these old school buildings are in a lot of the smaller communities here. this one is in Ewen, and there is a similar one (without the gym) in Trout Crick. there was one in Paynesville, but it burnt down shortly after it was sold, before it could have been historically preserved.
while homelessness is not a real big problem here … joblessness is. most of those who are not retired or who have some sort of farming or forestry business here have had to leave the area for work.
surprisingly, even the small hotel in Bruce Crossing has closed, which seems odd considering the year round activities here that seem to draw visitors and tourists. hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, fall leaves … there truly is so much here that is so incredibly beautiful. there are a lot of summer campers that come up, it seems like having an alternative for those who like to camp in hotels would be a fairly good business, even if it was just a small mom & pop motel. there isn’t that much competition … one AmericInn down the road in Bergland, then not too many other places until you get to the larger cities.
buildings like these that have stood the test of time (and winter) could be turned into some type of manufacturing plants … or corporate business offices … youth hostels … college distant learning campuses. even this one in Ewen, i can envision as a great place for an indoor doggy day care! or even better … a small indoor mall for local artists and businesses!
it is really sort of sad that they are just left to slowly die, especially in an area that is starving for jobs and reasons for people to come back to make a life here, or stay and make a life. one of these days, the U.P. will be a pretty desolate area because the younger generations are forced to leave to find jobs.
the library in Trout Crick closed a few months ago. the one in Ewen might still close. it is weird to even think that a library could close, especially since they have always been my safe havens. there are more closed businesses here than open ones.
in a few more years this could really be a ghost town.