Why Leelanau Blog

From Their Family to Ours

Submitted on 11/27/13

Remembering Hilbert and Antoinette Wiedenkeller and Cedar Haven

Every year the Dolson family bands together at the Holidays, and instead of exchanging gifts, they make a family donation to a non-profit they care about. This year they have chosen the Leelanau Conservancy and to make the donation in memory of their maternal grandparents, Hilbert & Antoinette Wiedenkeller. “Lake Leelanau and Cedar Haven were very special to our grandparents, and to everyone who has spent time there,” Eric Dolson writes.  Eric is heading up this year’s family donation.

“Having our group donation go to the Lake Leelanau Watershed Initiative Fund is a great way to honor our grandparents.  We owe much gratitude to them for opening our eyes to this truly magical place on this big blue ball, and for bringing our family closer together, if only for one week a year. The memorial donation will also serve as a way to protect & preserve the natural resources that feed the lake for many generations to come.  As Cedar Haven sits on an area of the watershed, our group donation will also have a direct impact on our special summer getaway.”

This family photo is from the summer of 1976. “I’m not sure if this was taken at Sugar Loaf Resort or the Leland Lodge. We had Sunday morning brunch at various places throughout the county over the years, and Grandpa & Grandma Wiedenkeller always took care of the bill.” writes Eric. The brunch tradition continues, but usually in the form of a potluck at Cedar Haven. “Not everyone makes the trip to Cedar Haven every year, but the group can get pretty huge sometimes.”

Thank you to Eric and his family for your thoughtful giving!

9 responses to “From Their Family to Ours”

  1. Kathy says:

    We used to move around from year to year, but the year Grandma and Grandpa discovered Cedar Haven Cottages on Lake Leelanau was locked in our history as we never went anywhere else since then! My boys (now 15, 20, and 22) never knew my grandparents, but they still LOVE our week in Leelanau County every summer.

  2. Mark Schumacher says:

    The Wiedenkeller extended family has many summers worth of great memories of God’s country, the Leelanau Peninsula. I am most thankful to our grandparents who literally saved every penny they had to make our stays at Cedar Haven cottages possible. When I think of “the Fish Hook gang” sitting around the campfire at night, climbing the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, walking to the Thunderbird Gift Shop for souvenirs, eating cherries, fishing in the lake (and ending up buying fish), swimming in Lake Leelanau… Just being around our family. I can’t help but smile. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

  3. Karen says:

    Glad to be a contributor to the Leelanau Conservancy, making a positive difference in caring for a beautiful part of northern Michigan that our grandparents introduced us to all those years ago.

  4. Lyn Dolson Pugh says:

    Mark–YOUR comments made me smile! I’m the lucky one who got to move to Traverse, which is almost Leelanau. My children and now my grandchildren–who would be Grandma & Grandpa Wiedenkeller’s great-great grandchildren–have been coming to Cedar Haven and Lake Leelanau for their whole lives to have that magical week at “The Cottages”!!

  5. Jeanne Dolson says:

    Our family owes a great deal to our wonderful grandparents, Hilbert and Antoinette Wiedenkeller for planning our family reunions and discovering Cedar Haven on North Lake Leelanau so many years ago. We thank Dorothy and Wayne Wunderlich for taking care of our little spot of paradise and keeping the little resort alive! My children, ages 21, 23 and 25, consider our week at Leelanau a staple of their summers.
    We are more than happy to contribute to this important cause.

  6. Karl says:

    My family has been going to Cedar Haven and Lake Leelanau for 40 of my 41 years, and all of us have fallen in love with everything about that place (family, campfires, shared meals, the Wunderlichs, naps, the rowboats and canoeing, sandcastles, hanging out on the dock, Uncle Joel’s boat, M-22, parades in Leland and TC, Sleeping Bear Dune Climb, Fish Town, The Thunderbird, Mass at St. Mary’s, sailing on Suttons Bay, The Happy Hour, Petoskey stones, and all the surrounding beaches, wineries, towns, and places to explore!). “The Cottages” has become a standard household phrase, and I’m thrilled to be bringing my 6 children (the youngest of the 4th Generation) there for the reunion each summer… all thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Wiedenkeller!

  7. Karl says:

    BTW, I’m the one shading my eyes in the photo above!

  8. Christine Bykowski says:

    I have an original of that photo that you posted! I’m the girl in that strange yellow dress! I think it’s really cool that you guys donated money to the conservancy in remembrance of our grandparents and all the wonderful summers we had in Michigan. Hard to believe how fast time has flown, and this summer my parents will be married for 50 years! Crazy! It’s awesome that your family continues to spend a week together each summer at the Cottages!

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