Lake Park Mobile Home Community Founder and Area
Oral History Synopsis
Vic Bella and Jim Schmeichen organized this interview at Harvey Busscher’s home in Ganges Township
on the Lake Michigan shore. Harvey, 84, lost his
wife, Joyce, about a year ago and is currently being looked after by his
daughter and daughter-in-law. Born 12-28-24, he grew up on a farm in
South Graafschap and attended Holland elementary and high schools.
A large man in
height, girth and personality “Harv” is gifted with a
deep and clear memory of people and places in the Saugatuck-Douglas area. His
knowledge spans 80 years in the area minus the two he spent in France immediately post D-Day with the US Army as an
interpreter. He walks with a cane due to a replaced bullet-shattered knee that
earned him a Purple Heart and medical discharge.
Harv’s father worked in construction and drew his
son into the trade after his return from the service. Since then he has
had a hand in the construction or renovation of many local buildings, many with
an attached humorous anecdote. With some training in architecture from Western Michigan University,
he was able to design or redesign buildings ranging from numerous homes, the
Douglas Post Office to many of the commercial and manufacturing firms that came
and went through the years. He appears to have been a construction
dilettante, but masonry was his apparent specialty via his father.
In 1949 Harv met his wife Joyce at the Soda Bar on Butler and in 1958 they purchased the gravel
pit property by the shore that he shortly developed into the current trailer
park. Through the years, Harv rubbed shoulders with
area notables and seasonal park members of significant repute. His
stories about these contacts are boundless and filled with touches of irony and
humor. He’s clearly an unforgettable character.
This video provides
information about a great many people and places in the area spanning over 80
years. Vic Bella and Jim Schmeichen will
continue to mine these memories in future contacts.