Mourning Dove on the Old Mission Peninsula
Mourning Dove on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season for giving, and there are plenty of opportunities right here on the Old Mission Peninsula.

While today is known as #GivingTuesday, deemed by the Internet Gods as a day to give to your favorite worthy organizations, the OMP groups listed below appreciate your donations and support all year long.

Old Mission Gazette is Reader Supported.
Click Here to Keep the Gazette Going.

Here’s a round-up of organizations that could use your financial help, as well as your membership and volunteer time, if you’re so inclined.

If I’ve missed any groups, feel free to email me at [email protected], and I’ll add them to the list.


This non-profit 501(c)(3) organization oversees the Dougherty Historic Home Site located at 18459 Mission Road in the village of Old Mission, Michigan. The property consists of the home built by Reverend Peter Dougherty – a Presbyterian minister – in 1842, along with 15 acres of surrounding land.

Now part of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, the home and grounds recently opened to the public as a historical, cultural and educational center, and houses a multitude of artifacts and historical info about the Old Mission Peninsula.

Donations are tax deductible and help to preserve and maintain this important piece of Old Mission Peninsula history. Visit their website for more information or contact them at [email protected].

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Nancy Warne and Chris Rieser at the Dougherty Home; Log Cabin Day 2018 | Jane Boursaw Photo


Old Mission Gazette is a reader-supported newspaper covering the Old Mission Peninsula (you’re reading it right now, by the way!). We hope you’ll consider helping to support our mission of bringing you daily news, history, photos, events, meeting recaps and more.

Click here to make a donation to the Gazette, or click here to shop in our online store offering a variety of OMP tees, sweatshirts, hats and more. All proceeds from the store help support the Gazette. If you’re interested in advertising in the Gazette, click here.

Tim and I are devoted to our Old Mission Peninsula community (side note: both of our families have been here since the 1800s), and we’re ever grateful for every donation big and small to keep publishing the Gazette. If you have questions or story ideas, feel free to email me any time, [email protected].

OMG Donate 1020x580 Dec 2019


Founded in 1992 by a group of Old Mission Peninsula residents concerned about saving the Hessler Log Home (which was subsequently restored and moved to Lighthouse Park), the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society continues to work toward fulfilling its mission of preserving historical structures and keeping alive the rich history of the region, including hosting Log Cabin Day each year.

The group also joined with Peninsula Township to raise the money necessary to purchase and preserve the Peter Dougherty Homestead and surrounding 15 acres, which later evolved into the Peter Dougherty Society (see above). Consider joining the OMP Historical Society. I’m a member, and they offer excellent historical programs each month and great fellowship with other OMP residents. For more info, visit their website.

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Chris Rieser and Marty Klein replacing newly glazed windows in the Old Mission Log Church | OMP Historical Society Photo


If you’ve been following our stories about Peninsula Community Library over the past couple of years, you know that a brand new library opened this year on the corner of Center Road and Blue Water Road. This new “heart of the community” continues to offer great information, education, culture and entertainment to OMP residents, and also includes a community center with a hearing assistance loop and technology for multi-media presentations.

Peninsula Community Library has deep roots on the Peninsula, dating back to 1859, when books were housed in a private home. In 1910, the books were moved and apportioned to the seven one-room schoolhouses on the Peninsula, and in 1957, the library moved to the stage of the newly built Old Mission Peninsula School. Two years later in 1959, by vote of Peninsula Township residents, PCL became an independent township library as defined by the Library Law of the State of Michigan, and in 1984, it became a member of the Traverse Area District Library, while retaining their independent status as as township library. In 1990, a forward-looking PCL board (which included my mom, Mary Johnson, by the way!) purchased the land where the new library now sits.

Funds for the new library came from a variety of sources, including donors, grants and fundraisers, and library director Vicki Shurly noted in her column this month that she recently wrote the final check to Grand Traverse Construction.

“Yay!” you’re probably thinking. “We have a new community library, and we’re good to go!” Not so fast, my literary friends. While the new library is a done deal, they continue to need funds for ongoing building costs and maintenance. Learn how you can help support the library by visiting their new website (information is still being added to the “Friends of PCL” and Support pages) by calling the library, (231) 223-7700, or emailing [email protected]. Also check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Peninsula Community Library hosts reception for major donors on the Old Mission Peninsula
Library Director Vicki Shurly, left, anchor donor Nancy Davy, and LIbrary Board President Heatherlyn Johnson in front of the donor wall at the new Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo


The Garland-Tompkins American Legion Post 399, located at 4007 Swaney Road (near Haserot Beach), helps to support members of the Armed Services who are residents of the Old Mission Peninsula, including sending packages to troops. Read more about their long history on the OMP here, and why they need our support now more than ever.

The Legion hosts an annual Pig Roast every August to help with the expense of maintaining the Legion Hall and to pay off the construction of the Post Office addition. The American Legion Community Hall is also available for rent for small weddings, graduation open houses, baby showers and other community events.

You can also support the Legion by attending their family-style dinners on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Appetizers are served at 6 p.m., and the dinners start at 6:30 p.m. (although most residents arrive a little early to meet and visit with friends). For more information about donations, hall rental and events, call Mary Shultz, (231) 223-7721.

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Volunteers at the American Legion Pig Roast, August 2018 | Jane Boursaw Photo


This charitable, nonprofit organization was formed in 2016 to oversee the purchase of Old Mission Peninsula School (OMPS) from the Traverse City Area Public School system, which had made the decision to close the school. With generous donations from the community, the new OMPS – a charter school through Grand Valley State University – opened its doors in September 2018 to 142 students.

The new school also includes infant, toddler and preschool options for families through Angel Care Child Care. While donations made the charter school a reality, ongoing funding helps the foundation to continue its mission of supporting and enhancing quality educational programs on the Old Mission Peninsula. For more info, visit their website and Facebook page, or call (231) 252-0225.

OMPS Veterans Day 2019 at Old Mission Peninsula School
OMPS Veterans Day 2019 | Jane Boursaw Photo

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

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan



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