Check out the latest stories!

The Wizard

Name : The Wizard

Location : North Beach

Built in : Not sure---my Grandfather purchased the cottage in 1942. It may have been built late 1800's

Origin of its name

  • The original name was "The Steffens Cottage" (my Grandfather's name) until it came to our attention some years later that author L. Frank Baum had been a renter of the cottage, before building his own, (before our family ownership) and had done some of the writing of the Wizard of Oz on the porch of the cottage.
  • Dorothy Hall, of The Dinghy on Interlake Walk (Bert McRoy's Aunt) was a child at the time and it is said he read to the children on the steps of the cottage and that Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz was named after Dorothy Hall. So at some point, we changed the name of the cottage to "The Wizard".
  • Special attributes

    It is still the original Victorian style, with a beautiful screened-in porch along the front of the cottage. In the attached historical photo it shows a cottage up the hill behind the Wizard. Well before it came into our family this cottage collapsed, but the foundation footings can still be seen on the hill. Our family purchased this lot in 1952.

    Historical events

    Besides the L. Frank Baum history, there were many renters who autographed a wall in the basement--Secretary of Treasury, other renowned people. When we were young we had a club house in the basement and didn't appreciate all the writing on the wall so we made work of "cleaning it"--removing all the signatures. My Uncle almost did us all in!

    Cottage related family name : Steffens, Phillips and now Linn

    Generations in cottage so far : Three generations so far

    Family established cottage in : Grandfather, Ben Steffens purchased the cottage in 1942

    Name : Family traditions

    • Every year since around 1975, we try to get a picture of the family on the front steps---grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren.
    • We would celebrate any summer birthdays at the cottage. Grandchildren spent many overnights with grandparents and Aunt Anne and Uncle Len.

    Name : Family Memories & stories

  • The Phillips and the Steffens families both lived in Holland, so we would move the 5 miles to Macatawa for the summer. We remember the Hotel Macatawa with bingo nights, talent shows, dances. The Soda Bar with ice cream and pinball. Days were spent sailing, water skiing, beaching. Was a wonderful way to spend each summer growing up.
  • The Steffens had a grocery store in Holland, so we never had to leave Macatawa all summer--they would bring our groceries when they returned home each evening. The Steffens Food Market also delivered to Macatawa Park all summer. My Mother and Aunt Ella spent the days with us on the porch cottage playing cards or at the beach.
  • Uncle Len had the most beautiful begonias in porch boxes and pots in front of the cottage--he was so proud of them and would share stories of his growing prowess with anyone who walked by--he was a bit of a legend.
  • Every Wednesday during the summer our family would have a perch fry--the kids would be sent out to the pier in front of the lighthouse with buckets and fishing poles--they would bring us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and take back a bucket full of perch and bring us another one to fill--never had to worry about fish "biting"--they were always biting back then.
  • We are now in the fifth generation of children and are enjoying the cottage with them.