Initially, following discussions with the Anishinaabe, the mission site was placed on the Elk Rapids side of the East Bay. One log building was completed there before the tribe requested that Rev. Peter Dougherty move his work to the Old Mission side of the bay. Rev. Dougherty and the Native Americans built structures on the peninsula for a mission, a church, and a home for the Dougherty family on the west shore of the East Bay.
According the author Al Barnes, the original log building was moved by the Native Americans from Elk Rapids to Old Mission, piece by piece, and rebuilt as a church. The bell of the church was cast from large British pennies donated by the tribal members. On the removal of the mission to Omena, the bell was also transported to Omena.
A replica of the church was built in 1939 by the Old Mission Betterment Association to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of Rev. Peter Dougherty’s Presbyterian mission on the peninsula. A replica of that church now sits near the original site on land donated by Bertha Gilmore.
The church is open most days during the summer. Come learn about the of the history of the peninsula, and the people Rev. Dougherty met and worked with, the Anishinaabe. Read about the political and religious culture of the times that Rev. Dougherty was living in. How Reverend Dougherty, with the help of Chief Agosa established the mission and why the mission moved to Omena. Explore what happened after the move and the creation of the replica church. The updated Mission Log Church display was made possible by contributions from: the Old Mission Women’s Club, Peninsula Township, and the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society.