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Homeowner can't rebuild after cottage falls into lake

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 18:22:15-05

There are no plans to rebuild after a cottage along Lake Michigan collapsed due to shoreline erosion, according to a cousin of the homeowner.

According to the cousin, Patricia "Tish" Gancer's insurance company will not pay for the damage because it was caused by erosion.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Gancer, whose cottage had been in her family since the early 1900s.

The cottage was named "God's Cottage."

“In the 1930s my Grandpa, you know before the highway went in, he used to drive up from Ann Arbor on old Grand River and he’d go up every weekend," Gancer said. "And then my dad who was long past on 55, he grew up going there. And then I grew up going there. When I was 22, I was able to get the property. I was the fortunate one that got it and I’ve had it, you know, for a very long time."

Luckily, the electricity was turned off just before the cottage fell.

“They were concerned about electricity still being hooked up," White River Township building inspector Lynn Kroll said. "I called Consumers power to get the power disconnected. As the building inspector, I have the authority to do that. By 5 o’clock, they had the power disconnected. I got a text from the township clerk within an hour, the house was gone.”

Gancer said she hasn't been able to visit the property since it fell on Tuesday, but plans to make a trip up soon.

“I’m still in shock," Gancer said. "But you know, no one, no one got hurt. It’s a big loss for me and and my friends. But no one is really sick, no one is dead. We’ll be OK from this.”

Gancer said she did everything she could to protect the cottage from falling.

"What was once sheltered by hundreds of feet of protective woods, foredunes, and beach has been increasingly threatened by rapid erosion brought about by rising lake levels, and what you see here is the result of that," Gancer wrote on her GoFundMe page.