Village of Pewamo

Rails to Trails

Pewamo Trailhead Welcome Center

Pewamo is located on the eastern edge of Ionia County. Our location on the trail is unique in that it offers a gateway to two different trail experiences. To the east, riders can experience the openness of fields and agriculture and to the west, the beauty of woods, creeks, rivers, and expansive bridges created on the former railroad trestles.

Founded in 1859, the Village’s existence can be credited largely to the railroad which remained in operation until the 1990s. Wishing to continue the history of servicing those who use the rail corridor, Pewamo had the foresight to prepare for the arrival of the Fred Meijer CIS Trail prior to its existence. In 2011 the Village applied for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant for the construction of a Trailhead to service future trail users. And in the fall of 2013 Pewamo celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Trailhead, which is fashioned after the original Pewamo Depot.

The Trailhead is a beautiful pavilion complete with bathrooms, a drinking fountain, picnic tables, and bike racks. Pewamo continued its historical approach to the design by adding a display of railroad tools and equipment. The items on display were provided by third-generation Pewamo railroad workers; who were the last two men responsible for the maintenance of the Grand Rapids railroad sub from Owosso to Lowell.

Pewamo invites the users of the Fred Meijer CIS Trail to spend some time enjoying our Trailhead and our Village! We currently have three venues located not far from the Trailhead, where trail users can find food and refreshments. There are options to sit and relax on an outdoor patio, enjoy inside dining or grab a quick refreshment as you pass through town. Whatever you decide, we trust you’ll find Pewamo ready to meet your needs and enhance your trail experience!

Thanks to...

John & Richard Williams
John and Richard were third generation railroad workers and lifelong residents of the Pewamo area. Their grandfather, John Hattis, worked under Matt Miller, a familiar presence on the Pewamo railroad. Their father, Roman Williams, also worked for the railroad. Roman was a member of the last section crew based in Pewamo. That crew, along with crews before it, operated out of the old freight house and other small railroad owned buildings placed along the rail here in Pewamo. Richard & John worked for the railroad for nearly thirty years, sometimes together and sometimes on different gangs. From 1988 to the end of the railroad operations in our area in 1993, they were the last two men responsible for the maintenance of the Grand Rapids sub from Owosso to Lowell. Following the closure of this line they went to Durand until their retirement. We thank them both for their years of service to the railroad that served Pewamo and beyond and for the donation of the tools and equipment included in our display.
Tony Thelen
We gratefully acknowledge Tony Thelen for his work in creating the two display cases at the Trailhead which hold our treasures of railroad memorabilia!
Mike Scollon
Rob Sterner, DPW Assistant, activates the railroad crossing signals while Mike Scollon, DPW Supervisor, cuts the ribbon for the Trailhead's Grand Opening on September 7, 2013. President Randy Zenk assists Mike Scollon as many guests look on. It is Mike Scollon whose vision and design are credited for the creation and development of the Trailhead Welcome Center.
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Pewamo Postcard

Railroad Repair Crew

Bill Schmitz, Arlo Rightinbrig, Unidentified, Doug Brown, Matt Schrauben, Joe Schafer, Matt Miller & Ernie Fox