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Name : Topside

Location : South Hill

Built in : 1898 - 1904

Origin of its name

Topside located on Waukazoo Trail on the South Hill was built by Mr. Barsanti from St. Louis, MO. He name the cottage Topside due to it's position on the hill - nautical term - ships's hull - upper deck - high up/over looking the water.

Special attributes

The fireplace has bricks stamped St. Louis Missouri, that Mr. Barsanti had shipped from St. Louis. I'm not sure how long the Barsanti's owned the cottage before they moved to Central Beach. I do know in the 1950s the cottage caught fire from the Anderson cottage next door and the wrap around porch and a bedroom where destroyed and never rebuilt. I'm not sure if the Barsanti's still owned it. Larry and Jean Prince purchased the cottage, they sold to Mary and Rob Geahan. We "the Hawk family" purchased Topside from Geahan in 1973. The name has never changed.

Historical events

I believe the only significant historical event would be the fire in 1950s.

Cottage related family name : Jim, Mary, Maggie, Ed, John, Bridget, Joe, Anne and Beth Hawk

Generations in cottage so far : 2

Family established in cottage at : 1973

Name : Family traditions

  • Opening the cottage in the month of May and Celebrating Memorial Day weekend with all our "Northern Summer Friends" Relaxing on the beach with family and friends. Swimming in the lake - big wave days! Walking out to Big Red - Walking down to Castle Park and beyond...
  • Sitting on our porch or neighbors porches and laughing so hard your jaws hurt!!
  • Watching the day end with a beautiful sunset from The Perch!
  • Going out for dinner at Point West...........The Best!!!

Name : Family Memories & stories

In the 1970s and 1980s we celebrating the 4th of July with a Big Macatawa party in "The Pit" on the South Hill - Leahy - Muldoon - Geahan - Hawk! I believe it was the Best party of the summer!

Telling ghost stories on stormy nights, watching the boys pay ball in The Pit, laying on the beach for hours with friends, tennis tournaments, singing songs on the perch, fishing from the pier, running down the tennis court steps every morning to collect the mail, The Big Dune Beach Parties, Working at Point West