Peter Dougherty House on the Old Mission Peninsula
Peter Dougherty House on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The good folks who care for the Dougherty Mission House have been busy this year. After many years of working to restore the historic house – built in 1842 by Rev. Peter Dougherty as part of his mission work with the Native Americans on Old Mission Peninsula – the house opened this year as a historical, educational and cultural center, as well as a museum.

On June 15, 2019, the house was officially dedicated, and more than 150 people attended the ceremony and toured the house and outbuildings. Read more about the opening and dedication here.

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Since then, more than 750 visitors, representing 30 states and ten foreign countries, have toured the property and written many positive comments in the guest log. Donations and tour fees have generated approximately $2300 this year.

Looking Ahead

But there is still work to be done. Both funds and volunteers are needed to maintain the house and property, and make improvements to enhance the viewing experience of visitors. Here are a few tasks the Dougherty Board is looking to accomplish:

  • Paint and repair the exteriors and interiors of the house and outbuildings
  • Monitor and repair any issues with the mechanics, electricity and plumbing
  • Manage the lawn, clear the trail, and remove trees, as necessary
  • Add appropriate lighting
  • Purchase display cabinets
  • Generate needed signage and increase publicity
  • Clean the cedar shingles on all the buildings every four to five years

The Dougherty Mission House is a treasure trove of Old Mission Peninsula history, and the restoration could not have happened without the generous support of hundreds of individuals and foundations.

If you are so inclined, consider making a donation to the Peter Dougherty Society, P.O. Box 101, Old Mission, MI 49673, or by donating on their website here. The society is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible for federal tax reporting.

Become a Dougherty Board Member

The Peter Dougherty Society Board of Directors is eager to expand its membership. Now that the restoration of the house is complete, the role of the Board has changed. They are seeking people who will guide the effort to maintain the house and property, and help shepherd the house through long-term maintenance.

If you’re interested in the preservation of this historical treasure and would like to join the board and/or lead their public relations efforts or serve as secretary or treasurer, contact board member Chris Rieser, [email protected].

The Dougherty Mission House is located at 18459 Mission Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. While the house is now closed for regular tours through the winter, tours may be scheduled for groups by appointment. Contact Connie Sargent, (231) 223-8866, or [email protected].

Read more about the Dougherty House at the Peter Dougherty Society website here.

Peter Dougherty Mission House on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peter Dougherty Mission House on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

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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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