Omena, Michigan, is a small unincorporated community in Leelanau Township of Leelanau County in the U.S. state of Michigan. There is a rocky bay in Omena called Omena Bay, on the western side of the Grand Traverse Bay. Omena is predominantly inhabited by retirees. There is a small general store and a social hall called "The Omena Traverse Yacht Club". It is a two road town with almost all of the inhabitants living on a small peninsula referred to as "Omena Point". The town has a very small economy because of the lack of working age inhabitants. It is a very remote town. The nearest big city is Traverse City, a 45 minute drive away. Some of the controversial issues in Omena include the econonomic impact of a recent Native American casino about five miles away in Peshawbestown. There has also been controversy over the development of a large condominium building by the road between Omena and it's slightly larger northern neighbor, Northport.
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 build a small Presbyterian church there as the nucleus of the community. Reportedly, worship services have been held in the church every Sunday since its dedication in 1858. Local tradition says the word "omena" was an Ojibwe Indian expression meaning "Is that so ?", or, "Is that really true?" and was reportedly Rev. Daugherty's characteristic response to statements made by Indians. An alternative possibility relates to the plentiful presence of apples and other fruit trees in the area. In Finnish, the word "omena" means "apple", though it is unclear whether Finns were among the early settlers there. In any case, a Post Office with that name was established in February 1858.
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.
Web Sites and Links
Lisa's Northwoods Bed and BreakfastA quiet home nestled in the woods in Omena, Michigan. Located in picturesque Leelanau County by Grand Traverse Bay.
Omena, Michigan 49674 - MultiMag
Sunset Lodge Bed and BreakfastThe Sunset Lodge Bed and Breakfast on the beautiful Leelanau Peninsula in Omena, Michigan.