Highland Park residents reflect on 125 years atop Grand Haven dunes

For more than a century, countless year-round and summer-only residents have called the houses and cottages of the Highland Park home. The Highland Park Association is going to honor that legacy with a celebration marking the 125th year of the Grand Haven neighborhood. "It's a nice place to come to,' said Judy Mehring, a part-time resident from Boston who comes to the area during the summer. Mehring's water color painting of a trail in Highland Park was selected by the association to commemorate the 125th anniversary.
Alex Doty
Aug 26, 2011

According to Highland Park residents Joe Skendzel and Donna Spicuzza, an end-of-summer breakfast is scheduled for residents of the area in September.

Highland Park was incorporated in 1886, stretching from just beyond Lake Avenue to Grand Avenue. According to the association’s website, the first cottage — Loch Hame, sited across from the Khardomah Lodge on Lake Avenue and noted for the beech tree growing through its front porch — was completed in 1887.

Skendzel said people came to Highland Park from out-of-town areas such as St. Louis, Cincinnati and Louisville — dropping off wives and children for the entire summer while husbands would go back to work for the week.

The area, which features narrow roads and boardwalk paths winding through the dunes, has many cottages that are in the same family tree and are unchanged from their original construction. At one time, the area also featured a hotel.

“There’s been some cottages that have been re-done so (residents) can live there year-round if they want to,” Spicuzza said.

According to Skendzel, of the nearly 100 properties, between 25 and 30 residents live in the area all year — including himself.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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