The legend of Rollo Every reaches mythical proportions, and for good reason. Depending on the decades of your Clark Lake summers, Rollo could have figured into your life.
From the early days of the 20th century, Rollo owned the Eagle Point Resort. That covered a lot of ground. Aspects of the resort came and went. Over the years that included the hotel and restaurant, pavilion that hosted a bowling alley, arcade, roller skating rink, musical groups, playhouse, boat storage, and marina. To many enjoying lake life, Eagle Point was a mecca. For some it was the epicenter for social encounters. How many can remember roller skating, renting skates from Rollo at the counter, and drinking Royal Crown Cola?
Rollo left us long ago, but his descendants have continued to own and visit the Every cottage located in the Eagle Point cove. That is about to change. The Every family is selling. The buyer? Two well-known Clark Lakers will own the cottage jointly—Jill Bentley and David Nichols. David currently has an interest in the original Nichols cottage also in the Cove, and Jill owns the house, horse barn, and fields on the Eagle Point hill. She is affectionately known as “Jill Up the Hill.”
The Every’s: Patsy Every Knott (Rollo’s grandaughter), Taylor Knott (Patsy’s daughter), Margaret Every Dennard (Patsy’s sister)
The cottage is a treasure trove for one very good reason. It houses a unique recording of Clark Lake history. This one of a kind historical record was the inspiration of Virginia Every. Virginia was current owner Patsy Every Knott’s grandmother, and Rollo’s wife. An epitome of a southern lady, she charmed everyone with her drawl. When Clark Lake kids stopped by the cottage, she would graciously welcome them and measure them. Measure them? Yes. She would record their height on a wall. So, kids who returned the next summer could see how much they had grown. The height measurements covered a door, then a wall, and then another wall. Today those measurements are still there and legible. Adults from middle age to those in their 70s can find their names and the year the height measurement was taken. The Every’s report that it’s not unusual to hear a knock on the door to find someone who wanted to find their name on the wall…decades after being inscribed on it.
Jill and David finding names.
Not everyone at Clark Lake participated or were even aware of this activity. But, when reviewing the names, not only do you find those who were nearby, but many from other parts of the lake. They became part of Clark Lake’s permanent record. In this slide show, see if you find your name or a familiar one.
According to Jill, they intend to spend some time at the cottage, enjoying its location on the water, while maintaining the barns, their horses, and house on the hill. They also look forward to inviting family and friends as guests.
Every cottage in the Eagle Point Cove
As with many long-held cottages at the lake, other artifacts dot the walls, including the photo of Rollo Every taken in Florida. The Knotts are in the process of going through years of family belongings before turning the house over to the new owners. It’s good to know the new owners love Clark Lake and its history, and look forward to preserving the measuring walls. Scroll down for more artifacts.
FACTOID: Did you know Rollo’s name appears on the new Welcome to Clark Lake Sign?
Rollo was never known to be a fisherman, but his name is indelibly included on the transom of the boat and, in this way, will continued to be remembered.
A 1911 letter addressed to the Eagle Point Hotel from Owosso.
And finally, this. So far, anyone looking at this has only guessed at what it might be. Do you know? Please comment below.
Same item, disassembled.
I don know for sure, but the first thing that popped into my mind was a butter dish. Probably way off but that’s what came to me.
Hard boiled egg server ?
Entry door bell
Thank you so very much! The Every house is just six houses down the lake from my parents cottage. I have so many wonderful memories of Rollo firing one of his many cannons every Fourth of July. We would always have a watermelon party, then go to our grandparents house and light sparklers. To all who live or visit Clark Lake, it is a magical place, being born in July it was my first home. My mother called Clark Lake her Camelot!
We are so lucky to live here. Thank you for this beautiful story. The Every’s promised they will come visit, it will always be their home.
I wasn’t “born” into Clark Lake but began coming here in the early 1960’s when I started dating my now husband, Ron June. Ron is one of the “born” here. With a May birthday, he was ‘baptized’ with a dunk into the lake In June of that year.
Devil’s Lake was where my family was so lake life has been mine since birth. Lake life is something that gets ‘in your blood’ and nothing can quite compare to it. That’s why Ron and I live here and why our children and grandchildren have such a connection to it. A magical place? Absolutely. We call it our ‘Paradise.’ And it must be the same for just about everyone who either lives here or visits annually. Family cottages made into permanent homes passed down to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It’s ‘in our blood’ as well as theirs. Thank you for your personal memories. They paint a picture of an idyllic time — never forgotten. And thank you to Rick Belcher for keeping Clark Lake alive, interesting, and sometimes mysterious with his wonderful words and photos.
Thank you so much Beth! We are both super excited.
Great news! I hope you guys enjoy it. I don’t think I’m on the wall, in spite of having walked in front of it so many times.
Matt, I bet we will find your name somewhere on the door!
I’m so happy to see that the cottage will remain with someone who has memories of my grandparents. I am enjoying the 4th of July memories since I was there for several of them along with you! Good times! It was a big deal if he let you pull the string to set off that one cannon, which I still have.
Please come visit sometime, I would love to see you!
I think Carolyn is right. The two protrusions on the front are to hold a butter knife. Pretty neat. It would be interesting to hear what it is made of.
Looks to be silver plate.
This seems like a good time to remind everyone about the Clark Lake Collection at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson. The collection was created to house materials related to CL history and the book. There are many items relating to Eagle Point and the Every’s in the collection.
Rollo was my Great-Grandfather, and even though he passed not long after I was born his spirit continues to permeate my life and the rest of my families as well. He was a great craftsman and I continue to use some of his tools in my guitar-making hobby to this day. Thanks for the terrific story and photos. By the way, the measuring your friends and family thing is a tradition that is still alive in his former home (now my mother’s) in Florida. Pretty much anyone that comes in the door gets measured, and it’s nice to see my great-grandparents familiar handwriting in your slideshow.
What a great article on my grandfather! It is so gratifying to know he and my grandmother are still remembered. I had wonderful summers up there with them in the cottage, up until I was twelve I know my name is on that wall but don’t see it in these photos. I do see my brother, Eddy, and my mother, Stoie there.
Even though I never saw my grandfather actually fishing, it’s still great to see him in the boat on the welcome sign. My grandparents actually got married in a rowboat right off the Point with the preacher and my grandmother’s cousin playing ukulele in another rowboat. He definitely took us out on the lake in his boats a lot , with a nice sunset cruise on the pontoon boat being my favorite.
Ginny I’ll find your name and send you the picture
I totally know your name is here, I will look as well!
What a great and interesting article about Clarklake history.
Our family rented the “Seven Oaks” cottage every summer from about 1946 to 1955, the year Rollo sold Eagle Point to Cal Pitman. We would arrive in mid-to-late June, when Rollo and Virginia moved into the hotel to greet their annual visitors, and leave Labor Day weekend, when they closed the hotel. I have many wonderful memories of that cottage. I’m glad to see it in the hands of someone who loves this lake, and its history, as much as I do.
it’s a butter dish. Ice goes in the bottom tray to keep the butter cold.
From Greg Pittman – Jill & David do you remember when we would get measured Mrs. Every would give us kids a popsicle or a homemade one in an icecube tray? Then it was once a week for the rest of the summer? Kristenia & I want to say that it so wonderful that you both are buying the Every cottage and keeping the magic of Clark Lake alive. I have so many memories of times there and growing up at Eagle Point. We love you guys. Jill Bentley& David Nichols
Rollo’s tradition were his cannon’s from the end of his dock on the 4th, like 10AM. It’s an incense burner. Dispose the ashes in its bottom so you didn’t have to do it every time.
There it is again on envelopes – CLARK’S LAKE.
It is some kind of an container !!