Lighthouse Trail on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lighthouse Trail on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Feel free to share this post...

Things continue to change drastically from one day to the next regarding the COVID-19/Corona Virus pandemic that’s sweeping the globe. Here’s more info about the virus from Grand Traverse County, along with the first set of OMP closings and cancellations.

Earlier today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order closing all Michigan bars and restaurants, except for takeout/delivery, from 3 p.m. today until the end of the day on March 30. This order also includes numerous other types of public businesses, including wineries and breweries. See the full list below.

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

How You Can Help

I’ve had numerous people contact me asking how they can help regarding community meal deliveries, shopping, etc. First, check on your neighbors, especially elderly neighbors, and make sure they’re ok. If you are able, offer to pick up a few groceries, run errands, or whatever they need.

If the need is more than you can handle, reach out to your church and see if they have a plan in place to help support the community. For my church, Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church, Wendy Warren has offered to take calls for anyone needing groceries, etc., and will work with the church folks to make sure needs are met. Wendy’s number is (231) 590-2363. The church phone is also being monitored – that number is (231) 223-4393.

Update on Bob and Vicki Shurly

If you’ve been following the unexpected travel adventures of Peninsula Community Library Director Vicki Shurly and her husband, Bob, they are still floating on the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean. They’ve been turned away from several possible ports, but the lastest news is that they are re-fueling in American Samoa and then heading to Hawaii to hopefully disembark and find a way home from there. Read the latest updates here and here.

OMP Cancellations and Closings

As for closings on the Old Mission Peninsula, pretty much everything is shut down. Here we go with the latest news… If you have cancellations or closures to add, email me at [email protected].

Peninsula Township Offices – From Office Manager Susan Piehl: Peninsula Township offices are closed until further notice, and the staff is working from home. Check out for updates.

Peninsula Fire Department – from Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff: “Effectively immediately, the Peninsula Township Fire Department will be closing our doors to the public except in the event of an emergency. The department will still be responding to all calls for help. We are asking the public that if they need to do business with the fire department, do it by phone, if at all possible. With the increasing risk of the Covid-19 virus, the department is taking many precautionary steps to ensure the safety of both our firefighters and the general public. One of these steps is social distancing, which limits our exposure to others. Please be assured that we are still here for you and will respond to ALL calls for emergencies. Please make sure you are giving 911 dispatchers all pertinent information so we can not only protect ourselves, but also protect you. The fire department will continue to disperse information about the Corona Virus situation through the Peninsula Township website and our Facebook page. Please be patient as we all work to get through this and follow good personal hygiene to protect yourself and those around you. If you have any questions, please call us at (231) 223-4443. Respectfully, Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff, (231) 463-0330.

Bad Dog Deli and Peninsula Grill: Although their dine-in options are closed due to the Governor’s orders, they remain open for carry-out orders. You may either place your order by phone or in person. “Thank you for your patience and support through these trying times,” say owners Mark and Jennifer Davies.

  • For Bad Dog Deli Orders: Call (231) 223-9364. In addition to their sandwiches, soups and salads, they will offer pizza to-go starting tomorrow, March 17. The Deli will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm. Check out their menu here.
  • For Peninsula Grill Orders: Call (231) 223-7200. Their full menu can be found at Take out orders are available Monday through Thursday, 4-8 pm, and Friday through Sunday, 12-8 pm.

The Boathouse Restaurant: They are closed starting today, per Gov. Whitmer’s orders. From their website: “We have decided to go ahead and close for the week and work on possible limited menu options for take out if this executive order remains in place for the coming weeks. We will update you on upcoming events and re-opening, as soon as this is available. We thank you so very much for your continued support, and we look forward seeing all of you in the dining room soon. Stay safe and calm.”

Old Mission Peninsula Wineries: While these establishments fall under Gov. Whitmer’s orders and are closed for in-person tastings and visits, most of the wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula have online ordering options, and I believe most will likely take orders and deliver them to your car via curbside deliveries at their establishments. Check their individual websites for more information. These can be found at

Neahtawanta Inn Reservations and Yoga Classes. Yoga teacher Sally Van Vleck has announced that she is suspending yoga classes until further notice. “In the meantime,” she says, “do your practice with the poses that work best for you. Don’t forget meditation and pranayama; very important during these stressful times.” Also, the Neahtawanta Inn is currently closed to guests, but they are taking reservations for spring, summer and fall. They are accepting bookings beginning in mid-April, with the understanding that the reservation might need to be canceled with no penalty, if the country is not in the clear at that time. They also offer gift certificates, for either a specific room or dollar amount. Contact them through the inn’s website (they can mail or email out gift certificates).

And here are the cancellations and closings we reported a few days ago:

Peninsula Community Library: The library is currently closed indefinitely, and all programming, including Pageturners Book Club, has been canceled through April 15. Check the library’s websiteFacebook and Instagram pages for updates. If you have questions, call the library at (231) 223-7700.

Old Mission Peninsula School: The school is closed from March 16 to April 5, per an order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Stay updated on the school’s website.

American Legion Dinners: The March 17 community dinner has been canceled. They are planning on having the regular dinner on April 7, but will assess the situation as the date draws closer. Stay up to date on their Facebook page.

Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church: Following the guidelines from the Bishop, there will be no in-person gatherings for the rest of March. This means no Sunday worship services, Bible study, ad board meetings, after-school kids’ programs or Lenten Soup Suppers. Pastor Zelphia Mobley is available during this time; call the parsonage at (231) 223-4141. Stay updated on their Facebook page. Note that they also have a drive-up prayer box on their south driveway. Feel free to write down your prayer concerns and drop them in that box so the church can pray for you. The church is located at 16426 Center Road.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse: All worship services, events and meetings are canceled until April 5, at which time they will assess the situation. They are working to have a live-stream in place by Sunday, March 22. If you have questions or would like support of meals or check-ins, email Pat Light, [email protected]. or call the church at (231) 947-3117. Stay updated on their website.

St. Joseph Catholic Church: By mandate of Bishop Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord, all public masses are suspended until April 6 or until further notice. The liturgies will be streamed, however, on the church’s website and on their Facebook page. Funerals may occur, provided there are a limited number of persons present – immediate family and a few friends. People in attendance should sit in a way that respects the “social distancing” guidelines. If this is not possible, consider postponing the funeral or memorial Mass to a later date. Weddings should observe the same protocols.

Old Mission Congregational Church: All worship services and programming are canceled through April 5.

First Congregational Church: Worship Service is canceled for Sunday, March 15, along with Rooted Middle School and High School Youth Groups, and the Easter Egg Stuffing after worship. Stay up to date on FCC cancellations here. (I have not heard – and it’s not listed on their website – whether they are holding services on March 22).

Old Mission Women’s Club: The next two meetings are canceled – March 19 and April 2. At this writing, the group will plan to meet for the April 16 meeting, which is the Appropriation Awards meeting. As the annual calendar is now condensed, the April 16 meeting will also include election of officers, presentation and approval of projects and fundraisers for 2020-2021, sign-up sheets for hostess committees, projects, fundraisers and committees, along with the Bayshore Marathon Cookies (May 23) and Garage Sale.

Tinker Studio: The art studio located in the office complex on Seven Hills Road reported on March 15 that they will be closed until Tuesday, April 7. That includes the gallery and all open studio sessions and scheduled classes.

Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society: The April 2 meeting and presentation by Scott Schwander, Memorial Officer for the Sons of Union Veterans, “Experiences in Researching, Cleaning and Providing Memorial Headstones,” has been canceled. Stay up to date on upcoming meetings on the Historical Society’s website.

Governor Orders Bars, Restaurants and other Public Spaces Closed

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order closing all Michigan bars and restaurants, except for takeout and delivery orders, effective at 3 p.m. today until the end of the day on March 30, 2020. This includes other public space facilities and events, including:

  • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other establishments offering on-premises consumption (takeout/delivery/drive-thru/walk-up service still allowed). This applies to private clubs, country clubs, golf clubs, boat or yachting clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.
  • Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption
  • Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption
  • Theaters, cinemas, and indoor and outdoor performance venues (the State Theatre and Bijou By the Bay closed earlier today)
  • Libraries and museums
  • Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas
  • Casinos licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, racetracks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, and Millionaire Parties licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board
  • Places of public amusement not otherwise listed above, including amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and similar facilities

At this writing, the order does not apply to the following businesses:

  • Office buildings
  • Grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, food pantries, and other establishments that sell food and beverages not for on-premises consumption
  • Providers of medical equipment and supplies
  • Healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities
  • Crisis shelters or similar institutions
  • Food courts inside the secured zones of airports
  • Warehouse and distribution centers
  • Industrial and manufacturing facilities
Haserot Beach on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Haserot Beach on the Old Mission Peninsula | 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



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.