Omena is a small unincorporated community in Leelanau Township of Leelanau County. 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 boasts several wineries featuring the best of the region’s cherry and grape crop, for which the Grand Traverse and Leelanau areas are especially known. The nearest 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” derived 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. Omena means apple in Finnish. 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.
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