Gwinn is located in the center of the Upper Peninsula, 25 minutes south of Marquette. This area boasts over 50 lakes making it a prime area for canoeing, boating, fishing, and camping. Additionally, the sandy soil of the area lends itself well to wild blueberries. The local airport, Sawyer International Airport is located in the area.

Gwinn was founded due to its location, that it was, and is, beautiful, and that it was not situated atop any iron deposits. The president of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company (C.C. I.), William G. Mather, decided that the miners of the surrounding regions needed a town and acquired the land in 1902. Warren H. Manning was hired to design the model town, meaning it would be completely designed before construction began. Construction began in 1907 and was completed in 1910. It then became a booming mining town with a hospital, hotel, and clubhouse. The town continued to be busy until the closure of K.I Sawyer in 1995. In 2002, Gwinn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its model town aspect. 

In 1956 the K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base was developed as a joint civil-military facility. The base was originally used as an Air Defense Command base to deter Soviet bomber attacks. The base was closed in September of 1995. In 1999 it was reopened as the Sawyer International Airport which is now the local airport for the greater Marquette area. 

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