kids encyclopedia robot

Peninsula Township, Michigan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Peninsula Township, Michigan
Peninsula Township Offices
Peninsula Township Offices
Location within Grand Traverse County
Location within Grand Traverse County
Peninsula Township, Michigan is located in Michigan
Peninsula Township, Michigan
Peninsula Township, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Peninsula Township, Michigan is located in the United States
Peninsula Township, Michigan
Peninsula Township, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Michigan
County Grand Traverse
 • Total 31.8 sq mi (82.5 km2)
 • Land 27.9 sq mi (72.2 km2)
 • Water 4.0 sq mi (10.3 km2)
594 ft (181 m)
 • Total 5,433
 • Density 189.0/sq mi (73.0/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49673 (Old Mission)
49686 (Traverse City)
Area code(s) 231
FIPS code 26-63340
GNIS feature ID 1626889
Old Mission Peninsula
View from Chateau Chantal Winery overlooking Marion Island in the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay

Peninsula Township, locally known as The Peninsula (or simply The Pen), is a civil township of Grand Traverse County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the township population was 5,433, up from 5,265 at the 2000 census. The township is coterminous with the Old Mission Peninsula, which projects into the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. The Old Mission Point Lighthouse is located at the northern end of the peninsula. The peninsula is included in the Old Mission Peninsula AVA, an American Viticultural Area known for its Michigan wine. The Grand Traverse region has two of Michigan's four federally recognized wine growing areas.

Power Island in Grand Traverse Bay is part of Peninsula Township.


  • Old Mission is an unincorporated community in the township near the end of the peninsula on the east arm of the bay at 44°57′44″N 85°29′07″W / 44.96222°N 85.48528°W / 44.96222; -85.48528.
  • Mapleton is an unincorporated community in the township on M-37 about midway on the peninsula at 44°53′43″N 85°30′24″W / 44.89528°N 85.50667°W / 44.89528; -85.50667.
  • Neahtawanta is an unincorporated community in the township on Bowers Harbor. Accessible by Kroupa and Neahtawanta Roads. West of M-37
  • The southern part of the township is adjacent to Traverse City and is considered part of its urban area.


A replica of the Old Mission for which the peninsula is named.

The settlement at Old Mission was the first community founded by Europeans in the Grand Traverse Bay region. It was founded in May, 1839 by Rev. Peter Dougherty and Rev. John Fleming. They had spent the winter on Mackinac Island, and founded a Presbyterian mission at the small Old Mission Harbor, which of course did not yet have that name. At the time of their arrival there were a few Native American residents of a nearly abandoned village at the harbor, and the mission had peaceful relations with those and other native residents in the surrounding area.

In June that year Henry Schoolcraft arrived at the mission in a small vessel and helped found a school there. By 1841 there were 5 log buildings as well as several wigwams at the settlement. By 1850 the settlement had grown to a considerable size, and the schooner Arrow was making weekly trips to the mission from Mackinaw City.

A pastoral farm scene located on the peninsula.

In 1852 Rev. Dougherty decided to move his mission across the west bay along the Leelanau Peninsula to an existing Native American village at the site of modern Omena, Michigan, thus establishing a "New Mission." The previous community was therefore already known as the "Old Mission" in the early 1850s. By the time of the civil war, the Presbyterian organization which funded Dougherty had financial difficulty, and missionary activities were discontinued. Dougherty sold his land there in 1868.

The post office at the mission was formally established in 1851 with W. R. Stone as first postmaster. The post office was known at this time as Grand Traverse, being the only official post office in the Grand Traverse Bay region, indeed the only one between Mackinaw City and Croton. By the winter of 1852-3, a community had formed at the head of the bay at the Boardman river, at which a new post office was founded. The U.S. post office in consultation with Mr. A. T. Lay, a founder of Traverse City, decided to rename the post office at Dougherty's settlement to "Old Mission" and named the post office at the Boardman River "Traverse City." The "Grand" had to be dropped, as "Grand Traverse City" was too long a name per post office guidelines.


Old Mission Peninsula.
  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 31.8 square miles (82.5 km²), of which 27.9 square miles (72.2 km²) is land and 4.0 square miles (10.3 km²) (13%) is water.
  • The Mission Point Light stands a few hundred yards south of the 45th parallel north, halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. There is a sign that denotes its location on the parallel, and it is one of 29 places in the U.S.A. where such signs are known to exist.
  • M-37 is the central 17.25-mile-long (27.76 km) road on the peninsula, (known as Center Road) and terminates at Old Mission Point. It was designated what is now known as a Pure Michigan Byway Scenic Route in June 2007. The M-37 Scenic Heritage Route proposal is itself a unique resource concerning the character of the peninsula, and the activities along this byway.


As of the census of 2000, there were 5,265 people, 2,131 households, and 1,625 families residing in the township. The population density was 189.0 per square mile (73.0/km2). There were 2,613 housing units at an average density of 93.8 per square mile (36.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 97.28% White, 0.06% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.97% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.01% of the population.

There were 2,131 households, out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.4% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.7% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the township the population was spread out, with 23.1% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 19.3% from 25 to 44, 33.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $66,019, and the median income for a family was $82,426. Males had a median income of $52,750 versus $34,620 for females. The per capita income for the township was $40,753. About 1.1% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.3% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.


  • The "Old Mission Peninsula Cruise" is considered to be a "serendipitous" adventure for road bike riders. It is favored by local riders, including bicycle clubs, because of the beautiful scenery, good road, and lack of traffic.
  • The peninsula is a great place to sea kayak. The bay offers a shelter from the prevailing westerly winds and from the Lake Michigan waves. One can get close to shore, the lighthouse, picnic grounds and parks. Maps, rentals and guided tours are available.
  • There are many recurrent and special events. A calendar is available.

Distilled Spirits

The peninsula's only distillery, Civilized Spirits are created in a forest hideaway. The site has a long tradition of distillation. Spirits have been made on the site since the late 1800s when it was built by lumber baron J.W. Stickney and his wife Genevive. Civilized Spirits philosophy is to make the best spirits possible with the best ingredients available and the smallest impact on the environment. Civilized continues the long-standing tradition with its line of spirits that are distilled from local ingredients. Civilized Spirits include: White Dog Whiskey, Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Single Malt Whiskey, Vodka, and its popular Sakura, a vodka distilled from cherries.


Nomad Cidery is in its early stages, expected to open on the peninsula fall 2014. Nomad cider is brewed on Old Mission peninsula and uses a variety of local apples.


Old Mission Peninsula is a popular wedding destination. One of the most popular venues is the Peninsula Room which opened in the spring for 2009. The spacious facility features all the modern amenities you would expect in a large format event space with up north elegance. But, as part of the historic Bowers Harbor Inn complex, the space is imbued with all the charm, intimacy and beauty that the north woods can provide.

  • Potter, Elizabeth V. The Story of Old Mission. (Ann Arbor, MI: Edward Brothers, 1956).

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Municipio de Peninsula (condado de Grand Traverse, Míchigan) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Architects:
Calvin Brent
Walter T. Bailey
Martha Cassell Thompson
Alberta Jeannette Cassell
kids search engine
Peninsula Township, Michigan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.