(Editor’s Note: In January of 2022, Peninsula Community Library and the Old Mission Peninsula community received an amazing gift when Bob Panter, former principal of Old Mission Peninsula School (OMPS), dropped off several boxes of slides chronicling life at the school in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. I was completely GIDDY when I learned about it – Mr. Galligan! The Talent Show! That stupid climbing rope in the gym! – and after sifting through the photos myself, decided I couldn’t just do one big photo gallery post and call it good. So look for upcoming stories about individual photos and their backstory in the Gazette, starting with this one of Mrs. Hilt and the girls basketball team in the 1960s. Below, Mary Morgan, Librarian for the Local History Room at Peninsula Community Library, tells us how the photos came to be. Mary, we are so lucky to have you preserving our community’s history! Thanks for all you do, and for organizing all the OMP archives everyone brings to you. -jb)
January 25th of last year was a lucky day for Peninsula Community Library and our Old Mission Peninsula community! On that day, former OMPS Principal Robert Panter visited our Library to donate boxes and boxes of 35 mm slides to our Local History Room collection.
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The slides were of student life at OMPS from the 1960s to the 1980s, including some rare photos of five of our one-room schoolhouses. Scenes captured include science fairs, pep rallies, parade floats, talent shows, playground activities and classroom sessions.
When the school was getting ready for renovation, Mr. Panter found these slides stuffed into a box hidden away under the bleachers in the school gym. The staff declined to keep the slides, so he saved them from the trash barrel by taking them home, where they have sat tucked away for 20 years.
Learning of our Local History Room, Mr. Panter contacted Library Director Vicki Shurly and asked if she would be interested in these materials. Of course, the answer was a resounding YES. When she saw the extent of the collection, however, she silently despaired. There were thousands of slides. How were these ever going to get digitized so that they were usable to the general public?
Once again, fate came to the rescue. A local resident was looking for a volunteer project, and she was computer savvy. The Library had a scanner, she had a computer, and the rest is history (no pun intended). Paula Kelley began scanning more than 2000 slides during the winter months, completing the task in mid-July of last year.
Due to Paula’s efforts and the capabilities of the Traverse Area District Library’s technical manager, Scott Morey, this collection is now accessible in TADL’s digital Local History Collection here.
We are so grateful for Robert, Paula and Scott’s contributions. Hopefully, if you attended OMPS in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, there might be a photo of you!
-Mary Morgan, Local History Room Librarian at Peninsula Community Library
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