Bills Lake


During the 1950s, Al Crinzi and Ernie Jones owned cottages across the street from each other on Vanderstel Dr. (Numbers 75 and 80 on the 1957 Bills Lake Census map). Their wives, Glada Crinzi and Merl Jones, were sisters. The Crinzi cottage is currently owned by Dan and Mary Kozera. The Jones cottage was recently torn down and a new dwelling was constructed.

This left picture, dated summer 1952, is of a picnic which took place on the shoreline of the path that led from the end of Vanderstel Point (now the Wade house) to Swift's Landing where the ice cream-candy store was located. Ernie Jones is in the striped shirt but the lady across the table from him is not his wife Merl but instead her sister Zella. The cottage in the background belonged to Arnold Weber (No. 74).

The youngster on the ground to the right is Lee Noffsinger of Richmond VA who provided the picture. His grandmother, Meda, was born in 1881 and lived for decades on Livingston St. N.W. in Grand Rapids. Meda's sisters were Glada, Merl, and Zella.

The lady in the lake at right is Lucille Noffsinger, the mother of young Lee who is sitting in the innertube. The Noffsingers, who lived in the downriver Detroit community of Flat Rock, used to visit Al and Glada Crinzi at their cottage on Bills Lake during the 1950s and early 1960s. Al and Glada lived in Lincoln Park, another downriver community. Glada and her sister Merl Jones, who with husband Ernie owned a cottage across the street on Vanderstel Dr., were Lee's father's aunts.

Below left is Lee, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, with Lucille. He provided these pictures. The dock is pointing northeast toward what is now the Cherokee zone. Below right are Al and Glada


Al and Glady Crinzi