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The South Highland group of cottages has been home to approximately five generations of residents, from 1902 to 2012, with a sixth generation well underway.

The generations can't be described exactly and uniformly across all cottages, because the families varied greatly in the spacing of children across the generations. For example, William and Emily Vogelsang, born in 1856 and 1858, had six children, with Will born in 1876 and Arthur born in 1878. William and Emily built the first cottage in 1902.

By 1902, Arthur was already a parent, with Gray having been borne in 1899. Will also become a parent within a few years of the construction of the first cottage, with Faye in 1903 and Jim in 1908.

By contrast, CJ and Irene Lawrence, both born in 1864, had only one child, Janet, born in 1911.

By 1912, Will, Arthur and CJ had also built cottages in South Highland. Although there had only been dwellings on the site for 10 years, at least three generations of Vogelsangs were already part of the cottage group.

To smooth out some of the differences in the gaps between generations, the discussion below will consider Will and Arthur to be cottage pioneers, even though some might consider them to be second-generation cottagers.


The PioneersEdit

According to Mike Terry, in 1900, the Emily and WIlliam Vogelsang family purchased approximately 40 acres on Lake Michigan for $75. Emily paid for the land from money she saved from making Bill give up on smoking cigars.

William and Emily built the first cottage in 1902 at a cost of $1,500.

Many of the current group of cottages were built between 1902 and 1935, by the Emily and William Vogelsang family or friends. Here is an annotated 1905 survey of the South Highland properties.

William and Emily had six sons, of whom four (Irving, Lee, Bill and Arthur) had cottages.

Around 1908, the CJ (Jack) Lawrence family and friends first spent the summer at South Highland, in a tent they erected for the summer (on land recently purchased from Nellie Terry). The Lawrences, Freeman Brown family, and others were members of a card club that began regularly traveling to Grand Haven and spending the summer.

Year Cottage Built By
1902 Carnegie Cottage Emily & William Vogelsang
1910 Lang Cottage Arthur & Helen Gray Vogelsang
1912 Pat Loughlin Cottage CJ & Irene Lawrence
1912 Wolfe Cottage William & Lena Vogelsang
[1916] Nardin-Kern Cottage CJ & Irene Lawrence (as playhouse)

The Second WaveEdit

Several of the Vogelsang brothers and their families remained active in the cottage community.

Arthur Vogelsang and Helen Gray Vogelsang, in particular, brought many friends and family members into the community.

Helen's nephew, Lloyd Cooper (son of Minnie Gray Cooper and Albert B. Cooper), built the Cooper Cottage.

Helen and Arthur's son, Gray Vogelsang, and his wife Amelia built the Gretchen Zoerner Cottage. Gray Vogelsang leased the back end of this property to Bill Riley, who built what is now the Ty Zoerner Cottage on the leased property.

Helen and Arthur's daughter, Amelia (Gray's sister, not his wife) Vogelsang Rosenberg and Amelia's husband, Harry Rosenberg, purchased the back end of Helen and Arthur's property. They leased this property to Helen's sister, Francis Gray English, and her husband Edward English, who built what is now the Irene Loughlin Cottage.


1925 Irene Loughlin Cottage Edward and Francis Gray English
1925 Jandernoa Cottage Harry and Ann DeWinter
1933 Gretchen Zoerner Cottage Gray and Amelia Vogelsang
1933 Cooper Cottage Lloyd and Charlotte Cooper
1934 Irving and Helen Vogelsang
1937 Ty and Pat Zoerner Cottage Bill and Fran Riley

[1926 pictures show Langton (Jack) DePersia and Dorothy Gray (Guck)]

Will and Lena Vogelsang's children were active in the cottage community during this period, including the Jim and Bernardine Vogelsang family and the Sumner Terry and Faye (Vogelsang) Terry Family.

Will and Lena also leased land to Harry and Ann DeWinter, who built the current Jandernoa Cottage. [This cottage was also used by Austin Etter and Lois Etter.]

Lee and Did DeCraker Vogelsang stayed in the [Roche Cottage], originally built by his parents William and Emily Vogelsang.

In 1936, a group including the Vogelsang, Etter, Nardin, Lawrence, DePersia and Rosenberg families formally created the joint parking lot at the top of the hill.

Here is a 1936 survey of the South Highland properties.

In 1951, Harry and Amelia Rosenberg transferred the Irene Loughlin Cottage to Tom Harper. Amelia Rosenberg was a cousin of Tom's mother, Helen English Harper (Helen English Harper was the daughter of Francis Gray English, sister of Helen Gray Vogelsang).

Also in 1951, Sumner and Faye Terrry transferred a portion of land south of the Lang Cottage to John J and Dora DePersia. [Need details on when the DePersia Cottage was built]

During this period, the current Pat Loughlin Cottage began to be used primarily by the Louise (Brown) Loughlin Family, and Janet and George Nardin moved to the Nardin-Kern Cottage, which had been Janet's playhouse.

The Lang Cottage was primarily used by the Phelps Vogelsang Family, the family of the son of Arthur and Helen Gray Vogelsang.

A Third GenerationEdit

In 1951, the Lang Cottage (originally Arthur Vogelsang's) transferred to Harold and Henrietta Mead.

The Louise (Brown) Loughlin Family brought many members into the community. The Clay and Irene Loughlin Family purchased the Irene Loughlin Cottage from Tom Harper in 1956.

In 1959, Janet Nardin transferred the Pat Loughlin (originally CJ Lawrence) Cottage to Charles (Buzz) and John Loughlin (sons of Louise (Brown) Loughlin).

In 1959, the Depersia Cottage passed from John J. DePersia to Gregory J. and Anita M. DePersia. This cottage was transferred again in 1965 to Gregory J. DePersia and Catherine M. DePersia, and then in 1966 to Adrian P. DePersia and Catherine M. DePersia.

In 1974, Buzz Loughlin built the Buzz Loughlin cottage on the back end of the original CJ Lawrence property, next to the Pat Loughlin Cottage.

From 1976 to 1978, the Cooper Cottage passed to Bob and Ann Cooper, and the Gretchen Zoerner Cottage (originally Gray and Amelia Vogelsang) was transferred to Richard and Gretchen (Vogelsang) Zoerner, the family of Amelia's daughter. Amelia moved to the Ty Zoerner (originally Riley) Cottage. Amelia's son Roger Vogelsang used the lower portion of the Ty Zoerner Cottage as a separate dwelling.

During this period, the Wolfe Cottage (originally William and Lena Vogelsang cottage) was used by Helen and John Vogelsang.

From 1983 - 1984, the Richard and Rosemary (Mead) Lang family purchased the Lang Cottage from the Meads, and the DePersia cottage was transferred to the Gerald and Peggy DePersia Family.

[In 198__, John and Reba Etter Vogelsang transferred a large portion of land behind the parking lot to Bob and Karen Parker, who built the current Jennings Cottage on the land.]

The Fourth GenerationEdit

[In ____, Jerry and Peggy DePersia contributed a large amount of the hilly, wooded land behind the cottages to the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.]


In the 1990s, the Ty Zoerner Cottage passed from Amelia Vogelsang to Ty Zoerner, and the Nardin-Kern Cottage passed from Janet Nardin to Ben and Brian Kern.

[In 19__, the Jandernoa property was transferred from _____ to Jim and Joan Jandernoa.] Jim and Joan are full-time residents of South Highland.

The Wolfe cottage was transferred to Joan Nelson (now Wolfe) by Helen and John Vogelsang in 199_.

In 20__, the original William and Emily Vogelsang cottage was transferred from Arlene & William Roche to David & Joanne Carnegie.

The property developed by the Parkers, and now the Jennings Cottage, was transferred in 199_ to Steve Watts. It was transferred again in _________ to David & Carol Jennings.

In 2010, four of Dick and Rose Lang's children assumed the management of the Lang Cottage from DIck and Rose Lang. The four families now managing the Lang Cottage are:

Jim & Lorie Lang Family

Bob & Jane Lang Family

Sue & Greg Nealy Family

Mary Povey Family