New Barn Roof Installed on Old Mission Peninsula; Ben Shaw Woodworker | Jane Boursaw Photo
New Barn Roof Installed on Old Mission Peninsula; Woodworker Ben Shaw | Jane Boursaw Photo
Feel free to share this post...

Bluff Road Decertified. At their March 23 meeting, the Grand Traverse County Road Commission voted unanimously to decertify the portion of Bluff Road that’s been closed due to erosion since January of 2020. Read more here, including what happened at the February meeting of the Township Board.

Buy Local Apple Cider Vinegar. Peninsula Market is now carrying fresh apple cider vinegar made locally right here on the Old Mission Peninsula. Jeff Kane and Cassandra Lynn own the old Herkner farm on Center Road just south of Fire Station 2, and they make a variety of health and beauty items, including donkey milk soap, bath products and vinegar. I wrote about them here, and check out their website here. That’s their adorable daughter Harper in the photo below.

Old Mission Gazette is Reader Supported.
Click Here to Keep the Gazette Going.

OMP News - Local Apple Cider Vinegar from Little Long Ears Provisions is available at Peninsula Market | Little Long Ears/Jane Boursaw Photo
Locally-Made Apple Cider Vinegar from Little Long Ears Provisions is available at Peninsula Market | Little Long Ears/Jane Boursaw Photo

Peninsula Grill Hiring and a Johnny Rock Update. Peninsula Grill is hiring servers, bartenders, hosts and kitchen staff for the upcoming busy season. Apply in person or at their website here.

Also, on March 15, Johnny “Rock” Rokos‘ daughter Jennifer posted an update on Facebook following his stroke in February. “He is eating, drinking and as you can see, holding the cup on his own!” she said. “I was told he is brushing his own teeth, starting to follow commands and has been out of restraints for almost a week.”

She said he has incredible nurses caring for him who’ve helped him make “leaps and bounds in progress.” “This is the start of great progress and new opportunities for Dad,” she said. “We fight for him everyday as hard as he is fighting for himself. Thank you for continued prayers and support … definitely can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Library Fundraiser a Success. At their annual “Books at the Boathouse” fundraiser (their 17th year) and live auction (MC’d by Up North Live‘s hilarious Marc Schollett), Peninsula Community Library (PCL) brought in $18,000 to help pay for books, programming and more.

Auction items included a sailboat cruise, ten weeks of homemade desserts, after-hours time at the library, a gourmet meal for six and more. The delicious multi-course meal was donated by Boathouse owners Doug and Erin Kosch. Here are a few pics from the fun event. On the left is PCL Director Vicki Shurly with Marc Schollett. If he ever decides to give up the news anchor business, he has a great career as a comedian ahead of him.

The 17th Annual "Books at the Boathouse" took place on March 22, 2023; PCL Director Vicki Shurly and Auction MC Marc Schollett are pictured left | Jane Boursaw Photos
The 17th Annual “Books at the Boathouse” took place on March 22, 2023; PCL Director Vicki Shurly and Auction MC Marc Schollett are pictured left | Jane Boursaw Photos

OMP Barn Gets a New Roof. It’s always exciting to see old barns restored, especially old barns on the OMP. Remember how excited I was when my brother and sis-in-law, Dean and Laura Johnson, had a new roof put on their barn? And a new door and siding and paint restoration installed on the “home farm” barn?

Well, just down the road from these barns, a new barn roof is being installed on the north side of the Hogsback on Center Road. I’ve always known this place as “the parsonage,” because it was where OMP United Methodist Church always housed their pastors (and after that, my pal Marge Long lived there with her family). I believe that woodworker Ben Shaw now lives there with his wife Celia.

Update: However! Marge notes that the barn was actually part of Dale Christopher’s farm, and it’s still part of that parcel of land, which I believe is now owned by the O’Briens. I have more info on this coming up, including from the owners – stay tuned!

New Barn Roof Installed on Old Mission Peninsula; Ben Shaw Woodworker | Jane Boursaw Photo
New Barn Roof Installed on Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

Bayshore and Festival of Races Approved. At their March 14 meeting, the Township Board approved the Bayshore Marathon (May 27) and Festival of Races (July 8). These routes will be much the same as previous years, with the Bayshore runners turning around at the road closure on Bluff Road. The Traverse City Triathlon is still in the works but has not yet been approved (the organizers need more time before submitting it to the Township).

Nancy Davy, president of the Old Mission Women’s Club, was at the meeting and commented that the Bayshore Marathon would not be renewing the club’s cookies this year, as the runners are generally more interested in snacks like fruits and veggies. For many years, the club has made cookies to be distributed to the runners, and this is a big fundraiser for the club’s charitable projects. Bayshore reps at the meeting offered to cut a check for $3500 to the club – the amount they’ve been paid in previous years – and will work with the club on other ways they can be involved.

As a side note, Township Clerk Becky Chown suggested that the Women’s Club make home-made protein bars, and even has some recipes they make at their house. I’ll get with Becky and see if she’d be ok with posting a recipe or two here on the Gazette (I’m always looking for healthy trail snacks!). Update: Check out a couple of recipes here.

Zoning Administrator News. Also at the March 14 meeting, it was announced that Zoning Administrator Christina Deeren is no longer employed by Peninsula Township (I don’t have any further details on this). The Township is in the process of re-organizing the zoning and planning departments, and Planner Jenn Cram will serve as interim zoning administrator until other zoning staff is hired.

If you are interested in applying for the position of Planning and Zoning Administrator, there’s a job description on the home page of the Township ​website here. This person will work under the Director of Planning and Zoning to assist with a variety of tasks, including reviewing proposals for special use permits and site plans, evaluating land use permit applications, assisting the Land Division Review Committee with processing and reviewing applications, answer inquiries regarding zoning matters, draft correspondence, maintain records, work with the Code Enforcement Officer to investigate complaints, act as staff liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals and more. If you have questions, email Township Clerk Becky Chown, [email protected]. Deadline to apply is May 20, 2023.

Spring on the OMP? Well, Spring officially began on March 20, 2023, but here it is March 25, and it appears that Winter has something to say about that. We are in the middle of a big snowstorm at the moment – although it does seem unlikely that the bay will freeze over this year. Here’s a pic I took of my woodpile this morning.

Jane's Snowy Woodpile; March 25, 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jane’s Snowy Woodpile; March 25, 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Junior Kindergarten? Take the Survey. Old Mission Peninsula School is looking at the idea of having a Junior Kindergarten next fall. But they need your feedback to see if there’s interest and whether they can fill a classroom. Take the survey here.

In order to qualify for Junior Kindergarten, a child must turn 5 by December 1st. This would be a full-day, 5-day-a-week, tuition-free program, and would serve as a precursor to Kindergarten the following year. The program is designed for children who might benefit from an additional year of Kindergarten.

Junior Kindergarten at Old Mission Peninsula School | OMPS Photo
Junior Kindergarten at Old Mission Peninsula School | OMPS Photo

Bud Stych Memorial Service News. I recently posted about the passing of my longtime friend Bud Stych, and now I have service information to pass along. A funeral service honoring his life will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home beginning at 11 a.m. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until the beginning of the service. Bud’s final resting place will be the Bohemian Cemetery on Neahtawanta Road. Reynolds-Jonkhoff is located at 305 Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Paulette Kloes Memorial Service News. A beloved OMP neighbor and friend to all, Paulette Kloes, has passed away. Paulette was awaiting a double lung transplant and passed away while at the University of Michigan Hospital on March 21, 2023.

Visitation will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road, on Wednesday, March 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. a Mass of Christian burial will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon. The service will also be livestreamed at St. Joseph’s website here.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church or to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,

I will always remember Paulette as a great Bluff Road neighbor to Tim’s mom, a devoted volunteer with the Old Mission Women’s Club, and a fierce defender of re-opening the Bluff Road closure. Watch the Reynolds-Jonkhoff website for a full obituary.

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. Christina is now over at Mansfield Land Use Consultants as “Director of Permitting”. Word is, she was let go for not being strict enough! Township gave her no notice, and made no plans for clearing the back load letting her go caused.

    Old Mission has really developed an awful reputation for red tape, and unclear processes. Now to build anything on your own property, the township suggests Mansfield to do your site plan etc…..No conflicts there.

    Even Mr. Olson had to sue them over a simple deck permit in order to get any action on it. This is what happens when “officials” get to play with other peoples monies. Imagine if the dept heads lost a portion of their salary for every failed lawsuit. When you call any of the property attorneys in town, their immediate responses shouldn’t have to be “Sue them, its the only way”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.