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Neahtawanta Resort Association | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The Neahtawanta Resort Association has a long history of good stewardship on Old Mission Peninsula, and its generous donation to the Peninsula Community Library’s current Capital Campaign Fund is just the most recent example.

The proposed library’s community meeting room will be named the “Friends of Neahtawanta Room” in honor of the 24 families whose $50,000 donation moves the library closer to its goal of raising $2.5 million. The room will provide a much needed space for small area groups to gather. The idea of supporting PCL with a financial donation took hold within the association’s Women’s Book Club, whose membership ranges between 20 to 30 participants during the summer months.

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In addition, the new library’s coffee bar will be named in honor of more Neahtawanta residents, Jon and Sue Kinne, whose $10,000 contribution secured the naming rights to a part of the building that is sure to attract book lovers and caffeine fans alike.

Brit Eaton, past president of the association, and his wife Amy, who founded the book club, are year-round residents of the resort and avid supporters of the library. Brit points out that his Neahtawanta neighbors have always believed in preserving the beauty and serenity of the Peninsula with their involvement in efforts such as the establishment of the 159-acre Pyatt Lake area as a nature preserve, the purchase of development rights of nearby farm land, and the 60-acre expansion of Bowers Harbor Park.

Individual donors have also contributed to the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation and numerous Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) initiatives.

Many other areas of the new library have been named via generous donations, including the building itself (Nancy and Bill Davy), the Friends Room (Friends of PCL), the Reception Area (Paula Kelley), the Children’s and Teens’ Areas (Tom’s Food Markets), the Local History Room (Tim Carroll), and the Children’s Garden (the Beers Family).

The Fireplace will be dedicated to Mary Johnson, who was a member of the library board that wisely decided 20 years ago to purchase the 5.25 acres on the corner of Island View Road and Center Road, where the new library will be built. The fireplace mantel will be constructed of wood from the Johnson’s historic barn, just north of Mapleton.

Jim and Fran Krupka have recently gifted the library with funds for the naming of the back porch, because they envision sitting on it with a great book some summer’s day.

Many other areas remain unnamed, so if you would like to establish your legacy or that of someone else, contact the library at (231) 223-7700 or stop by to chat. Who wouldn’t want the front porch or the carriage house named after them?

The “Neah” community is defined by its geographic location. Situated on Bowers Harbor, on the west side of Old Mission Peninsula, the association consists of some 63 cottages. Approximately ten owners are full time occupants, while the remainder generally return during the warmer months of the year and bring the population close to 250 family members and guests.

Originally settled by families from Grand Rapids and established as a Universalist Resort Association in 1890 (read more here), the resort was later reorganized by people from the Cincinnati area. Brit Eaton’s great grandfather arrived in 1893, and the family has remained for generations. Brit and Amy are now full-time residents and, according to Amy, “Investing in projects like the Library gives us the opportunity to give back to the community and help preserve the beauty of the Peninsula like our ancestors envisioned back in the 1900’s.”

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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