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Gowen, Michigan is situated along the Flat River, southeast of Horton Lake and east of Little Horton Lake, in the central Lower Peninsula.

As an unincorporated community, Gowen does not have clearly defined borders but the populated place known as Gowen can be easily determined on a map. It is in east-center Montcalm Township, in Montcalm County, at its border with Kent County to the east. The only other named place in Montcalm Township is Turk Lake, to the northeast, although its postal address is Greenville, in Eureka Township, south of Montcalm Township. The Gowen post office serves northwestern Montcalm Township, a large portion of eastern Spencer Township, a small area of southern Pine Township, and a small area in northeast Oakfield Township in Kent County

The main route through Gowan is 19 Mile Road, which becomes Sidney Road as it moves east into Montcalm Township. South Johnson Road passes through the village from the north, follows Sidney Road to the east, crossing the Flat River, then continues south. Other routes include Evergreen Road. Sidney Road connects with M-91 in the center of the township.

While Gowen is centered in the area north of Sidney Road and east of South Johnson Road, the populated area has extended to form a neighborhood along Perch Lake to the south, and development can be found north, along South Johnson Road, particularly in the vicinity of Brookside Golf Course.

Incorporated cities and villages within twenty miles of Gowen include Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan, Cedar Springs, Pierson, Belding, Sand Lake, Lakeview, and Howard City.

Like many Michigan communities, Gowen was a lumbering town. Settled in 1947, it was first known as Gregor's Mills, for a local sawmill, although the first building in the area was Worden's Mills, which later housed a school and some businesses. Later, the settlement became known as Kaywood.

Danish and Norwegian immigrants began settling in the community in the 1850s. August Rasmussen was among the first Danish pioneers, and the Reverend Ole Amble came from Norway to found several Lutheran churches in the area.

Gowen took its current name from Colonel James Gowen, who came to the community from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and platted the town in 1871. A post office was established on March 4, 1872, with Samuel N. Peck as the first postmaster. Primarily a lumber town, Gowen had a couple of sawmills, a couple of shingle mills, and a planing mill. The Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western Railroad opened a station there, which later became part of the Pere Marquette line.

A string of fires and the demise of the lumber industry led several of its residents to move on, and Gowen was never incorporated as a village. Today, the community is mostly residential, although the river and its lakes attract people to the area, particularly in the summer months.

The focus of this guide is on the community known as Gowen, Michigan. Appropriate resources include websites representing individuals, businesses, industries, churches, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities in Gowen.

 

 

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