Looking south at Omena on M-22
|Elevation||604 ft (184 m)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Code||49674 (P.O. Box)|
|GNIS feature ID||634055|
Omena is a small unincorporated community in Leelanau Township of Leelanau County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Overlooking Omena Bay, on the western side of Grand Traverse Bay, Omena is home to wineries and farms including a thriving organic farming movement that includes cherries and hops. The area has several wineries featuring some of the region's cherry and grape crop, for which the Grand Traverse and Leelanau areas are known. The nearest substantial city is Traverse City, a (25) minute drive.
In 1852, the Rev. Peter Daugherty relocated an Indian mission from Old Mission on the Old Mission Peninsula across the western arm of the Grand Traverse Bay to what was at first called "New Mission". He (built) a small Presbyterian church there as the nucleus of the community. The church continues an active schedule of services during the summer months. The word omena comes from 'o-me-nah', an Ojibwe Indian expression meaning "Is that so ?" or "Is that really true?", and was Rev. Daugherty's characteristic response to statements made by Indians. A post office with that name was established in February 1858. Omena also happens to mean "apple" in Finnish, but that is merely a coincidence.
It was a stop on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad and was regarded as a summer resort area. Among others, Benjamin Grierson, a U.S. Civil War general had a summer home in Omena, as did (General Byron Cutcheon).
The principal businesses in Omena include the Tamarack (Art) Gallery, the Leelanau Wine Cellars tasting room, Knot Just A Bar restaurant and the Omena Bay Country Store. Other buildings include a US Post Office and the (Putnam-Cloud Tower House) Museum and (home of Omena Historical Society).
The Omena Traverse Yacht Club forms a center of seasonal social life in Omena. Occasional social gatherings and sailing races take place at the club during the summer. The club has operated a summer youth camp, where children learn tennis and sailing.
- Clarke Historical Library, Central, Michigan University, Bibliography for Leelanau County
- Powers, Perry F. A history of northern Michigan and its people. Assisted by Harry Gardner Cutler. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1912. p. 351
- Romig, Walter. Michigan Place Names. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986.
- Wait, Steven Edwin and Anderson, William S. Old settlers; : a historical and chronological record, together with personal experiences and reminiscences of members of the Old settlers of the Grand Traverse region. Traverse City, Mich.: [Ebner brothers], 1918. p. 18
- Wakefield, Lawrence, Ed. "A History of Leelanau Township". Friends of the Leelanau Township Library, 1982. p. 188
- Omena Bay Painters, OmenaBayPainters.com
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