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Surrounded by the Ottawa National Forest, Ewen is in the northwestern segment of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in lower Ontonagon County. It is the only settlement area in McMillan Township.

As an unincorporated community, Ewen does not have defined borders, but it is concentrated along M-28, west of the South Branch of the Ontonagon River, with its downtown district south of M-28, in the area of Old M-28 and South Cedar Street. Its residential area extends north of M-28, as well.

Nearby communities include Bruce Crossing, Matchwood, and Paynesville, all unincorporated. The village of Ontonagon and the city of Wakefield are about thirty miles away. There are no other incorporated municipalities within fifty miles of Ewen.

The origins of Ewen were as a lumber camp and a railroad town. Its first building was a broken-down boxcar, which served as a railroad depot for the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad. Due to its location at the intersection of the Ontonagon River and the railroad, it became a supply center for loggers operating within the region. A post office was established on October 5, 1889, with Oscar H. Carus as postmaster. The post office and depot were named for W.A. Ewen, treasurer of the rail line. The town's original name was Ewen Station, and shortened to Ewen on September 19, 1894.

By 1891, Ewen had a population of six hundred residents and fifteen saloons, as well as several bordellos on the outskirts of town. Most logging era Upper Peninsula towns could support saloon, gambling, and prostitution rackets only during the spring season, but there were thirty-one logging camps within five miles of Ewen, so there were a couple of thousand lumbermen within an hour or two of Ewen, which meant that it could go on year-round in Ewen. With the decline of the lumber industry, the gamblers and the prostitutes moved on, however.

Still in operation today, the Ewen post office serves much of the township. With a population of fewer than five hundred in the entire township, Ewen is a small community. Largely residential, there are not many businesses in Ewen today. Those that are there serve the local population, people passing through, and those who come to the area for outdoors adventures.

The focus of this guide is on the unincorporated town of Ewen, Michigan. Businesses, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the community, or Ewen postal address area, are appropriate for this guide.



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