FAQ: How to enjoy the Clark Lake Community Center?
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The Clark Lake Community Center is regularly a venue for graduation and birthday parties, neighborhood gatherings, reunions, life celebrations, showers, weddings, receptions, and a meeting place for lake organizations. The experience is unique. Incorporated into the building’s soul is Clark Lake’s heritage reaching back to 1899. The setting shows off Clark Lake’s beauty. The Community Center is surrounded by the Garden Angels’ landscaping, the greenery, flowers, and the new Pretty Pergola. From high on the hill in the County Park, it’s view of the lake is a sought after vantage point for events and pictures.
The recent restoration, thanks to the generosity of Clark Lakers, reclaims the cottages iconic status. The Graziani’s first saw their new cottage as they arrived by boat. Carlotta described the moment. “There it stood with its beautiful verandas, up and downstairs with beautiful white columns around its entirety. It was a lovely southern cottage on a beautiful lake in southern Michigan.” Today those verandas are restored and pillars stand tall. Carlotta remembered the experience. “I heard mama say over and other again, ‘Oh, Ben—it’s so lovely.’ And after we landed, my sisters and I raced through it having so much fun and getting acquainted. As one entered the center hall, there were two parlors (as they were called in those days) on the right, two lovely dining rooms on the left and a lovely wing at the back which was a large country kitchen.”
Arriving at the cottage by boat was not isolated to back then. In 2014, Angela Ligibel had just turned 90. Through a series of friendly conspiracies, her family convinced her to take a raft ride to the Community Center to see some historical items. The reality was quite different. Inside awaited 5 generations of family and friends, some of whom had flown in from the far reaches of the country. The building was full of anticipation, but those inside observed a hushed silence. Angela opened the lakeside door for the surprise of her life.
During her lifetime, Prudy Christman was part of the fabric of life at Clark Lake. When she passed, her husband, Gregg, chose the Community Center as the perfect place to celebrate all the good times. Prudy was the leader of Fit Chicks. Fellow members got together to have a Spirit Pole crafted. It was presented at the event to Gregg.
When the north shore neighborhood group needed a place to reunite after COVID, they gathered at the Community Center. Check out this video to see how it went.
The Community Center books quickly in late spring and early summer for graduation parties. Here’s one that took place in 2021.
Interested in exploring the idea of renting the Community Center for your event? Click here the details. Some highlights are below.
- The Community Center is available for one day rentals, April 1 through December 31, at a rate of $300 per day. In December, the rate is $350 as snow plowing could be required.
- The Community Center accommodates about 50 people indoors. Weather permitting, the outside area can be used, enlarging the capacity. It is heated and air conditioned.
- The Center supplies 10 tables and 25 chairs, and has a kitchen with refrigerator, sink and microwave; two restrooms, one being handicap accessible. The main floor is also handicap accessible, with ramps leading into the building.
- Tents, tables and chairs may be rented and brought to the center from local rental vendors.
- For more information or to reserve the center, contact Meredythe Hill-Van Dusen at 517-206-9802. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Center location: 3740 Ocean Beach Road, mailing address: PO Box 224, Clark Lake, MI 49234
Some photos of the interior. More available by clicking here.
You have to wonder what Ben Graziani and his family were whisked from 1900 to 2023 for a look at their Kentucky Point cottage? Here is a photo, probably taken about 1910.
What the lake looked like the day the cottage was moved from Kentucky Point to its current location in the County Park.
The most recent restoration took place because Clark Lakers stepped up to the challenge. You’ll see their names as you open the door to the north entrance.