Twilight at Old Mission Harbor | Jane Boursaw Photo
Twilight at Old Mission Harbor | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(Editor’s Note: Dave Middlemas has a few thoughts about the winery lawsuit filed by 11 Old Mission Peninsula wineries. Read on… -jb)

I’m writing to express my concern about the lawsuit brought by a group of 11 wineries to greatly expand and change the Township Ordinances governing their operations. As I understand it, among other things, the requested changes include:

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  • Allowing creation of a winery on any 5-acre property zoned agricultural (there are close to 100 of them in the Township)
  • Alcohol service from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. (remember when you couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays until after 12 p.m.?)
  • Concerts until 2 a.m.
  • Wine-tasting facilities of any size
  • The ability to build up to four houses on each 5-acre site for employees
  • Catering and food truck operations
  • Etc.

My family history in Old Mission traces back to 1900, when my grandparents, Albert and Emily Prescott, purchased “The Pines” and a nearby farm. I have been going there regularly almost every year since I was a baby (and that’s a long time ago!).

I always look forward to my arrival there – catching my first glimpse of Old Mission Harbor as we approached Lardie’s store and post office (and it’s still Lardie’s to me). Living in Chicago when I was young, Old Mission was so peaceful, bucolic and relaxing – heaven on earth.

The changes demanded by the group of wineries are a direct threat to the very things about Old Mission that we hold dear, and I certainly hope that the Township can prevail. It seems to me that the existing ordinances were designed to prevent the types of things that are now being demanded.

For all of us old time residents, full time or seasonal, I hope the wineries are not successful.

Read Also…

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


  1. and when the Prescott’s bought The Pines, they got there by horse and buggy. and when the Dutch settled New Amsterdam it too was peaceful and bucolic. NYC tpday? not so much. when the Baron first saw Napa valley he said to himelf, ‘this is gonna be big’. Ed O’Keefe said the same about OMP. Stuff changes. Think of it as Manifest Destiny or try to ‘hold back the dawn’.

  2. NYC and Napa are perfect examples of places that have become miserable places to live. If you live in either place, traffic, noise and insanely high taxes are the rule of the day. We don’t want that and it’s foolish to think we can’t stop if from happening. It only happens if it is allowed to happen.

  3. 11 wineries should not be able (nor want too) sour the setting for the rest of the OMP residents. Just because grapes will grow here is no reason to have to party in the neighborhood. Maybe the wineries could purchase tasting rooms next to some of the pot shops in TC “proper”- ? The grapes, cherries and neighbors might all be happier.


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