Quaint vineyards, rolling orchards, sparkling waters, sun-swept beaches ... those are the descriptions of the Old Mission Peninsula you'll find in the travel brochures. And they're all true, every one of them. This 18-mile piece of land stretching into Lake Michigan just north of Traverse City is stunningly beautiful.
But we - Tim and Jane Boursaw - live and work on the Peninsula year-round, and our long history on this land gives us a unique perspective (our families go back six generations here). As you browse our unique designs on T-shirts, hats, mugs, vinyl car stickers and more, we hope you'll enjoy the accompanying stories about this place that we're lucky enough to call home. And believe us, we never ever take it for granted.
Jane grew up on a cherry farm in the heart of Old Mission with her parents, Walter and Mary Johnson, and siblings Carolyn Lewis, Ward Johnson and Dean Johnson. Dean and Ward still farm on the OMP, including the "home farm" about a mile north of Mapleton where Walter was born in 1923, to Stella (Smith) and Lester Johnson. (Stella's first husband, Frank Edgecomb, died during WWI.) Dean's daughter, Heatherlyn Johnson Reamer, helps to manage the farm and lives on the OMP with her husband Cory and kids Emma and James. Her mom, Terilee Johnson, lives just across the orchard from them.
Tim spent the first part of his life just down the beach from Jane, in a house behind the Old Mission General Store that his family rented from Willie Gill Tompkins in the 1950s. Tim's family includes parents Tug and Jane Boursaw, and siblings Sherie, Roxanne, Terry and Tom. They eventually moved from Old Mission to Bluff Road, just down the road from Tug's parents, Clarissa and Garrett Boursaw. Tim's great-great-uncle, John Baptiste Boursaw (born in 1850), was the first mail-carrier between the Old Mission Peninsula and Mackinac, traveling much of the route by foot or canoe.
In 1993, Tim and Jane got married, built a log home on the OMP, and raised two kids there - Will and Marissa (both MSU alum). Along the way, Tim continued his passion for old European sports cars, mostly British, and Jaguars, in particular. He spent these years seeking them out, bringing them to the OMP, and finding homes for them where he knew they would be restored and returned to their former glory. "I never thought of it as a business, but more like a rescue mission," he says.
Jane built a career as a photojournalist for thousands of publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London Times, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Ladies' Home Journal and many others. But her dream was always to create a business centered on the Old Mission Peninsula, which is where Old Mission Gazette and the OMP Store come in.
Know that the dollars you spend on this website are helping to support a small family business that's devoted to the OMP community. Be sure to visit our sister site, Old Mission Gazette, for daily news and photos, and email us any time.
With love and gratitude,
Tim and Jane Boursaw
Pictured: Marissa, Will, Tim and Jane Boursaw, August 2017 (on the steps of the Old Mission Congregational Church, where Tim and Jane were married in 1993).