fish Point

Onota Township lies along the southern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP), with an area of 92 square miles (30% is within the Hiawatha National Forest ). The population (2015) was 336, with 43% as year-round residents.

The AuTrain-Onota School in Deerton teaches students pre-K-8. The school is respected in the area. Students from outside the district often enroll. Older students attend Superior Central, Munising, and Marquette schools.

There are five distinct areas within the township from east to west – Rock River, Shelter Bay, Onota, Deerton, and Sand River. A number of small businesses are in the township, mainly recreational and service-oriented. Area information is in the Master Plan.

Onota Township has a rich history in producing lumber for buildings as well as charcoal manufacturing (for smelting iron ore). Early on, Scandinavians settled in the area to work and homestead. Read about the area history.