On Leelanau, Omena celebrates historic designation

Capital News Service
LANSING — The Leelanau Peninsula hamlet of Omena — with its remnants of a once-popular summer resort, an 1853 church and the pilings of long-gone docks that once welcomed boatloads of tourists — has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Designation of the Omena Historic District reflects its legacy as a resort area, a mission to convert Native Americans to Christianity, a productive agricultural area and a Lake Michigan harbor. “Most of Omena’s buildings are still in use as originally intended, some still in the same family ownership since the 1800s,” according to the nomination documents. “Omena’s changes have been adaptations built upon its existing structure, and the village has not suffered the eradication, wasteful misuse of resources and reconstruction that is so common in this country.”
Marsha Buehler, an Omena Historical Society board member who spearheaded the nomination, said, “We’ve got this little gem, a cluster of buildings on a bend in the road. It looks very much like it did at the turn of the 20th century.”
The National Register is “the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation,” says the National Park Service, which administers the program.