OMP News - Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo

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 …?!

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Summer, at Dean and Laura Johnson’s farm on the ccorner of Center Road and Kroupa Road | Jane Boursaw Photo

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.

Bear at Mission Hills Subdivision on the north end of Bluff Road
Bear spotted at Neahtawanta on the Old Mission Peninsula | Myers Trailcam
Bear spotted at Neahtawanta on the Old Mission Peninsula | Myers Trailcam

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.

OMP News - Color on Center Road near Old Mission Tavern | Jane Boursaw Photo
Color on Center Road near Old Mission Tavern | Jane Boursaw Photo

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.

Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
Rolls Royce Club at Peninsula Grill in Mapleton, Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo

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A lifelong resident of the Old Mission Peninsula, Jane grew up on a cherry farm (Johnson Farms), married the boy next door (Tim Boursaw), and raised two kids there (Will and Marissa). Her 35-year career as a photojournalist includes bylines with the New York Times and Ladies' Home Journal, and interviews with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. But she loves writing about the OMP most of all.

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