There’s an adage that goes something like this: when going somewhere it helps to know where you have been. Many at Clark Lake have a love for its lore, particularly those who have generational attachments to the lake. So with that, here’s part of the story of another historical map that gives context to the days when Clark Lake began to transition from an agricultural outpost to a recreational retreat. The Cincinnati Northern Railroad promoted the idea that Clark Lake was the perfect place to escape the summer heat in Kentucky and Ohio. No doubt their objective was to increase ridership and they delivered the escapees to Clark Lake at the depot that once stood at the end of Vining Street.
This map appears to be post-1897, for the land at Kentucky Point is ascribed to B. Graziani. Under Historical Perspectives on this website, Benjamin Graziani’s daughter, Carlotta tells of their family’s history on Kentucky Point. She was born in 1897, apparently the same year that her father acquired Kentucky Point and named it “Kentucky Park.”
The family had spent summers at Clark Lake previously. Here’s Carlotta’s description of their return to the lake with her, as a baby.
“It was only natural that he [her father] would first turn to that point of land that he had fallen in love with, only to find that three small cottages had been built there. After days and days of half-heartedly searching the lake for another acceptable spot, he came to realize that there was no substitute for his first love and that, three cottages or not, the only place for him was that little bit of Eden. There was simply no other.
“It was undoubtedly a very happy papa who succeeded in negotiating an agreement to buy that little bit of land that was to mean so much to him and his family and play such an important role in their live lives in the future. Not only did he buy the land with the three cottages, but Mr. Hitt agreed to sell him three additional acres of lake front property.
Three acres of lakefront property on Clark Lake? Things have changed!
Perhaps some of our residents who are interested in history will take a look at this map and write about the rest of the story. The original is hanging in the Columbia Township offices on Jefferson Road. You can find it on the south wall in the auditorium where the Township trustees have their formal meetings.