Old Mission Tavern on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Tavern on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Here’s a roundup of news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula. Got news? Send it to me – email [email protected] or text (231) 590-4715.

Barb Wunsch consults on new Ann Patchett Book. A while back during a hike on the north end, Barb Wunsch relayed that she was a consultant on author Ann Patchett’s new book, Tom Lake. The book was released on August 1, and Ann will be talking about it tomorrow at the City Opera House as part of the National Writers Series (get tickets here). Erin Whiting, who works for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and helped Ann research the book, will be interviewing her.

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From Amazon“In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.”

Tom Lake is a book club pick of Reese Witherspoon, so who knows – the OMP might end up in a TV or streaming series. Start practicing your red carpet poses, Barb!

Ann has recently talked about the book and the cherry farm inspiration/Michigan setting in recent interviews, including NPR, the New York Times and the L.A. Times. Thanks to my friend, Beth Milligan, head writer for The Ticker (and OMP resident), for sending along the info.

Barb Wunsch, right, consulted on Ann Patchett's (left) new book, Tom Lake
Barb Wunsch, right, consulted on Ann Patchett’s (left) new book, Tom Lake

Old Mission Tavern update. I’ve had so many questions about the status of the Old Mission Tavern – When will it open again? Is it for sale? What’s the scoop? I caught up with Kaile Bartnick, who teaches at OMPS and is married to Joe Bartnick. The Tavern has been in the Bartnick family since back when it was The Mission Freeze and they served ice cream out the side window and had a pool table in the main room.

Kaile says that Joe and his family are taking a little sabbatical from the restaurant and enjoying the summer. She says it’s been challenging to find employees, but they’re talking about re-opening either this fall or in the spring. And, “It’s still in the family and it’s not for sale!” she notes.

So there you have it. We all look forward to some of that tasty prime rib, clam chowder and key lime pie whenever you decide to open!

Old Mission Tavern closed til April | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Tavern closed | Jane Boursaw Photo

Fire Department at Buchan’s. The Peninsula Township Fire Department will be at Buchan’s Blueberry Hill tomorrow, August 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. Buy yourself and the family some delicious home-made ice cream and meet the crew. They’ll have their equipment there for tours, too. Buchan’s is located at 1472 Nelson Road.

Peninsula Fire Department; Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Fire Station 3, March 22, 2021 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department | Jane Boursaw Photo

Book Sale. The annual Used Book Sale, hosted by the Friends of PCL, is happening right now at Peninsula Community Library. You’ll find something for everyone from infants to seniors, including books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, games and more. Here are the remaining dates and times…

  • August 11: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • August 12: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • August 14: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • August 15: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – HALF OFF DAY
  • August 16: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – $5/BAG DAY
  • August 16: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. – CHARITY GIVEAWAY to schools, senior centers, nursing homes, incarceration centers, Little Free Libraries, etc.

I stopped by yesterday and took a few pics…

Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Happy volunteers at the Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Library Director Vicki Shurly and Nancy Tucker at the Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Community Library Used Book Sale, August 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Informational Meeting on Charter Townships. The idea of Peninsula Township becoming a charter township has been floating around for a while. What are the advantages and disadvantages? How would it happen? And do we want it to happen? There will be a special township meeting on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Township attorneys from Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes will present an informational session on the pros and cons of charter townships versus general law forms of township government. If you can’t make it to the meeting, it will be available for viewing on the Township’s YouTube channel.

Township Trustee resigns. Warren Wahl, who was elected as a trustee to the Peninsula Township Board in 2016, has submitted a letter of resignation. He notes, “I have realized I am no longer able to give the time commitment this board and the Peninsula Township residents deserve.” This leaves a vacancy on the Board, and the township is currently accepting letters of interest and resumes for the position. To qualify for township trustee, a person must be a township elector, but property ownership is not required. An elector is defined as someone 18 years of age who is a U.S. citizen and has lived at least 30 days in the township for which they will serve. Submit materials to [email protected] no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Also Read…

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

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  1. Do we really want a person not elected by us to become the top official in our community? Isaiah is doing just great as supervisor.

  2. Curt – a good overview but there are additional considerations. As a charter township form of government, you cannot legally be annexed. A general township (our present status), can be annexed. If you are worried about tax increases, think about the south half of the township being annexed by Traverse City. That should really be concerning, especially if the wineries get their way and our agricultural zoning is eliminated by its lawsuit, which is WOMP’s intent. OMP will simply becomes a commercial enterprise zone. It’s time to hire one or more full time professionals to answer to us through our elected trustees. It’s time to acknowledge that our township is past the time to be run by volunteers. It’s time to fully protect our cultural and agricultural heritage. It’s time to adopt charter township status.

  3. Michael- you should know that there are no volunteers on the Board they are all compensated quite well. It is my understanding that the non office holders are paid $7500 a year each. The office holders get substantially more and of course recently voted themselves raises on top of raises just a couple of years ago.
    It is also my understanding that any annexation has to be approved by the voters in the area to be annexed.
    So let’s put both those issues to rest. The fact remains that we do not need another bunch of bureaucrats here, especially any that do not answer directly to the voters. How many assistants will be needed. The clerk and the treasurer have assistants. Will this new manager need them as well. We certainly do not want more tax increases. Speaking of which I and others have asked how much of the administrative fee is actually spent collecting taxes, still no answer to that. I believe they collect several hundred thousand dollars a year. When this idea was proposed it was not vetted by the taxpayers and rushed through with no real notice. At the time our treasurer stated that there would be a review of how much money was needed and reassessed as to the fee. It’s been three years and still no review. I asked at the last township meeting that we get an answer to that question, let’s see what their response is.
    So in sum, I see no benefit to this idea. I can not wait for our outside counsel who is constantly enriched by the township to explain how it helps us and him (given all the legal memos he may have to write.)
    Plain and simple this ranks right up there with other ill conceived ideas put forth by the township.

    • Lou – I understand the pay structures. I contend they remain “volunteers”
      given the unselfish hours they devote to the township and its residents.
      Seriously Lou, would you agree to accept $7,500 yearly to listen to some residents speak gibberish on their weekly Tuesday night rants? I suggest neither you nor I would sit in a trustee’s chair for their pay. They are true public “servants”, we should honor not demean them.
      If you are interested in improving township government, you should start by re-considering your views on Charter townships.

      • MIke I have to laugh, is listening to me or others for three minutes really pose such a burden. Many times people have very valid points which usually are met with silence and never discussed.
        I am afraid that there is nothing good that can come by having a charter township. If it is so great why have most townships ignored it. To me it’s another way to cut out the little bit of citizen input we have.
        So let’s agree to disagree. I always am willing to listen to all sides and can be persuaded if the arguments make a good case. So far your argument seems to be to relieve the township officials from responsibilities as elected officials. You also argue that the lower part of the peninsula could be annexed. This can only happen if the residents down there agree. I wonder what you would think of the idea of the upper part of the peninsula where all the ag land is located pulling out of the township and forming our own village. Then the farmers would truly be in control of their destinies and livelihood. Remember most farmers disagreed with the new processing ordinance. The provisions of that ordinance are another nail in the coffin of farmers who, as the recent Detroit Free Press article pointed out, are up against it when it comes to cherry farming.


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