Beautiful Independence Day at Epworth Heights, MI

“Thanksgiving in July” concert

Jennifer with Mary June Wilkinson

Vespers on the beach.

Part of the 115 year old sanctuary at Epworth

View at Epworth

View at Epworth

Well, we had a pretty amazing week. I confess, our heads are swimming a bit being back in the states still – we came home and jumped both feet first into VBS, finished the play and the week, and then set out almost immediately for Epworth Heights in Ludington, MI.

Epworth is a community that was founded in 1896 as a summer retreat on Lake Michigan. The beach houses have been handed down in the families for the last 100+ years. It’s just stunning, and feels like a step back in time.

Mary June Wilkinson lives here in the summers, and had seen me sing several times in Florida, her winter home. She invited me and my family up for the week, and we stayed busy! I sang in church on Sunday morning, and then again at the evening vespers on the beach. I also did our kid’s music with my children’s help at their VBS all week, and then gave a concert at their annual “Thanksgiving in July” event.

The rest of the time, we walked, played in the sand, raced turtles (a tradition going back to the thirties – we had the coolest turtle – go, Speedy!!!), toured the museum, played on the playground, got to know incredibly nice people, and had some wonderful together time. What fun! Hope we get to do that again. 🙂

12 Responses to “Beautiful Independence Day at Epworth Heights, MI”

  1. austin says:

    Great to see pictures of Epworth….I spent my summers there in the 1960's
    The Rowe Family still owns a cottage. I hope to come back and spend a summer!
    T. Austin Auner

  2. Bill Baxter says:

    I spent summers in the 50’s and 60’s. I miss the old friends and good times

  3. Gail O says:

    I remember renting cottages twice there when I was in my 20’s. My parents would rent a cottage for a couple of weeks in the summer to get away from the FL heat. What fond memories we made there! I use my antique oak kitchen table every day which I purchased at an old antique barn on one of my trips. I remember seeing the salmon spawning & going to the “secret” beach.
    Does anyone have a phone # for Epworth Hts?? Do they still rent the cottages? I would love to revisit my fond memories of E. H. Hey, Bill B. & T. Austin A. Maybe we were there at the same time in the 60’s.

  4. Laura Gullickson says:

    I spent my summers in Epworth with my family at my grandmothers cottage. My grandmother had married a man who’s family built their cottage Kemecot. Not even sure how to spell it any more. It was on the top of Mount Epworth. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been. I dream about it often and all the wonderful people I grew up with and played with as a child and young adult. My Mother also spent her youth there. I will never forget its wonderful walk ways and paths, wonderful views and the air cool and crisp.

  5. jennifer says:

    It is truly a beautiful place – we loved our time there. You must have had a wonderful time there as a child. 🙂

  6. Rick Shea says:

    Back in the early 60’s for about two weeks out of the summer months I remember spending time at an Epworth cottage. I don’t remember the name of the cottage but I do remember having to walk on some high wooden walkways to get to this cottage. The beach was right down the steps. My uncle was a professor at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if this cottage was a perk or if he rented it outright. His last name was Youngdaul. I remember activities during the day with a group called the pixies. They were great times. I’m now 59 and one day I’m going to travel to Epworth and see if that cottage still exists just to re-live good memories.

  7. TERESA RAY says:

    My family grew in up Ludington, very close to Epworth. My sister and I are looking to rent a cottage or home around the July 4. If anyone knows of a rental please let me know.
    Teresa Morris Ray

  8. My grandfather bought Oneonta in 1944. Our family spent many wonderful times there. The cottage is still owned by a decendent of Dr. Rob. Does anyone remember Scott Weller in the 50’s? He was my brother. Love to hear from any one that remembers us.

  9. Elizabeth Fetty says:

    I spent a few weeks every summer up at the cottages of Epworth with a family who stayed the whole summer every year in the 60’s and 70’s. My times there are some of my most fond memories I have of summer and childhood. Do they rent the cottages out anymore? I have always wanted to go back to visit.
    We would be at a cottage right on the beach and go get fresh peaches and cherries by the buckets full. The walkways are also a beautiful memory and something very unique to Epworth.

  10. Martha Chamberlain says:

    My Father directed the Choir and Plays at Epworth in the 1940s . His name was Dean McSloy. We would spend all summer there. We stayed in a cottage called Ups and Downs. My Sister and I had alot of fun playing with the children there. Does anyone know if that cottage is still there? I liked walking on the High Boardwalk above the beach that was falling apart. All of the pictures bring back memories.

  11. christopher kumlin says:

    My grandfather built a home in Epworth back in the 50’s, my parents purchased it from him in the 60’s. When our family moved to CA in the 90’s they sold the property. We are trying to go back one more time but are having a really hard time finding a rental. Any information or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    Chris Kumlin

  12. Scott Lafferty says:

    Like many of you, I have great childhood memories of Epworth from the early 60’s. Playing shuffleboard and my first rounds of golf. “Caddying” for my parents on the golf course. Watching movies outside. Listening to music, playing ping pong, and drinking milk shakes in the snack shop. Loving time on the beach. Developing my first crush. Vespers. Staying at the old hotel. My father used to go to Epworth around 1915 with his mother to get away from steamy summers in Kansas City. I haven’t been there in over 50 years but would love to go back with my wife and grown children. I have no idea how to go about finding a place to stay.

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