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Lucy Carlisle Harbert's Butter Rolls


1 cup butter 2 cups flour 1 cup shredded cheese ½ tsp salt cayenne pepper to taste

Mix and drop by spoon. Bake at 350° about 12 minutes.

To make as cookies, omit cheese and cayenne. Add 1 cup nutmeats and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Roll in 2 tablespoons powdered sugar while hot.


“Miss Lucy Carlisle returned Saturday from Higgins lake, where she spent the summer.”

Saginaw News Courier, August 28, 1921

Born in 1899, Lucy Carlisle’s family’s businesses included a large tannery on North Washington. Newspaper articles provide a glimpse into her early life. She had the opportunity travel, and a 1918 article notes that she returned from Miss Spence’s school in New York. Photographs in the museum’s collection record her with her circle of friends in Saginaw, traveling, and at the family’s cottage in Lakeside Association at Higgins Lake.

This cottage and her summers spent in it with her friends and family were to remain a constant throughout her life. When she passed away in 1991, she was living in Connecticut. However, her obituary notes that she was formerly of Saginaw and Higgins Lake.

The history of her family’s cottage is recorded in Lakeside: A History of Lakeside Association in Roscommon County, Michigan:

“The Harbert Cottage . . . Occupying two lots, the Harbert Cottage was built in 1909 by Joe Nichols, camp caretaker, for Frederick and Mabel Carlisle. Following the death of his wife, Mr. Carlisle gave the cottage to his daughter, Lucy Carlisle Harbert in 1943, and the annex, built in the late 20’s, to his son John. Lucy Harbert purchased the annex from Emily Carlisle, John’s widow, in 1973.”

After Lucy Carlisle married Waldo G. Harbert in 1935, Higgins Lake continued to be an integral part of her family’s summer life. As an article published in the Saginaw Daily News in the late nineteenth century suggests why this was so:

“The pure air, clear water and cool nights at Higgins Lake are conductive to complete rest and here is freedom from care and absence of all responsibility that is refreshing. The life here need never be monotonous, for when one is not inclined to sail, fish or bathe, there are no end of attractive walks and quiet shady corners, where one can read or rest. When night come the camp fires are lighted in front of the cottages and there are corn roasts, marshmallow bakes or pop corn and watermelon parties. The lake is a constantly changing picture.”

The snapshots in this album capture Lucy Carlisle and her friends and a photograph of the Carlisle Harbert Cottage at Lakeside Association. The individual images include one of her boarding a train at what appears to be the Michigan Central Depot on West Genesee in Saginaw. The group portrait taken on a front porch captures the family cottage.


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