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.