Quinlan Cottage

In the 1930's Bob's grandfather G. Dempster Yinger and great-uncle Homer Yinger helped build a Methodist summer camp on Thumb Lake in Michigan. In recognition of their work the Michigan Conference granted each of them some land on the lake. The rest of their siblings joined with them to acquire three adjacent lots. In 1940 they began building a cottage on the property.

Bob's great-grandmother Emma Bancroft Yinger was the first generation to stay at the cottage. His brother Paul's son Michael Quinlan is the latest. That makes five generations of our family who have spent parts of their summers at Thumb Lake over more than sixty years.

The cottage has six bedrooms, a kitchen, and a huge living and dining room that runs the full length of the building. In the early 60's an indoor bathroom was added to replace the outhouse. The full-width front porch features a hammock and a glider chair.

Cottage: Front
Lake from the Cottage

The view from the front of the cottage shows as much forest as water. The whole area is densely covered with pines and birches.

The fireplace and chimney are made out of native stones. The inside of the fireplace was built by splitting rocks in half and placing the cut faces outward on opposite sides.

Cottage: Back

Thumb Lake is entirely spring fed. Most of the springs are far under water, but one surfaces near the lake's edge.

The lake is an irregular shape with several coves and two islands. It is entirely surrounded by hills and mountains covered with trees.


One of the higher mountains overlooking the lake has a natural lookout where a ledge above a small cliff open a view through the tree cover.

Evening is a favorite time for walks along the lake. By full dark everyone is home. We build up the fire and gather in the living room to talk or read.

Lake by Evening