The Spencer name has been connected to Geneva-on-the-Lake since the early 1800s, when this area was part of Geneva Township. Harvey Spencer was one of the first settlers and he capitalized on the excellent hardwoods that grew here. His business of making barrel staves was very successful, with some of the staves ending up in Europe.
Harvey and Luisa (Snedicar) Spencer’s son, Cullen, married Mary Wider; this couple had three children, Warren E., Lewis C. and Susan P.
Cullen, along with Pratt, opened a public picnic ground at Sturgeon Point on July 4, 1869, thus establishing a resort town at this location.
Warren E. Spencer was the first to build a boarding house at the lake. That structure, the Rose Cottage, still stands.
These boys took over their father’s interest in Sturgeon Point, where the father had established “Spencer’s Park.” Lewis invested in the Old Homestead resort, dance hall and bowling alley.
Warren and his wife Ida had two sons, Heber and Lanton. Heber was born Dec. 18, 1891 and died March 16, 1972. He married Clara Farnbauer Bennett in 1928. To this couple was born Sally, the last member of the Harvey Spencer line. Heber and Clara divorced in 1939. He married Marguerite Baldwin and they operated the cottages on the north side of The Strip between the Rawdons and Taylors/Fitzpatricks (Baldwin Spencer Cottages).
Lanton and his wife Ella operated the Spencer cottages, Bluebird, Halcyon, Cherry, Bluewater cottages.
A newspaper article from Nov. 20, 1913, states that “W.E. Spencer is building for his son, Heber, a very pretty bungalow on the lake shore,” most likely one of these cottages.