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Omena, Michigan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in southeast Leelanau Township, on the Leelanau Peninsula, in Leelanau County.

Omena is on the western side of Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan, overlooking Omena Bay. The chief route through the community is M-22 (West Bay Shore Drive) and East Omena Road. The only incorporated municipalities within twenty miles of Omena are the villages of Northport and Suttons Bay, while Traverse City is just under twenty-five miles to the south, and the unincorporated communities of Peshawbestown, Gills Pier, and Lake Leelanau are within ten miles.

Situated along M-22, from Tatch Road to North Omena Point Road in Omena, the Omena Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, includes historic homes, outbuildings, commercial buildings, and the Grove Hill New Mission Church, as well as the cemetery behind the church.

Settlement of the Omena area, began in 1850 when a band of Ottawa and Ojibwa people, led by Chief Ahgosa, came from the Old Mission Peninsula, across the bay, to settle on land they had purchased. However, when they arrived, they found that Chief Shabwasung and some other Ottawas were already living on that land, so the Ahgosa band settled on land farther north, creating a village that became Ahgosatown, which was sold to John N. Clancy in 1932, who opened a language school there.

In 1852, the Reverend Peter Dougherty, who had founded the Old Mission community, followed the Ahgosa band from Old Mission to establish what was originally called New Mission. It was a better area, as food crops had been raised there for centuries, and there were apple and plum orchards.

The Reverend Peter Greensky, a Chippewa teacher, came with Dougherty from Old Mission, along with George A. Craker, who taught agriculture to students in the mission school. Craker and his family were instrumental in founding the Grove Hill New Mission Church, now known as the Omena Presbyterian Church, dedicated in 1858.

When a post office was established on February 9, 1858, it was named Omena, and the colony also took that name. The Rev. Dougherty was the first postmaster.

In 1884, a group of investors acquired the mission school building and renovated it to create the Leelanau Hotel, and Omena soon transitioned into a tourist and resort area. Early resorts include The Clovers, Freeland Resort, The Oaks, Sunset Lodge, and The Shabwasung, as well as several resort cottages on Omena Point. Omena Bay was a deep harbor that once had four commercial docks and a commercial fishery. In 1991, the Omena Pavilion opened as a social center for the community, now owned by the Omena Traverse Yacht Club.

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad opened a depot in Omena in 1903, offering passenger and freight services. One of the earliest homes in the community was moved a mile north into Omena in 2004, where it now serves as the Putnam-Cloud Tower House Museum, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. The Omena Historic District includes several buildings that are still used for their original purpose, including the Omena Presbyterian Church, Sunset Lodge, and the Omena Bay Country Store.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the Leelanau Peninsula community known as Omena, Michigan. Schools, churches, businesses, industries, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities in Omena are appropriate resources for this category.



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