More than 130 people gathered at the Dougherty House in Old Mission yesterday for an official dedication and open house, marking the opening of the historic home as a museum.
Built in 1842 by Presbyterian minister Peter Dougherty, the home has been meticulously restored by the Peter Dougherty Society and placed on the National Register of Historical Places with state level significance.
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Beginning in 2004, a collaboration took place between the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and Peninsula Township to raise more than $575,000 to acquire and restore the home.
In July 2006, the home and surrounding 15 acres were deeded to Peninsula Township and became part of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, thereby placing the home and property in conservancy.
At today’s event, Bill Cole, president of the Peter Dougherty Society, praised everyone who’s been involved with the restoration, including all the volunteers, donors, members of the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, and both the former and current Peter Dougherty Society board of directors. Current members include Chris Rieser, Jim Hall, Rob Manigold, Kennard Weaver, Jim Brammer and Connie Sargent, as well as Cole.
He also gave special recognition to generous donors Nancy Rushmore Hooper, whose family once owned the home, the Les and Anne Beiderman Foundation, and the Jeffris Family Foundation.
The restoration team was also praised for their countless hours (more than 3000 hours each) devoted to the restoration. The team of six includes Brad Lyman, Jim Hall, Chris Rieser, Butch Moring, Marty Klein and Bill Cole, as well as Patti Rudolph, who provided cookies to the team every day they worked (even stockpiling cookies while she was away).
Rev. Jim Brammer gave the invocation, and Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold also said a few words about the efforts of so many groups and individuals involved in the acquisition and restoration of the home.
Author and Historian Dr. Mary Ann Heidermann spoke about the significance of the home in terms of agricultural, tourism and the local economy, highlighting the time and talents of those involved in making it all happen.
After extensive restoration, including furnishing the interior with furniture and artifacts appropriate to the period from 1839 to 1910, the home and surrounding grounds will now be open as a historical, cultural educational and community center, as well as a museum for all visitors.
Plans for the surrounding 15 acres, including the completed Heritage Trail and Disabled Trail, as well as heirloom orchards and gardens, will reflect farming on the Old Mission Peninsula in the late 19th Century.
Click here if you’d like to become a docent for the Dougherty Mission House, located at 18459 Mission Road on the Old Mission Peninsula.
Log Cabin Day: Sunday, June 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lighthouse Park; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dougherty Mission House
Check out some more photos from the Dougherty House Dedication…