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


Vandalia Park  

. Section 16 - 500.90A 1835 Original Survey
Section 16 c. 1837 500.90A (North shore town and academy)

1872 - Section. 16
    Est. of I N Morris 105 A ( also 80 A)
    J. Duddleson - 30.60A & 10A
    T. Houghton 90A.
    J. Houghton Acreage not stated
    J ___ name illegible 4A
    G. A. Durr 10A
    Lot no name no acreage stated
    G. A. Durr 5A? - res (Lot 2 3A & 3A)
    Dr. Durr No amount Stated lots as if to be 2 large
    L D W [Lorenzo W. Wiseman]

1876 - J. Castleman - 190A

1876 Section 16
    1850-1876 I. N. Morris 175/185a   [Isaac N. Morris] - 185 A

1880 North Section 16 - 500.90 Acres Town
    I N Morris 185.34
    B. W. Watt 15.50A
    LakeView Club 15A
    J Duddleson 109.31A
    Tho. Houghton 90A.
    J. E. Houghton 19.60A
    E Parker 27 A

Here is some interesting facts stated about the orginial property owners of the north side of the lake:
    Zina and Emma Duddleson .... The grandfather of Zina was a Civil War veteran and a farmer. His later years were lived in the Argos vicinity.

    The great-grandfather originally owned the Thomas Houghton farm to the Maxinkuckee Lake on the west side of Burr Oak Road. The land now occupied by the Vandalia Park, was part of this farm and was given to Dr. Durr in payment for medical services. The consideration was $50., as great-grandfather Duddleson considered it of little farming value. .....
    - History of Marshall County Indiana Sesquicentenial 1836-1986, Taylor Publishing Co., 1986, Publication # 357 of 1422, Marshall County Historical Society pg. 153 - Marcella White.

We know that Albert "Al" Toner, purchased twenty-six acres of land at Lake Maxinkuckee probably for speculative purposes. He probably sold some of this area as noted below to the railroad and the rest he platted the Toner Addition which was added on 5 August 1886 to the town of Marmont now Culver by Albert D. Toner ( Lakeshore Drive). During this time the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad was slowly expanding its line up to Culver, finally arriving June 30th and then on to South Bend and became known as the Vandalia; one train daily at first ran.

The railroad also bought out the Lake View Club and its 15 acres to the east becaming a part of the "Vandalia Park" and converted it to the Lake View Hotel.
1886 - Lakeside Vandalia Park was established - Yet it is said that they established Vandalia Park sometime in 1883, 1889 and yet another source says as late as 1890. The Vandalia Park encompassed an area of 3.2 acres. Yet from the Logansport Journal May 15, 1886 pg. 3 under Maxenkuckee Notes is:
    The Vandalia Company have purchased a nice piece of ground from Mr. Toner and will convert it into a park and picnic ground for the benefit of excursionists and others visiting the lake.

The Boat and Bath house was said to have been built in 1886 - it is said that this was possibly the Mosher Boathouse, ran by M. F. (Fayette) Mosher but documentation has not been found.
It is said that that railroad purchased in it 1894. It is also refered to as the "Morris Boathouse" and mention of it has been found

This picture taken in August 1890 by John R. Hager and 48 years later was sent back to W. T. Parrish by John Truet Pennsy official in New York; information was written on the back by George E. Farrington one time Secretary of the Vandalia Railroad.

1889 - Apr 17 The company is also building some airy sheds on their ground, which will be a great luxury to tha pleasure seekers at the lake, knowing that such attention will be appreciated by the public. - Logansport Pharos
1891 Terre Haute & Logansport Railroad [TH&L] Annual Report from the year ending October 31, 1891 and page 39 contains the following expense: $267.35 for fruit stand at Marmont Park

1894 - The Boat and Bath house that was built in 1886 and was purchased in 1894 by the Vandalia Railroad when it took over the park. Monton H. Foss operated the Boat and Bath house.

1894 - July 13 - date assumed - News Frfom Premier of Marmont Herald - Published in 1894
    The Vandalia Park

    A stranger on entering Marmont via the Vandalia railroad, is verv much surprised at the grand appearance of the grounds on the south side of the depot. The Vandalia railroad parte is certainly all that nature and art can do to make it the paradise of loveliness.

    Fine gravel walks can be found in this park and seats here and there where the weary can rest beneath the cool shade, while the breeze, wafted from the beautiful Lake Maxinkuckee cools their fevered brows.

    The company takes great pride in keeping its park in good shape.

    The depot is a model of architectural design, and is still further beautified by pavilions where passengers can sit upon neatly ar ranged seats while waiting for trains, and if thirsty can quaff water from pure flowing wells near at hand.

1897 - May 28 - - A gang of men have been cleaning up the railroad park the past week, a very commendable act. We understand the company will plant flowers Decoration day. Good enough,

1899 - May 19 - Capt. Morris is 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.

1899 - Jun 16 - Never in the history of Culver have the railroad grounds been so artistically beautified as at the present time. A large force of men have been at work upon the the grounds under the management of a master, hence they present a magnificent appearance. A large pole has been raised upon the banks of the lake, from the top of which wave the Stars and Stripes. In fact- the grounds are admired by all lovers of the beautiful

1900 - May 18 - The Vandaha R. R. company has has put in a new pier, and is also cleaning up the grounds around the Lake View Hotel and in Vandalia Park. Culver Herald

1900 - May 25 - Under the supervision of Quinn, the Vandalia depot, parks have been cleaned up and put in better shape than ever before, and now present a most beautiful appearance. About June 1st the flowers will be “set out” and other work performed which will add additional beauty to the park scenery. The company has put in a new pier this spring and all in all, there never was a time when the surrounding of the lake front near the depot were more attractive - Culver Herald

1902 - Vandalia expanded the park - Found in the Fourth annual report was:
    The charges to Construction and Equipment paid for out of new capital was as follows:...Picnic grove purchased at Culver 4,524.90 - pg. 10 Fourth Annual Report of The Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Company For Year Ending December 31, 19O2. Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Co.

    In order to provide facilities for entertaining picnic parties at Lake Maxinkuckee during the summer season and also to prevent the probable purchase of the property by undesirable parties it was thought best to purchase an oak grove of about ten acres fronting the lake and adjacent to the company's station and property. Several expensive improvements authorized - pg. 11 Fourth Annual Report of The Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Company For Year Ending December 31, 19O2. Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Co.

1903 - May 21 - The stone forming the edge of the walks at the depot grounds is being removed by Foreman Washburn and men. Cut sod borders will be used this season. The rock that is removed will be used to build a sea wall down near the ice houses

The 28 May 1903 issue of the Culver Citizen announced: Gravel walks are being put in at the depot grounds and at the Lakeview cottages. All the flowers are planted and Foreman Washburn expects to have everything in first class order by the last of the week

1903 - June 25 - E. S. Whelan, of Cincinnati, has charge of the round stand for the Union News Co., this season. He opened the place last Wednesday.

1903 - June 25 - The Vandalia railroad company is having a large octagon band stand, twenty feet in diameter, erected in the park.

1903 - Found in the Fifth annual report was:
Paving sidewalks at Culver ............. $72.20
Fifth Annual Report of The Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Company For Year Ending December 31, 19O3. Terre Haute & Logansport Railway Co.pg. 8

1904 - Mar 17 - Griffith, Terre Haute's leading florist, has the contract to furnish the flowers for Vandalia Park this year.

1904 - May 5 - The Vandaiia Park yardmen are removing all the old dirt from the flower beds and tilling in with good black soil from the Wabash river bottoms. - - The Vandaiia Park sheds are being roofed with tar paper. This will make the sheds more useful, as heretofore they afforded but little protection to excursionists in rainy weather.

1904 May 19 -The old turn table and switch near Kreuzbergers Park were taken out this week - - Griffith, the Terre Haute florist, is putting out. the flowers in Vandalia Park this week

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

1905 - Apr 13 - The Vandalia railroad company is making some extensive improvements upon the depot grounds and sheds. A brick pavement will cover all that part formerly laid with plank

1905 - May 6 - The new walks at the Vandalia depot are nearing completion and are adding much to the comfort and beauty of the place

1905 - Jun 15 - The Vandalia railroad company is covering all the walks around the depot with crushed limestone, which improves the general appearance of the grounds.

1908 map of rail road holdings. Tho its not stated on the map the larger empty lots to the west of the Emma Lord Parcel was purchased in 1902 as stated above and owned by the railroad and was sold to Medbourn as stated below in 1916. And also could of contained the other 2 smaller parcels.

1909 - February 25 – Eight or ten additional hydrants have been installed on the depot grounds for sprinkling

1909 Apr 8 - The Vandalia has sold forty or fifty trees in the grove west of the station. Their removal is expected to encourage the growh of thr grass in the picinic grounds.

This photo appeared in the Citizen on 21 Aug 1963; the park was described as: The grassy slopes were broken by colorful flower beds and gravel walks bordered by white-washed stone.

One small section, like a bit of fairyland, contained a small stream of water spanned by a tiny foot bridge. Near the birdge was a little rustic house with seats for two and a "Lover's Lane" beyond.

The big walk led from the station to the pier where the large steamers received passengers which were transported to places around the lake.

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

1911 - Sep 14 - A Card to the Public
    Culver, Ind., Sep. 12 - Editor of the Culver Citizen

    I wish to announce through your paper that I have disposed of my boat livery, bathing etc., to Arthur Morris.

    I hope he will receive the patronage the business deserves and that he will be more acceptable to the town people than I have been

    I shall give my whole attention to building, storing and repair work at my shop and store rooms near the Palmer Hose, where I shall be glad to see all my old customers and as many new ones as feel willing to trust their work to me - Ed. Morris.

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

1913 - A Storm in 1913 destroyed the Lighthouse in the Vandalia Park. It was used as a signal for the arrival of the evening train arrivals. It was built some time in the 1900's or late 1890's it stood on a 4 to 5 foot base and was 8 to 10 feet in height

1914 - 2 April - A new town pier will be constructed at a length of between 10 and 120 feet and a width of 8 feet. It will be built in 10-foot sections and floored with 2 inch plank - Culver citizen

1914 - Sep 10 - The Vandalia railroad has placed the Lake View property and Vandalia park on the market

1915 - May 27 - What is known as the sailboat and launch pier has been abandoned. SInce the withdrawl of the two steamboats from the lake traffic on pier will serve th needs of all watercraft coming to the railroad station. The lake front is improved in appearance by the removal of the pier.

The open land to the east of the Toner Avenue commercial district was owned the railroad company, as was the park and beach along the lakeshore just to the south. Toner Avenue hillside overlooked the lake, and was a popular picnic spot for tourists. After it cut back on Sunday excursions to Culver in the early years of the twentieth century, the railroad company sought to divest itself of the hillside. In 1916, the company sold the land to Samuel Medbourn, a local businessman, who platted it as Medbourn's First Addition to the Town of Culver The neighborhood was platted in 1916 by Samuel Medbourn, a leading local businessman
    1915 - Jun 24- . Medbourn and Lenon received the deed on Monday for the Vandalia Park tract, and yesterday had surveyors platting it into lots.

1917 - Sep 26 - Sitting under a hickory tree in Vandalia Park and hearing the nuts drop around us sounds like one of those Ford jokes

Therailroad still retained the park area south of Lake Shore drive for several years more

1919, Feb 19 - Arthur Morris has traded his boat house plant to Monton Foss for a house and lot and a barn an lot in the west part of town

1919 Dec 10 - "The season is officially closed" - announces Cape Wiseman. "We have stored the seats and trash boxes belonging to Vandalia Park, and the piers will be taken out as soon as the lake freezes."

1920 - May 26 - O. A. Bennett was in town this week arranging for the opening the stand at the depot on Saturday. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Redding, who were here last summer, will have charge of the depot stand and Mr and Mrs Dick Louden will manage the round stand

1920 - Jun 9 - Beautifying the Park The railroad park is rapidly assuming the festive aires of summer.
    Cape Wiseman and his assistant Charley Eaton have place the flower beds in readiness and installments of blooming plants are being received from the company's conservatories at Schwickley, Pa.

    The park benches are in place and picnic parties are already putting them to use.

    Crushed stone has been spread on the thoroughfare west of the depot and an attractive grass plot and flower beds have been completed on the site of the burned depot.

    The park is a beauty spot every summer - a joy to the eyes of the tired traveler and a source of much enjoyment to the town people and the thousands of visitors to the lake

1922 holdings of the railroad. The sale of the Lake View seems to have had its "hitches" along the way:
    1922 - Mar 8 - Something is looked for this week in the negotiations which Mr. and Mrs. Outland are making with the Pennsylvania railroad company for the purchase of the Lake View Property.

    1922 - Mar 15 - The Lake View Summer Hotel Sold to V. F. and H. M. Outland of "The Jungle"

    1923 - Feb. 7 The William Alexander Post of the American Legion members voted to unaninously to purchase if at all possible to do so a plot of gorund belonging to the Pennsylvania railroad, situated on the lake front, at the extreme west end of Vandalia Park, and immediately adjacent to it, and ercet thereon a larg, rustic club and community house.

    1923 - Mar 7 - Railroad Improvements... It seems to be definitely decided that this spring will see the installation of modern water closets in the rear of the bath house

    1923 - May 9 - Material has been ordered for the construction of the railroad company's public closets to be erected in the rear of the bath house.

    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:

    1923 - February 7 The depot pier has finally been removed to prevent its destruction by the breaking up of the ice in the spring. The sail boatpier will be taken care of in the same manner

    1925 - January 28 - V. F. Outland was in town last week, turning back the Lakeview Hotel property to the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Mr. Outland's option on the property expired Jan. 1.

1929 - Feb 20 - A representative of the Pennsylvania railroad company had made the request of the town that aid be given in the upkeep of Vandalia Park. It was pointed out that the railroad does not receive the revenue from visitors to the lake that it used to enjoy, while the park was a distinct advanatge and asset to the town. It was asked that the town furnish water for sprinkling the Park and for the rest room. This was readily granted by the board abd rgw mwmbwea expressed their appreciation of the railroad's co-operation and interest in maintainiing this attractive mecca for those wishing to enjoy the lake in the summer.
1929 - Apri - The Lakeview property of The Vandalia Park seems to have finally been sold in April 1929 it was acquired by the Culver Family :
    The Culver Military Academy has announced that they have purchased the real estate facing Lake Maxinkuckee known as the Lake View Hotel property. This gives the academy a solid stretch from the Palmer House to the boat house. - -The News-Sentinel, Thursday, May 2, 1929

1932 - Mar 2 -- Vandalia Park Needs Caretaker This Year
    The town board has learned from officials of the Pennsylvania Railroad that Vandalia Park, located on the edge of Lake Maxinkuckee is not for sale, neither will it be leased.

    Yet the railroad official do not feel that the revenue from passengers coming to the lake is sufficient to warrant their continuing the park's upkeep, so if this attractive plot is to be kept as a mecca for visitors to the lake some plan will have to be devised wereby a caretaker will be provided locally. The town board will probably take the matter up for consideration

    This news was discussed at the Chamber of Commerce meeting Monday noon, along with politics, basketball, emplyment and post offices.

    Those present were: M. B. Ewald, C. l. Shively, C. I. Ferrier, F. M. Annis, Carl Adams, Earl Foreman, C. C. Chambers, Ray Bell, W. E. Fried, W. O. Osborn and M. R. Robinson.

1932 - May 25 - Upon statement of officials of the Pennsylvania Railroad that they didn't intend to maintain Vandalia Park this summer, but would give permission for the local town board to take care of its upkeep, the town made plans to have the park mowed at once and the continuance of maintenance during the summer months.

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

1933 - May 3 - Town Wants bids for Care of Lake Park
    The town board is receiving bids for the positon of care taker of Vandalia Park for the summer season.

    Bids will be considered at a special meeting Monday Night

    Particulars can be obtained from Mayor Cleve Crabb.

1933 - Aug 16 - Since abandoning the care of the Vandalia park by the railroad company and the town taking it over there is a growing sentiment in favor of modernizing this beautiful lake shore resort. Just how this can be done within the scope of our financial ability can be learned by a propsed delegation to Pendleton park, near Indianapolis next Sunday. Pendleton park furnsishes the village its street lights free. This has been made bossible by the receipts of the park as a recreation and bathing resort

1934 - Apr 25 - Park Spick and Span -
    Mont Foss, superintendent of streets, has Vandalia Park in the best condition it has been in several years. The bank leading to the lake has been thoroughly cleaned of refuse as well as the balance of the park, which will increase the park's drawing power for visitor's this summer

1934 - May 9 - Taylor Builds Bird Houses for Lake Park
    Twenty-four bird houses have been placed in Vandalia Park, the gift of Jack Taylor, who built them himself.

    The houses are very attractive and add to the appearance of the park as well as attracting more birds.

    If the benches and tables could be painted the park would present its best appearance in years

1934 - Jun. 13 - Clean Park Spring
    The Spring near the boat landing in Vandalia Park has been cleaned by the town board. This spring is a flowing well, but had become stopped up until it natural flow has been greatly reduced. It is now giving forth a good supply of cool driking water.

1935 - In 1935 Culver purchased the town park for $6,500 this included 3.2 acres and buildings excluding the depot and adjacent land; it also included Bunker Hill and the old water tower of 2.2 acres.
    The name "Bunker Hill" coming from what more than one local has discussed as being the steel doors along the hillside north of the old railroad tracks, today entirely obscured by dirt and grass, which lead into the old, concrete storage bunkers used by the railroad company for some years