Clark Lakers showed solid support to save the Community Center.  Because of their generosity, most of the restoration work has been accomplished. So that they could review the progress, donors were invited to take a look on October 26th.

What did they see?  The new north portico.  Previously, this door looked like a utility entry.  It now offers a more gracious welcome to this elegant Victoria lady.

Visitors also saw the marker installed by the Jackson County Michigan Historical Society.  The marker commemorates the story of this house, and how it represents Clark Lake’s culture and heritage.

During the restoration, the house was power washed and freshly painted.  The attic, formerly the bat cave, was thoroughly cleaned of residue, and then sealed from access by critters.  Foam insulation was applied.  Both the upper and lower verandas have been replaced with manmade materials, including the soffits and associated structural parts.  This obviates the necessity for an expensive redo in another ten years.  The goal has been kept to keep and enhance the historic look and feel and to prevent anachronistic clashes.  This photo was taken from the second story veranda.

The kitchen has been rearranged for better service, new cabinets replaced the old, a countertop was added, and period-friendly curtains now grace the room.  Since the day of the Open House day was mostly sunny and warm, but not hot, the new HVAC was not pressed into service.  The up to date, more efficient system, is available when needed.  The Community Center is available for one-day rentals from March through December.  Click here to learn about renting the Community Center.  FAQs on how to enjoy the Community Center.

Just inside the north portico are the Recognition Display and Pretty Pergola Plaque.  These tell the story of Standing Up for Clark Lake.   There were 106 donations that ensured the restoration would take place, and 30 donations for the installation of the Pretty Pergola.  The breadth of support increases when you consider that most donations represented several people – families, friends and groups.

Like the restoration, Clark Laker’s quickly met the need to purchase and erect the Pretty Pergola.

One more plaque has been added to the Community Center Wall of Fame, and it was seen for the first time during this event.  The plaque shows the names of those who help save the dam in 2018.  Thanks to the outpouring of support through the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, both north and south shoulders of the dam were fortified.  Today, it is indeed Dam Strong.

Every season, the Clark Lake Garden Angels bring fresh inspiration to the grounds around the Community Center and County Park.  Their amazing ability to coax beauty out of dirt creates a wonderland around the historic cottage, the Trail Head in the Park, and the Triangle at Ocean Beach & North Lake Roads.   Now, with the Pretty Pergola in place, who knows where this creativity will take the lake.   The Garden Angels gathered for this photo at the Open House.

The “necessary” was a chapter in the house’s history and was reunited recently from its Kentucky Park location.  The function it represents was replicated all around the lake during the early years.  Having not been operational for over 80 years, the statue of limitations on its name ended long ago.  Many now refer to it as the “toolshed.”  Mike McKay and Flip Reynolds added storage for the Angels’ garden tools, where the photo was taken.

This close up shows how the world has changed.  Spellcheck doesn’t work when inscribing a message on a wooden door.  But a creative drawing made the correction.

The structure was severely damaged in last season’s ice storm. Mike and Flip applied their carpentry skills as you can see below.

The Community Center dual mission is to provide a place for people to gather and to preserve Clark Lake’s past.  A recent article on this website described how a new artifact was received and how it fits into Clark Lake history.  Sue Kopplin Kienholz donated her 1981 drawing of the cottage her family once owned.  This cottage had previously belonged to Jim and Carlotta (Graziani) Wilson, and was one of three cottages named after Kentucky counties.  The Graziani’s named this one “Kenton.”  Sue’s brother, Tom Kopplin, attended the Open house.  You see him next to the drawing and its description.

Look for more Clark Lake historical items to join those already displayed at the Community Center.  When this happens, a story about it will appear on this website.

The Title Sponsor of the Open House was M-R Builder, and the Eagle’s Nest Bar & Grill provided snacks.  This poster was displayed at the event.

The Community Center is owned by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.  Here are the Directors.