Lighthouse volunteer and OMP local Ken Pratt with Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lighthouse volunteer and OMP local Ken Pratt with Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Did you know that we have a Lighthouse Keepers program here on the Old Mission Peninsula? Yes, it’s true. You and/or a friend can stay at Mission Point Lighthouse and do cool lighthouse things. Find out more here.

Well, two years ago, Lighthouse Keeper David Ewing asked the Mission Point Lighthouse Keepers Association (MPLKA), “Do you have any thoughts about a fundraising project, and what would you do with the money?” Their answer was to have a telescope viewer overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay toward Omena — connecting the “Old Mission” (our Peninsula) to the “New Mission” on the Leelanau Peninsula.

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Fast-forward two years, and on May 18, 2024, the non-coin-operated “SeeCoast Mark III Telescope Viewer” was dedicated for the enjoyment of all visitors to the Lighthouse. It was a perfect sunny day, as a small crowd gathered for the dedication, followed by an ice cream social featuring Buchan’s famous ice cream.

The new SeeCoast Mark III Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Jane Boursaw Photo
The new SeeCoast Mark III Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Jane Boursaw Photo

Here’s a video of Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz dedicating the new viewer…

A big thanks to four significant donors for turning the telescope dream into a reality:

  • DTE Energy
  • Cindy and David Ewing, Lighthouse Keepers and supporters who asked the initial question.
  • John and Pat Fraifogl, long-time patrons and supporters of the Lighthouse.
  • Ira and Anne Kreft, MPLKA Membership Chairperson, Keepers, Greeters and financial supporters of the Lighthouse for years.

The MPLKA also wishes to thank Township Treasurer Marge Achorn for her support of the Lighthouse and assistance in securing DTE Energy’s Community Project funding to acquire the telescope viewer. Ownership of the new telescope has been transferred to the Peninsula Township Parks Committee.

From the MPLKA:

“We also want to give special recognition to Matthew Snoven and the Scouts from Troop 34, First Congregational Church. Their dedication and hard work in creating the pathway from the sidewalk to the viewer, as part of Matthew’s Eagle Scout Project, has not just been instrumental but truly inspiring in making this event possible.

“Lastly, we want to thank Greg Schultz, from Schultz Construction, for his generous donation of time and energy to install the SeeCoast Mark III telescope viewer.”

Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo
Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo
Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo
Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo
Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo
Scouts BSA Troop 34 installed the trail for the new Telescope Viewer at Mission Point Lighthouse | Eaton Photo

Consider joining the Mission Point Lighthouse Keepers Association, which was formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit in January 2021 in order to fund new projects that would increase the knowledge and connection to history that the lighthouse offers, as well as pursue the mission of preserving, promoting, and educating the public about historic lighthouses and making Mission Point Lighthouse accessible to everyone.

Some of their upcoming projects include:

  • Purchasing and installing a grave marker in Monroe, Michigan, for Lighthouse Keeper Sarah Lane, in cooperation with the Peter Dougherty Society.
  • Hosting the Lighthouse Wine Bottle Label Competition on June 1, in cooperation with Left Foot Charley. Learn more here.
  • Creating a marker to display the historical significance of the Old Mission Point, in cooperation with the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society. We’ll keep you posted on that.
Lighthouse volunteer and OMP local Ken Pratt with Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lighthouse volunteer and OMP local Ken Pratt with Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz | Jane Boursaw Photo

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SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: 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. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

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