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Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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There’s a discussion taking place on the Gazette’s Facebook page right now that stems from a story I published yesterday about Old Mission Living Magazine’s Haserot Beach party being shut down by Peninsula Township.

It’s a simple news story about the fact that this Haserot Beach party – which involved catered food, alcohol and boat rides – wasn’t sanctioned by Peninsula Township and no permit application had been submitted by Old Mission Living Magazine for this particular gathering (that’s why we have a zoning ordinance).

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As is often the case with social media posts, the Facebook thread (read it here) veered off in various directions, including the idea that there are “insiders” and “outsiders” on the Old Mission Peninsula. I always bristle when I hear those terms applied to the Peninsula, because it feels divisive and unnecessary.

Sure, my husband Tim and I were both born here, and our families (Boursaws and Johnsons) both go back into the 1800s. I love that, think about it every day, and never forget that I hit the jackpot when it comes to my origins. There’s no other way to put it. In the big cosmos of space and time, it’s sheer luck that I happened to be born in this particular place to a good family who owned a cherry farm.

Tim and I have OMP memories shared by other people our age with the same background. But that doesn’t make us more insidery than a family who moved to the Peninsula last week and is now building their own memories here.

Yes, some of us grew up here and have memories of picking cherries, working on the shaker crews, ice-skating at Bowers Harbor Park, and buying candy at Watson’s store. But the generation before us have different memories – of attending one-room schools, getting a tractor fixed at the Mapleton Garage, and buying an ice-cold pop at The Wegaus at Haserot Beach.

The generation before them cut ice out of the bay, saw “Middle Road” turn into “Center Road,” and went to meetings at the Grange Hall on the corner of Brinkman and Swaney Roads.

Today our Peninsula is covered with beautiful vineyards mixed in with cherry and apple orchards, and soon we’ll have a gorgeous new library and a school that once again belongs to the OMP community.

If you were born on the Old Mission Peninsula, grew up here, moved here last week, spend summers here, or have ancestors buried here, you’re an OMP insider. If you live by Mission Point Lighthouse or in Port of Old Mission by town, you’re an OMP insider.

We don’t need to separate us by the amount of time we’ve lived here or whether we live on the north or south end of Peninsula Township. We are all one community.

I love honoring all the various stages of our beloved Old Mission Peninsula, and can’t wait to see what’s ahead for my beloved homeland. I do wish more residents would attend the township meetings and get involved in shaping the future of our Peninsula, but I will save that for another story.

SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: 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. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation.

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  1. Thank you Jane. Great statement.

    I’m a resident and property owner since 1995 and feel very fortunate to be here. It is truly a gift and we are grateful.



  2. You are a dear and an Old Mission treasure Jane. Keep up the good work at helping us all stay informed, in a neutral way, about the happenings on OMP. We all count and we all benefit from this beautiful place and we need to keep it that way!

  3. Great job as always Jane! Love you are encouraging people to go to two meetings. We are SO LUCKY to have you representing the Fourth Estate on OMP!

  4. The term new comers always, is what i wil be, is what I heard on old Mission, at the post office on old mission post office yesterday, We have had since 2001, property on Old Mission,, built home in 2012, lived here almost 3 years full time, Members of Old Mission United Methodist Church, I seem to hear that comment and end of subject.It just is heard here and thei at intervals, I may ,not have genetic history, but I feel in my heart, I live on Old Mission, Love ir here, and I should no longer be a newcomer,

  5. We moved to Port of Old Mission in August.
    We joined the Old Mission Historical Society and were immediately made Welcome. We’ve attended dinners at the Legion when our schedule allows. We’ve always been welcomed. We frequent the Old Mission General Store and always have been welcomed. We don’t go to the Tavern without seeing someone we know.
    Being considered “Newcomers” is just a fact of Up North Life. My husband’s family has had an Up North Cottage since 1954. They’ve been there longer than many members on that Township Board, but we’ll always be Newcomers.
    It’s the same way all over the North. Heck, there’s even an extremely successful Newcomers Club here with members who have been here many years.
    We may be relatively new to OMP, but people including Jane who have been here for generations have been exceedingly welcoming to us.
    We feel privileged to have met so many people who love OMP whether they’ve been here for a year or their entire life.
    Life is what we make it.


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