The Little Bookshop at Bowers Harbor Letterhead | Source: Terry Hooper of Hooper's Farm Gardens on the Old Mission Peninsula
The Little Bookshop at Bowers Harbor Letterhead | Source: Terry Hooper of Hooper's Farm Gardens on the Old Mission Peninsula
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I’m going to need some help on this one. Some time ago, Terry Hooper – who’s married to Bruce Hooper; they run Hooper’s Farm Gardens on Kroupa Road – sent me a picture of a letterhead for “The Little Bookshop at Bowers Harbor.”

Also on the letterhead is the name, “Florence Kneip,” with a phone number, “Mapelton, 14F2.” (That’s how Mapleton is spelled on the letterhead.) Also in the photo is a card for “The Little Bookstore of Bedford” (Indiana) Take a look…

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The Little Bookshop of Bowers Harbor Letterhead | Source: Terry Hooper of Hooper's Farm Gardens on the Old Mission Peninsula
The Little Bookshop at Bowers Harbor Letterhead | Source: Terry Hooper of Hooper’s Farm Gardens on the Old Mission Peninsula

I’d never heard of this bookshop, so after quizzing Terry, I did a little investigating. Florence Kneip was Deni Hooper’s mom (Bruce Hooper’s grandmother). According to her obituary in the Traverse City Record-Eagle (May 4, 1972), she passed away in 1972 at the age of 64 – at Munson Medical Center after a sudden illness.

Florence was born on August 11, 1907 in Montreal, Canada, the daughter of Alfred and Rhea Gulliver. She married Irwin Kneip on Feb. 8, 1929, in Flint.

She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church on the Old Mission Peninsula, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority (my mom’s sorority, by the way – I wonder if Mom knew that!), and a charter member of the Flint and Bedford (Indiana) Community Players.

Florence moved from Flint to Traverse City in 1945 and resided here until 1948. She then moved to Bedford, Indiana, where she lived for 20 years, returning to Traverse City in 1971, the year before she died. (I don’t remember much about her, but do recall Mom mentioning her here and there; I was 12 when Florence passed away.)

According to the obituary, Florence owned and operated “The Little Bookshop” for several years, both here and in Bedford. Here is a story in The Bedford Daily-Times Mail dated June 26, 1962, when she opened “The Little Bookshop of Bedford.” It notes that she previously operated book shops in Flint and Traverse City.

Florence Kneip's Little Bookstore in Bedford, Indiana | The Bedford Daily-Times Mail; June 26, 1962
Florence Kneip’s Little Bookshop of Bedford (Indiana) | The Bedford Daily-Times Mail; June 26, 1962

I also found this advertisement in the Traverse City Record-Eagle dated March 1, 1948. Apparently, she was presenting a free book review of “The Loud Red Patrick” by Ruth McKinney. It looks like Phyllis Fisher was maybe a co-owner of the shop(?).

Florence Kneip's Little Bookshop in Traverse City, Michigan | Traverse City Record-Eagle; March 1, 1948
Florence Kneip’s Little Bookshop in Traverse City, Michigan | Traverse City Record-Eagle; March 1, 1948

Note, however, that the address of Florence’s bookshop is 318 Wellington in Traverse City, in the alley – not Bowers Harbor, as noted on the letterhead at the top of this story.

So my question for OMPers: Do you remember Florence Kneip, and did she actually have a Bookshop at Bowers Harbor? If so, where was it?

Leave thoughts in the comments section below.

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 the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my 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. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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