Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Boat House  

Terminology plays a great part in the deception of this building as it is refered to as "the boathouse" or "the bath house" or the use of both terms used together or "boat livery". It does seems tho by all reference made through the years theay are one in the same.

The history as has been found is as follows:

The above ad in the Maxenkuckee Agricultural Fair program read:
    M. F. Mosher builder of Yachts and row boats. Boats stored, repaired and painted. Boats, tents, and camp equippage for rent. Boathouse on lake front near Vandalia depot. Marmont, Ind.

Its also infered that the 'Boat and Bath house' was said to have been built in 1886 - it is said that this was the Mosher Boathouse, ran by M. F. (Fayette) Mosher until the Vadalia Railroad purchased it in 1894 {sic an ad by Mosher was in the Agriculture fair book of 1895} and thus became a part of the Vandalia Park. when it took over the park. Monton H. Foss operated the Boat and Bath house.

1899 - May 19 - Capt. Morris i s now sole owner of the bath-house and fixtures, which will be conducted in connection with his boat house. He has as fine a line of clinker row boats as can be found at any resort in the state, also several yachts. Parties can rent boats of the captain by the hour, week or for the season.

We do know that the 'Boat and bath House' as it was refered to as during the Vandalia era had at least two owners (leasors) as found in newspaper snipets - Capt. Morris and it was re-sold or re-leased to Mont Foss has sold the boat house and the fleet of boats to Mickle and Mack, proprietors of the former Hayes restaurant.

1904 - Sep 1 - It is quite likely that Captian Morris will have a new bath house several times as large as the present building next season

1911 - Aug. 17 - Buys the Boat Livery
    Arthur Morris has purchased of Captain Ed Morris the boat llivery, bath house, oil house and boat livery of 50 boats. He will take possesion Sept. 15.

The Boathouse or Bath house as its been called, In 1895 at a distance and the 1911 postcard

1911 - a lease dated Sep. 30 and terminated by mutual consent on March 27, 1915 between the Vandalia Railroad and Arthur Morris - for the boat and bath house - also had a map of its location and the railroad grounds

This is the park area by the 1922 plat map; it actual in reality extened into what is the 'Indian Trails and was the property of the Lake View Hotel since it was also under the ownership of the Vandalia Railroad. This also shows the location of the boathouse.

1922 - Vandalia Park - Vandalia Railroad

We do know that the 'Boat and bath House' as it was refered to as during the Vandalia era had at least two owners (leasors) as found in newspaper snipets - Capt. Morris and it was re-sold or re-leased to Mont Foss sold the boat house and the fleet of boats to Mickle and Mack, proprietors of the former Hayes restaurant.

1922 - MAY 24 Sale of Boat House
    Mont Foss has sold the boat house and the fleet of boats to Mickle and Mack, proprietors of the former Hayes restaurant. Th new proprietors contemplate some equpment which will make the bathing beach a more popular resort than ever, and the railroad has agreed to feature the attraction on its printed matter.

1922 - June 21 - Bathers are having big sports since" Mickie & Mack, the new proprietors of the bathing beach and boat yard erected a chute. But the fun isn't going to end with that, for a big toboggan slide is almost ready for use. II' is 45 feet high and 160 feet long. Toboggans will slip down the incline at a 30 mile an hour clip. Photos of the Vandalia Park:

1932 - May 25 - A. B. Long has again leased the railroad boat house use and bathing beach and has put out the piers.

1935 - Feb 17 Park Boat House Destroyed By Fire
    Contents, Vauled About $2,000, Owned by A. B. Long

    Fire claimed one of Culver's historic landmarks early Sunday morning when the boat house in Vandalia Park was destroyed

    The orgin of the fire remains a mystery and was a mass of flames when discovered. The alarm was turned in at 1:40 a.m. and within a short time the park was filled with spectators who had been attracted by the brilliant reflection of the flames on the ice of the lake.

    By the itme the fire truck started pumping water from the lake the old wooden building was almost burned to the ground and the firemen gave their attention to the large nearby trees, as well as reducing the intence heat of the flames.

    It is estimated that the loss will be around $2,400.

    The contents were owned by A. B. Lonf who operated the bath house concession during the summer and he places his loss at about $2,000. He carried $1,500 worth of insurance.

    Contents of Building

    Among the contents were 14 row boats, one outboard motor, three canoes, fishing tackle, 260bathing suits, 400 towels, ice cream refrigerator, and a quanity of micellaneous items.

    Boats owned by Charles Cowen and W. E. Friend and stored in the building were also burned

    The building was built in 1886 and was purchased in 1894 by the railroad when it took over the park.

    Fayette Mosher was the first to operate the place, but it probably reached its peak during the time Captain Morris was in the boat business

    It has served thousands of picnickers and bathers who have enjoyed the fine bathing beach of Lake Maxinkuckee.

    The town board has not made any plans for building a new and modern boat house, but will probably start construction in time for it to be used this summer. - Citizen 20 Feb. 1935

1937 - 13 Jan - Long Charfe With Arson IN Boathouse Fire
    Arthur B. "Nick" Long, owner of the Culver City Tavern, was indicted Friday by the Marshall county gtand jury on a charge of arson.

    He was arrested late that night and secured his release bu posting a $3.000 bond

    The indictment charges Long with being involved int he fire which destroyed the boathouse and all its contents in Vandalia Park early Sinday morning, Feb. 17, 1935. It is said that he collected $1,500 insurance on the contents, which he owned as operator of the hoathouse.

    PAir tells Stories

    The indictment is the result of storied told by Pat Murphy, in the Plymouth jail in connection with the Bobery robbery, and Ora Connoer, better known here as Buster French, who is lodging in the Know jail. It is said that both men confessed theri roles in the fire and implicated Long.

    Murphy and Connor stated they had been hired by Long to set fire to the boathouse and that they were to receive about $100 for the job. The told the officers that they had been paid only about $50

    Long has disclaimed any knowledge of an arson plot and denies any agreement with his two accusers

    Discovered at 1:40 a.m.

    The boathouse was a mass of flames when discovered at 1:40 a.m. on Feb. 17, 1935, and no cause for the blaze was given at the time. Mr. Long stated at the time that his loss was about $2,000 with $1,500 covered by insurance.

    The list of items belonging to Long and destroyed by the flames included 14 rowboats, an outboard motor, three canoes, fishing tackle, 260 bathing suits, 400 towels, an ice cream refrigerator, and miscellaneaout articles. Boats belonging to Charles Cowen and W. E. Friend were also included in the list.

1937 - May 13 - Ashur B. Log Acquited of Arson Charge
    AShur B. Long has bee acquitted on two counts of the charge of arson in the Marshall Circuit court, the jury bringing in its verdict at midnight Monday. The trial started on last Thursday, and went to the jury about 6:00 o'clock Monday evening

    The case was basedon the burnign of the old boat house on February 17, 1935, where Mr. Long had operated the concession. The charges were brought by the grand jury "fleloniously, wilfully, and maliciously aid, council, and procure on Ora Connor to set fire to and burn certain chattels and personal property consisting of the contents" and "intent to prejudice and defruad the sain insurer"

    The state's case was based mainly on testimony by Ora Connor (BUster French) and Pat Murphy both of whom testified, it is said that Long hired them to burn the boat house.

    Witness for Defense

    The defense produced a number of local citizens as character witnessess and two witnesses who stated, it is reported, that Connor was at their home all the evening the boat house burned, thus discrediting Connor's testimony.

    Marshall Kizer, prosecuting attorney, handled the state's case, and George Stevens and WIlliam Reed, of Know appeared for the defense.

    The jury was made up of Cha. S. Greer, center township; Ervin Stuntz, German; Merl VanDorn, Boubon; Harry Phillips, Bourbon; ELery J. Gordon, Center; Ralph C. Enders, North; Ross C. Fenimore, Polk; John W> WHittaker, Gree; Edgar Ames, Center; Frederick A. Caper, Center; David Hite, Center; and Gel.D. Marks, Center.