Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission Michigan
Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission | Jane Boursaw Photo
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A cement block building located just past the American Legion Hall in the village of Old Mission was demolished today. It was an unassuming little building across the road from Haserot Beach, but it boasted a rich history on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Here’s a picture of the building prior to the demolition, taken earlier this year.

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Lawrence Mlujeak’s Garage | Jane Boursaw Photo

Now owned by Peninsula Township, the building was once used by Lawrence Mlujeak as a mechanic’s shop where he worked on tractors, autos and other vehicles in the 1940s and 50s.

Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission Michigan
Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission | Jane Boursaw Photo

My husband, Tim, recalls going there with his grandpa, Garrett Boursaw, in the 1950s to get his Plymouth tuned up. Tim also recalls a large mahogany Chris-Craft Runabout sitting there during that time. (If you know who owned it, tell us in the comments below.)

Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission Michigan
Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission | Jane Boursaw Photo

During the demolition today, I stood next to my friend, Lisa LaBonte, whose dad owns a house nearby. As we watched the building come down from across the road, she called Lawrence’s granddaughter Jeannine Mlujeak to let her know the building was being demolished.

“People would come from miles around to have their tractors and cars fixed there,” said Jeannine. “And if he didn’t have a part they needed, he’d make it.”

Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission Michigan
Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission | Jane Boursaw Photo

Though the building has sat vacant for many years, it was recently used as a storage area for the Peter Dougherty Society. The group used it to sort and catalog items from the historic Dougherty House, which just opened as a museum to the public.

Earlier this year, it was being considered to house an un-manned station for the Peninsula Fire Department. When it was determined that the building would require extensive restoration, the Township decided to demolish it and build the fire station on Center Road, between Swaney Road and Tompkins Road, on land purchased from Barb and Don Switzer, who run the Switz-R-Land Christmas Tree farm.

The space where the building was located will likely be used for additional parking for Haserot Beach.

Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission Michigan
Lawrence Mlujeak Garage Demolished in Old Mission | Lisa LaBonte Photo

Do you have memories of Lawrence Mlujeak or his mechanic’s shop in Old Mission? Leave thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this story.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I was told back in the late 50’s or early 60’s that the Chris-Craft was owned by the then owners of the Old Mission Inn and used for guests’ excursions, etc.

    The garage was owned for a time by Carolyn Oxtoby, a long time summer resident and owner of some cherry farms in the area. My understanding is that she donated it to the township. She was an early champion of historic building preservation and was singlehandedly responsible for preservation and restoration of many historic properties in Springfield, Ill. She is still alive, and would be mortified to know that this building has been demolished. She certainly wouldn’t have donated it knowing this outcome.

  2. Like Tim, I remember the sleek old boat. We used to play on it while attending the square dance lessons at the township hall. As a kid Lawrence guided me as I tore down my old Sea King 5, learned much from him, a great guy.

    • Thank you Mort Hyslop for sharing your memory. Lawrence was my Grandfather and I spent a lot of time with him at his home garage after he was long retired.

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