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Old Mission People: Merry Samuelson Ball

George and Merry Ball of Leland | Jane Boursaw Photo
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You know how you’re at an event and you get to talking with the people sitting near you and realize that you’re from the same place and your kin probably knew each other? That’s what happened when Tim and I were at the northern Michigan premiere of “Beyond Glory” in Leland last fall.

We started chatting with the couple in front of us, who we learned were George and Merry Ball. Turns out that Merry’s maiden name is Samuelson. She grew up on East Shore Dr. on the Old Mission Peninsula, and her grandpa was Charles John “CJ” Samuelson, an Old Mission farmer.

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I didn’t think to ask her, but I later recalled there was a “Mrs. Samuelson” who taught at Old Mission Peninsula School, so if anyone reads this and knows the connection, tell us in the comments below.

Oh, and if you’re in Leland, George and Merry now run a used and rare book shop called “Good Old Books,” at 305 River Street, across from Riverside Inn. They’re open from mid May to October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and November through April by appointment. Feel free to call them at (231) 256-2396 for an appointment.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. Hey Cuz,
    Ms. Phyliss Samuelson was either my 2nd or 3rd grade teacher, and I think she married during our school year. Remember 2 features: RED lipstick & skilled accordion player! Don’t recollect Merry but “Grandpa” Samuelson lived south of us on East Shore Rd. Remember one time my bro Stevan & I visited him…he gave us each an egg from his hens outback. It was a slow walk back home! Do you remember his stone house on west side of the road not too far from city limits sign?

  2. I don’t know a Phyllis who was a teacher. My Grandpa must have done a good job of building the old stone house because it still looks good. I lived just North of him. I love the Old Mission Peninsula and always will. Thank you Jane. We just got a phone call thanks to you.
    Merry Samuelson Ball


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