A Clark Lake tradition is back in place. The Lakeview (West) Drive sign has been repainted.
For the third time, Kelli Volk Bercik assumed the task of repairing the sign. Julie Steffen Klein helped with the painting. Larry Binkley, Paul Klein, and Jimmy Steffen worked on mounting it. Before the sign was taken down, it was showing signs of wear.
The current restoration started earlier this summer, and was completed a few days ago upon Kelli’s return to the lake.
Below, the 2016 sign undergoes its current restoration.
Kelli points to the stability of the neighborhood. Since 2016 only four names have changed on the sign, and one of those involved the transfer of ownership within a family. Kelli’s mom lives at what has become the family gathering place. Kelli says coming back to the lake is “like a Hallmark Movie for me…seeing friends I grew up with is a pure joy.” Indeed, that’s a common sentiment around Clark Lake.
George Kellogg built and lettered an earlier version of the sign in 2010. By 2016, Michigan’s changing seasons had left their mark, and the sign was in such rough shape that it couldn’t be saved.
The 2016 restoration was a total replacement. The first step was to replace the metal on which names were lettered. Tucker Boyers contributed the cold press steel, fabricated it, and delivered it. Then came the painting. Kelli’s kids were involved–Alex, Brooke and Caden. Hardware was purchased and the sign was returned to its traditional place at Lakeview West and Jefferson Road. Neighbors contributed to cover the cost of materials. When the job was done, unused money was donated to the Spirit Trail. Kelli says she hasn’t knocked on doors this time, but if she receives donations beyond cost of materials, the excess will go to the Spirit Trail.
Here’s what the newly completed sign looked like in July 2016, just after being placed at the corner.
The oldest known version of the sign.
Some Clark Lakers recall other neighborhoods had signs, but none exist today. Another fascinating chapter in Clark Lake’s history was the naming of cottages, and it turned out it was based on more than whimsy. To read about it, please click here.