omp mystery, building center road, center road, old mission peninsula, wellington gray draper, michigan state highway department, m37, middle road, old mission gazette, old mission peninsula, peninsula township, old mission history, old mission peninsula history, old mission news, old mission michigan
Michigan State Highway Department; Wellington Gray Draper (in white shirt), Project Manager, 1940s | Boursaw/Draper Family Archives
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Ok, people. No one correctly guessed the location of our latest OMP Mystery Photo, which I first posted in a story about Tim’s grandpa, Wellington Gray Draper, who was a project manager with the Michigan State Highway Department and helped to build Center Road back in the 1940s.

Since Tim and I couldn’t figure out where the above photo was taken on the Old Mission Peninsula, I thought it’d be fun to throw it out to the readers in a “Name That Location” contest, which we did here.

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It wasn’t until I was on my way home from yoga with Sally Van Vleck at Neahtawanta Inn one night that I had a lightbulb moment about where the photo might have been taken. I drove by the location on my way home (not far from Neahtawanta Inn), and it looked like a good possibility.

Then we happened to see the person who lives in the home at the Old Mission Women’s Club annual Christmas Cookie Sale. She looked at the photo and confirmed that it’s indeed their house. Or rather, the house that used to be there before they built their new house on the same spot.

Ready for the reveal? The location of the OMP Mystery Photo is Joan and David Kroupa’s house and barn on Kroupa Road, just past Hooper’s Farm Gardens (2399 Kroupa Road) on the left as you’re heading west. Joan said they lived in the house pictured in the photo for many years, until their growing family necessitated either a remodel or a new home. Since the remodel would have been extensive, they tore down the old house and built a new home on that same spot.

Prior to moving to Kroupa Road, they lived in the Rasmussen house in Mapleton, while Dave was running the Mapleton Garage.

So while the house in the photo looks a little different today, the location of the house and barn are still the same, as is the topography of the landscape.

While people were guessing, it’s interesting how many homes came up with that construction either back then or today. We drove by the old Bartko home on Old Mission Road several times (first house on the right when you turn right onto Old Mission Road from Center Road), because we were sure that was the house. And people guessed others around the Peninsula, as well.

Stay tuned for another OMP Mystery Photo coming up!

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.

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  1. So, taken in front in front of where the gray house I first lived in, belonged to Rex and Dennie Hooper, with Nick’s little place yet to be built and I’m guessing out of view beyond the far right standing gentleman’s shoulder would be Nick and Dave’s Dad and Mom’s house, (sorry, drawing a blank on their names)


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