Here’s a roundup of recent news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula.
Dean and Laura’s Horses. I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve gotten about Dean and Laura’s horses on the corner of Center Road and Kroupa Road (my brother and sister-in-law). At least a few every week. I get the feeling that OMP residents didn’t just view them as Dean and Laura’s horses – they basically belonged to all of us, maybe because they were so visible in that pasture on the corner anchored by the red barn with the yellow star. There have been horses on that farm dating back to when Dean and Laura purchased the property from Ruth Rude – she and her husband, Walter, had Tennessee Walkers there.
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So, where ARE Dean and Laura’s horses? Sugar was the elderly horse with the swayback, and sadly, the time arrived when she needed to be put down. Summer is the horse you’ve seen many times here on the Gazette (here, here and here, for starters), and she went to some folks who used to have horses in the Johnson Farms’ home barn north of Mapleton.
While the absence of horses on the farm makes it easier for Dean and Laura to travel (they’re heading to Italy on a farm tour this fall), I haven’t seen Laura go too long without having a horse on the farm. So … who knows …?!
Two (?) Bears Spotted on the OMP. Well! This is news. If you’ve been reading the Gazette for a while, you know that at least one bear has been spotted on the OMP in the past few years – on Brad Wheat’s trailcam behind Craig’s Body Shop on Gray Road. Sometime after that, Tim and I were certain we saw a bear on the north end of Peninsula Drive, near the intersection of Swaney Road. But it was too far ahead in the distance to get any sort of photo.
This summer, someone spotted a bear near Old Mission Tavern. I figured it might be the same bear. How many bears could there be out here? How did they get here? Where did they come from? Anyway, now comes news that we might possibly have TWO bears on the OMP.
Below is a video of a bear that Spencer Fredlund spotted on his yard-cam on the night of Sept. 23. This was in the Mission Hills subdivision on the north end of Bluff Road. And below that is a screenshot of a bear sighting at Neahtawanta on Sept. 24. It’s definitey possible that it could be the same bear roaming around the OMP. My feeling is it might be two different bears. What say you? Leave a comment in the comments section at the bottom of this story.
Heads Up, 1963 Graduates of OMPS! Mary Jo (Solomonson) Lance is working on a reunion of people who graduated from Old Mission Peninsula School in 1963. If that’s you, or if you know of anyone, leave a comment at the bottom of this story, or reach out to Mary Jo on Facebook (@MJ.Lance.7).
Upcoming Events. Tonight is the monthly meeting of the OMP Historical Society, 6 p.m. at Peninsula Community Library. After a short business meeting, Emily Modrall will present a program on recent developments to the Old Indian Trail going from Traverse City to Cadillac. Emily is a member of the Traverse Area Historical Society.
Also, the OMP United Methodist Church is hosting their annual Harvest Dinner this Saturday, Oct. 8, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the church, 16426 Center Road. On the menu is Swiss Steak, potatoes, hot vegetables, rolls, beverages and the best home-made desserts from any Methodist church on the planet (and you know that’s saying something, because Methodists are known for their potlucks). Free will donations are accepted, and take-out orders are available by calling (231) 223-4393. And if you’d like to volunteer, just show up and they’ll put you to work!
Fall Color Tour. We are starting to get a little color around the OMP. I took this pic a few days ago on Center Road near Old Mission Tavern. My unscientific guesstimate is that we’ll have some nice color starting this weekend and continuing over the next week or two.
Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill. If you were at the Peninsula Grill on Friday, Sept. 30, maybe you were one of the throng of us swarming around the Rolls Royce cars in the parking lot. I spotted a Bentley there, too. I believe at one time they were under the same company umbrella, but split up in more recent years. So cool to see these beautiful cars on the OMP.
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 like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like 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 of course, 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 Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb