Since the National Cherry Festival is taking place this week in Traverse City, let’s take a look back at our very own Old Mission Peninsula School float in the 1950s. Representing OMPS as the Prince and Princess that year were Rob Manigold (our current Peninsula Township Supervisor, who looks basically the same, only now has a beard) and Debbie Christopher, both pictured in the back seat of the car.
The year I have for this photo is 1956, but we’ve determined, with help from Craig Elhart, that this photo was likely taken in the summer of 1958. Craig says he started kindergarten at Maple Grove School in 1956 (current location of Peninsula Cellars, 11480 Center Road), and his class moved to the new school for kindergarten a few days into the school year (Fall of 1956). As the prince and princess were chosen from the first grade, and Craig is on the float, that puts this photo in the summer of 1958.
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Craig notes that all the kids from Maple Grove School moved to the new school at the same time, and he then continued kindergarten with Mrs. Cook in the room on the south end of the new OMPS building (the same room that’s been the kindergarten classroom through the years). I note this because my husband, Tim Boursaw, recalls starting kindergarten a year later, in 1957, in the lobby of the gym. He thinks there was some construction taking place down the hall, so we’re still trying to track down more info on this.
As for the Cherry Festival float, I’m waiting on more info from a few sources, but here are the kids we think are riding on the float:
Craig Elhart is the boy in the middle of the front row on the float. He believes that the boy to the right is Tom Mathison and the boy to the left might be Mike Gore.
Back row, left to right, possibly: Marc Hooper, Cindy Slater and Debbie Bee. Craig believes the girl on the right is Holly Haven (newscaster Ken Haven’s daughter).
Craig also thinks the woman riding in the car might be Mrs. Manigold (I have a note out to Rob and am waiting to hear back; also sent a note to my cousin, Phyllis Johnson Cooley).
We could use some help! If you know who’s who in the photo, leave a comment in the comments section at the bottom of this story – or on the post on Facebook. We’ll make sure the story gets updated with new info.
Below is the full photo, taken on Front Street in Downtown Traverse City, near the intersection of Union Street. Note that Poppycock’s is located in the space once occupied by Stacey’s Restaurant.