Finding Aid of Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records

Dublin Core


Finding Aid of Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records


Traverse City, MI


Finding Aid of the Peninsula Historic Sites and Church record. Collection is part of the holdings of the Peninsula Community Library. Collection was processed and finding aid published in 2020.


Amy Barritt; Mary Morgan , 1860-


Local History Collections, Peninsula Community Library, Traverse City, MI


Traverse Area District Library




Peninsula Community Library staff


This document is protected by copyright law. Contact the Peninsula Community Library for permission to reproduce, display, or transmit this document.


Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records








Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

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Peninsula Community Library
Local History Collections
Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records, 1
2893 Island View Road Traverse City, MI 49686

Creator: Peninsula Township residents, Government, and 501c3 organizations
Title: Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records
Inclusive dates: 1820-2020
Bulk dates: 1860-1997
Extent: 3.5 linear feet
Call number: LHC 007 Pcl

Language: Material is in English
Acquisition: Anonymous donation.
Accruals: Periodic additions to the collection are expected.
Access: The collection is open without restriction.
Photographs: Volume 4, Volume 5, Box 4
A-V Material: None.
Digital Material: None.
Copyright: Copyright is held by the Peninsula Community Library.
Copyright for oral histories held by creators.
Processed By: Amy Barritt, 2013, 2014, 2017, Mary Morgan 2020, 2021

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The Peninsula Historic Sites and Church records include records created or collected by the Township government, Township residents, and members of 501c3 organizations, to formalize the history of the township’s Historic Sites and Churches and the people that have owned, worked, volunteered, or restored these sites. Series in the collection are: Church Histories, Dougherty Historic Home Site, Mission Point Lighthouse, Periodicals, Porter House, Reports and Hessler Log Cabin.


There are numerous historic sites located on the Peninsula that are owned by the Peninsula Township Government. These include:

 The Mission Point Lighthouse - resurrected from 15 years of abandonment by a group of Peninsula residents who collected monies in 1948 to purchase and preserve it. Originally built in 1870. Today it is surrounded by five acres of wooded Township land (purchased after WWII) and hundreds of acres of State land, all with miles of trails.

 The adjoining Hessler Log Cabin - a log home that was built in the1854-1856 timeframe in the southern part of the Old Mission Peninsula by early settlers Mary and Joseph Hessler. It was conceived to be moved to the Lighthouse Park in 1992, and was actually moved, repaired and furnished during 1993-1997.

 The Peter Dougherty House & Historic Site – named for Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian missionary minister who arrived in 1839 to establish a church and school for the Native Americans who inhabited the area. This area became known as Old Mission. The site contained a church, schoolhouse, bark houses, and cabins, as well as a frame house that was built in 1842 by Native Americans to house Reverend Dougherty and his family. Built of hemlock, it was the first frame house in Northwest Lower Michigan north of Grand Rapids.

 The Old Mission Church, which is a reproduction church, built in 1939 to commemorate the Centennial.

These government owned sites have been assisted in their preservation by 501(c)(3) volunteer supported organizations, including the Peter Dougherty Society, the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, and the Mission Point Lighthouse Friends (2014-2019).

Other privately owned historic locations include the Old Mission Inn (previously known as Hedden Hall and the Porter House), the Neahtawanta Inn, and the Old Mission General Store (previously known as Lardie’s Grocery).

The Peninsula also is home to numerous churches, including the St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church (formerly known as the

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Ogdensburg United Methodist Church). Both churches started out as much smaller country churches but are now housed in more modern structures in order to accommodate their growing congregations. Other churches include the Old Mission Congregational Church, the First Congregational Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse.

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Scope and Content Note

Church Histories include the history published by concerned members of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church to record the history of the institution, and scattered records and photographs of the Ogdensburg United Methodist Church.

Dougherty Historic Home Site includes history about the Peter Dougherty homestead and mission site, as well as information about the Peter Dougherty Pier archaeological site. The Pier, which was located ½ mile south of what is today known as Haserot Beach, was built in the early 1840’s. It opened up trade with fur merchants from Mackinac, as well as provided a means for bringing in supplies that were given in exchange for furs provided by the Indians.

Mission Point Lighthouse is a four-volume collection of compiled photocopied archival materials in January 2010. Compiled by the Old Mission Historical Society, these volumes are comprised of photocopies of letters, documents, reports, logbooks, drawing and photographs, documenting the history of the Mission Point Lighthouse. The collection was developed from the holdings of several private comprehensive record of the Lighthouse that is accessible to researchers. The collection is primarily organized chronologically except for materials that appear in the fourth volume. The collection was donated by the Society to the Library to promote use of the collection by community members.

Periodicals is a scattered collection of periodicals that mention some aspect of Old Mission Peninsula life and Grand Traverse County. Most of these have been collected by the Peninsula Community Library staff, and are locally published.

The Porter House was built in 1869 by George and Betsy Hedden, and was originally known as Hedden Hall. This 31 room hotel was also home to the Old Mission Post Office from 1869-1889. Sold to Alfred and Ella Porter in 1902, it became known as The Porter House. The hotel welcomed passengers that arrived at the docks at Old Mission Harbor. Purported guests include Babe Ruth and Joe Louis, circa 1936. The Porters also ran the Old Mission Citizens Telephone Company at this location from 1906-1926. The hotel changed hands in 1945 (sold to Norman and Doris Nevinger) and it became known as The Old Mission Inn. In 1998 another set of owners, Bruce and Angie Jensen, purchased the Inn.

Reports include primarily published reports on various topics, including information about artifacts from shipwrecks near Old Mission, as well as Newsletters from the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, which was founded in 1992.

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Hessler Log Cabin is a sequential collection of documents and photographs kept by Julianne Meyers, from the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society (OMPHS). The information spans the timeframe from when the idea was conceived to move the cabin to the Lighthouse Park (1992) to the dedication ceremony of the Historical Marker on August 18, 2001. Includes upkeep duties of the Township vs OMPHS, history of the cabin and history of its restoration, as well as a list of donors and donations.

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Container No. Description

Church Histories [series]:

Box 1 Ogdensburg United Methodist Church (Note: Photographs ca. 1955;
Cemetery Association records 20 May 1926-18 June 1928)

Box 1 “St. Joseph’s Catholic Church History, 1850-1996”, by Mary R. Lyon.

Box 1 “The Old Mission Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Congregational Church,” 1922

Box 1 “George Lamb Roberts, 1821-1905” by James G. Roberts, January 20, 1909. An accounting of Mr. Robert’s life. He was responsible for the building of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mapleton, as well as Secretary of the Old Mission Farmer’s Club.

Dougherty Historic Home Site [series]:

Box 1 Dougherty Historic Home Site: The Mission House, by the Peter
Dougherty Society, Printed slide presentation concerning the history of the Mission House, the Society’s restoration efforts, and donor information to restore the House, 2015

Box 1 Jaroh, Kristina, An Archaeological Survey of the Structure known as
the Peter Dougherty Pier. Northwestern Michigan Archaeological Society, Nautical Archaeology Society, March 2015. (restricted use, not to be photocopied)

Box 1 Memories of the Dougherty-Rushmore Icehouse by
Nancy Rushmore, born September 3, 1927 (typed copy of original letter)

Box 1 Peter Dougherty Society, by Bill Cole. An account of the formation of the non-profit 501(c) (3), its goals, mission and administration, June 2010

Box 1 Background of the Dougherty Mission House, by Bill Cole, February 2019. Printed account of the significance of the house because of its role in the original settlement of the Grand Traverse region and its

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recorded history.

Box 1 Interpretation and Artifact Guide, Dougherty/Rushmore House, Old Mission, Michigan by Quinn Evans, Architects. A report presenting an approach to furnish and interpret the individuals rooms of the restored Dougherty/Rushmore House, January 2010.

Box 1 Dougherty/Rushmore, by Nancy Warne. A printed copy of a talk that Nancy gave to the Questor organization, whose mission is to educate by research and study of antiques and to donate funds to the preservation and restoration of memorials, historic buildings and landmarks, October 2018. (Items that are crossed out in this document were not included in her talk due to time limitations). Includes excerpts from Peter Dougherty’s diary, and information about the various owners of the house.

Box 1 History of the Dougherty House, by Bill Cole. A brief account, with high level dates, November 2019.

Box 1 Reconstruction of Dougherty House Timeline, 2006 – 2018, by Bill Cole. An overview, by year, of the restoration work completed by the Peter Dougherty Society, July 2020

Published Works [subseries]:

Box 1 The Michigan Historical Review, Volume 43, No. 1, by Central Michigan University, 2017. Contents include Mary Ann Heidemann, and Ted J. Ligibel. “Preserving and Interpreting a Shared Mission: Peter Dougherty, Chief Ahgosa, and Northern Michigan's Old Mission.” pp. 29–56.

Mission Point Lighthouse [series]:

Volume 1 1860-1900

Volume 2 1900-1930

Volume 3 1930-1940

Volume 4 Miscellaneous documents, logbooks, drawings and photographs

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Oversize Oversized photograph
Folder 1

Box 1 Miscellaneous loose documents (“Light House Property Subscriptions,”
the original list of persons who helped to purchase the lighthouse in 1948; a copy of Mission Point Lighthouse by Laura Johnson and Stefanie Staley; a copy of Michigan Lighthouses by John Penrod, 1993; a copy of An Archaeological Study of the Rise, Demise and Resurrection of Mission Point Lighthouse by Nancy Jaroh, 2015 (restricted use, not to be photocopied); Compact Disc of research conducted on the Lighthouse by Candice Clifford at the National Archives, Washington, D.C.)

Box 3 “Record of Passing Vessels”, original log book kept by Jerome Pratt, the first lighthouse keeper of Mission Point Lighthouse, 1870-1876.
Donated to PCL by the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society on October 11, 2018. Originally donated to OMPHS by the Edward R. Bagley Trust in memory of Ted and Lucille Bagley.

Box 3 Binder that accompanies the “Record of Passing Vessels”. Its contents include an appraisal of the log book by Don Butkovich Antiques & Appraisals, PCL Archival Loan Agreement, Deed of Gift,
Newspaper clippings and other documents from the Bagley Estate.

Periodicals [series]:

Box 1 Newspaper clippings, undated

Porter House [series]:

Box 2 Register of Hotel Guests, 1902 to 1907 (original)

Volume 5 Register of Hotel Guests, 1908 to 1944 (Note: Photocopy of the original, Drawer 2 which is on site at Old Mission Inn)

Reports [series]:

Box 1 Jaroh, Nancy. Display Artifacts related to the Shipwrecks of A.J. Rogers
and Metropolis: Scale Photos, Identification and Comparison Photos, donated by Donald and Connie Sargent. Northwestern

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Michigan Archaeological Society, Nautical Archaeology Society, December 2015. (restricted use, not to be photocopied)

Box 1 Echoes: Newsletter of the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, (March, 2006; April 2011; Autumn 2012; Spring 2013; Fall 2013; Year End 2014, Fall, 2016)

Hessler Log Cabin [series]:
Box 4 Sequential photographs and miscellaneous newspaper articles
Volume 6 Miscellaneous documents, minutes, drawings

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