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Situated on the north bank of Elk Lake, four miles north-northeast of Elk Rapids, Kewadin is an unincorporated community central-west Milton Township, Antrim County, in the northwestern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Besides Elk Lake, the homes along the east banks of Birch Lake are also considered to be a part of Kewadin, although, as an unincorporated community, there are no defined borders. The East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay is just west of Kewadin, Torch Lake is to the east, and the smaller Lake Maplehurst is also to the east, between Kewadin and Torch Lake.

The chief route through the community is Cairn Highway, which connects Kewadin with Elk River, then continues north to connect with US-31. While Cairn Highway passes along the upper west part of Elk Lake, Cherry Avenue follows the upper east banks of the lake.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Kewadin include Elk Rapids, Central Lake, and Traverse City, while the unincorporated community of Torch Lake is about ten miles to the north.

Although Charles Avery acquired a patent on land that would later become part of Kewadin in 1856, the area was occupied solely by Ojibwe or other Native American tribes until 1876, and was known variously as Indian Town, Wawwahghedek, or Sunnyside.

The Ojibwe were led by Chief Ke-way-din, who had fought with the British during the War of 1812. Chief Ke-way-din died in 1884 at the home of his daughter, which was in the area of what would be called Kewadin. He was the namesake for the community.

When a European-American settlement formed, George D. Wyckoff became its first postmaster on June 4, 1883. Native Americans continued to reside in the area.

An Indian Mission and Methodist Church, known as The Grove, was built in 1886, and the names on the deed, filed in 1890, were James Miller, Joseph Quanosa, Mark Mamagona, Samson Nada, and Martin Noonday. Several Native American families migrated to The Grove, and an Indian cemetery was established next to the Mission. Today, the historic Indian Mission consists of the United Methodist Indian Mission and Church, the cemetery, and a park on Elk Lake, and its congregation includes members of the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Prior to the lumber era, all of Milton Township was largely covered by virgin hardwood forests. The logging industry began in the area during the 1860s and 1870s, and its workforce was made up of Native Americans and European-Americans, many of whom worked their fields during the spring and summer, and supplemented their income by working in the lumber camps during the winter, while others were employed full-time in the lumber industry.

The Kewadin School was established in the late 1800s, although today the entire township is within the Elk Rapids School District, and there are currently no public or private school facilities in Milton Township. School-aged students in Kewadin are bused to Elk Rapids schools.

The Milton Township hall is situated on ten acres at the corner of Cairn Highway and Cherry Avenue in Kewadin, and consists of a large meeting room, five offices, a downstairs meeting area, storage rooms, bathrooms, and a maintenance bay. Adjacent to the township hall are basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, and a playground. The Milton Township Fire Station #1 is on the northwestern corner of the township hall lot.

Police services are provided through the Antrim County Sheriff’s Department with a satellite office within the Milton Township Hall.

In 2002, the township acquired an additional thirty-four acres to the north-northeast of the township hall. Known as the Milton Township Sports Park, the multi-purpose recreational area includes ball fields and diamonds, tennis courts, and a skateboard park.

South of the town hall is the Milton Township Beach, a five-acre tract that provides beach access to the north end of Elk Lake. It also includes a volleyball court, beach, and parking area.

Nearby, the Milton Township Elk Lake Access provides public boat access to the lake but has no other facilities. Adjacent to the boat access is the Kewadin Methodist Indian Church beach and park, which is designed for church members only.

Just north of Kewadin, along Cairn Highway, is the Hugh J. Gray Cairn, a stone monument made up of rocks from each of Michigan's eighty-three counties. Built in 1938, a crypt behind the monument's metal plaque contains materials from the 1930s. At the time that the Cairn was built, this portion of Cairn Highway was part of US-31, so it was visited often. However, when US-31 was relocated from Cairn Highway straight north from Elk Rapids, visitation to both the Rock Cairn and Kewadin decreased considerably.

The Rock Cairn, Old Milton Township Hall, and Kewadin United Methodist Indian Mission and Cemetery are of local historical significance.



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