Amy Graziani of Cincinnati, Ohio, visited the Clark Lake Community Center on Friday. If her last name sounds familiar, there’s a reason for it. She’s part of the Graziani family. Over the winter of 1898 – 1899, Benjamin Graziani, of Covington, Kentucky, built a cottage for his family on a jut of land which was aptly named Kentucky Point. To those at the lake, the cottage stood as a midway marker between east and west ends. It watched Clark Lake morph from rural agricultural to a recreational destination and a place to call home. On Kentucky Point in its 100th year, it was in rough shape, though structurally sound. To save it from the bulldozer, Clark Lakers joined hands and mounted a tremendous effort. They floated it down the lake on a barge to its new location, the County Park, where it was restored.
A second major restoration took place recently, once again enabled by a huge effort and the generosity of those at the lake. Today, it serves as the Clark Lake Community Center. This loved Victorian Lady looks out regally from high on a hill, still watching over Clark Lake.
Graziani family members have stayed in touch. Amy is witness to that continued interest in the cottage and Clark Lake. This website has viewers all over the country – people who have a connection to the lake – and Amy is one of them. Recently her father, Benjamin Franklin Graziani III passed away at age 94. Amy said her father spoke of his fond memories of the lake and of staying in the cottage.
In the conversation with Amy, Carlotta Graziani was discussed. Carlotta was the second daughter, in birth order, of Benjamin (the first). Today we have a fascinating, in depth record of Clark Lake history because of Carlotta. She wrote it in 1967 at about the time she left Clark Lake. The entire manuscript has been transcribed and is available to read on this website. In her visit on Friday, Amy referred to Carlotta Graziani as “Aunt Carlotta.”
Amy toured the newly restored structure and then posed for this picture. The spot is significant. Continue reading to learn why.
Thanks to Ted Ligibel, we have this Thayer photo of the cottage taken c1910.
The family is sitting in a spot similar to where Amy stood on Friday.
It was not possible to get the exact same perspective because a tree now blocks the view. But for comparison, it’s close.
Wanting to memorialize the visit, Amy arranged to add the Graziani name to the Brick Pathway that surrounds the perimeter of the Community Center. One brick will be inscribed with the name of her father – Benjamin Franklin Graziani III; and the other, Graziani 2023, to mark the visit. (To learn about the brick program, please click here).
A final note. As noted above, Carlotta’s history of Clark Lake is available on this website. Upon reading it on a quiet afternoon or evening, you may be charmed by it as so many others have been. The moniker “Clark Lake Spirit” was to appear later, but the sense of it sparkled throughout this historic document.