Here’s a roundup of recent news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula…
Flowers on Brinkman Road. In April, I mentioned that the Manigolds were planting flowers in the field along Brinkman Road. They are farming that parcel for the owners, and planted wildflowers and milkweed as part of a program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to attract and nurture the bee and butterfly population.
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I haven’t seen a lot of flowers there yet this year, so I checked with Jeff Manigold to get the scoop. He said the weeds kind of took over this year, but the flowers are mostly perennial, so that field should look more like their Center Road wildflower parcel in a year or two.
It’s getting late in the season, so the flowers are waning, but here’s a photo I took today of the Center Road wildflowers looking north towards Swaney Road.
Center Road House Gets a Makeover. Have you noticed the little house on the right past Old Mission Tavern as you’re heading north? It’s had a makeover and is now a cheery red color.
Sonja and Bret Richards, who own Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm next door, purchased the property and are already busy planting lavender there. Stop by their farm and gift shop at 17770 Center Road for all things lavender. You can also buy items from their online store here.
Bluff Road Erosion. In this week’s installment of “Crumbling Roads on the OMP,” the Grand Traverse County Road Commission did some work on the erosion on the south end of Bluff Road that I mentioned a couple weeks ago.
Smokey Hollow Woods. I’ve had a lot of inquiries about what’s happening with the woods on Smokey Hollow Road, about a mile south of the Old Mission Road intersection. The owners have been busy clearing trees there most of the spring and summer, and a couple of new roads have been built into the woods. A few days ago, we noticed a “For Sale” sign at the property, and you can see that listing here.
At first, I thought they’d messed up the listing, because some of the photos are for the Smokey Hollow property, and the rest are for a protected parcel behind the Old Mission General Store which cannot be built on.
Turns out that both parcels are listed together, so whomever buys it will have the building site for their home on Smokey Hollow Road (7.28 acres), and also the three acres with 170 feet of shared frontage on East Bay behind the store. Here are some photos of the Smokey Hollow property.
By the way, next to that parcel behind the store, there’s a new pole building there, and it’s the first change to that property in both Tim’s and my lifetime. He grew up in the little house next to the pole barn and recalls walking across the field in 1960 with my brother Dean to see that new red-headed Johnson baby.
Anyway, the house now has a sign noting, “Old Mission Men’s Club, Members Only, est 1839.” We’re kind of hoping the opportunity presents itself for us to buy that house back and live out the rest of our lives there. Just putting that out there.
Unidentified Flying Person. If you’ve noticed a loud whirring sound overhead lately, look up. It might be this guy we spotted flying around Bowers Harbor the other day. We saw him from the boat launch, as he made his way across the harbor towards Neahtawanta Resort.
Hard to tell from my not-great phone photo, but he was sitting in some sort of chair with a motor on it. For now, we’ll call him a “Wind Rider.” If this is you, or if you have more info, tell us in the comments section below.
Lighthouse News. Ginger Schultz, manager of Mission Point Lighthouse, reports that the lighthouse was closed for tours for about 18 months due to the winter season and Covid-19 restrictions. They opened for self-guided tours in May 2021, and in August, received a $10,000 donation from an Ohio visitor.
Future plans include replacing crumbling sidewalks, replacing and improving the boardwalk and steps to the beach, building a historic barn and beach house, and more. She thanks Peninsula Township Parks Committee member Pete Dahl and volunteers for clearing the trails of fallen timber. If you’d like to help with that project or others around the lighthouse grounds, contact Ginger at [email protected].
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