Historic commission considers future of SL house

Now that the smoke has cleared and the windows have been boarded, many in Spring Lake are asking what happens next.
R.J. Wolcott
Jul 20, 2012

The village's oldest home, located at 312 N. Park St., sustained considerable damage from a fire July 8.

The fire began in a junction box next to the first-floor bathroom exhaust fan, according the Spring Lake Fire Department. It was incubated in the dual roofing structure of the home.

Enough damage was done for Capt. Brian Sipe to say the house was most likely a total loss. This means that, if the insurance company agrees, the homeowners would receive an insurance payout.

Sipe said the home suffered a lot of structural damage, but it was ultimately up to the homeowners to decide what to do with it.

The Spring Lake Historic Conservation Commission recently discussed the house, built in 1841. Commission Chairman Mark Miller said they don’t have a great deal of influence. “It’s kind of out of our hands at this point,” he said.

Commissioner Janet Tyson said the house is vitally important to the area's history. “What we need to do is get in touch with the owners and find out what they plan to do with the insurance money,” she said.

Tyson said the owners could invest their insurance money on repairing their home, they could build a new home on the site or they could move to a different house. She expressed doubts that the owners, Harold and Ruby Werschem, would simply leave.

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

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