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

1881-1894 Culver Military Academy - Culver Educational Foundation  





The aerial view of Aubeenaubee Bay today


"Indian Trails"



After the Lake View Hotel burned on 15 November 1929 the ground it stood on became known as the "Indian Trails"; but just when the named was attached to this area is unknown. The picture below shows the old Lake View Hotel and the shore line of the area.


In 1931 the Culver Reality and Investment Company was established by Bertram and Edwin II Culver . Through this they bought up the north shore property of the lake between the Culver Town Park and the original campus property.

The a brief account of the history this area is here.

Campus Area



18__ - John Mitchell
1872-1885 - A. T./Aaron T. Benedict 44.75; 58.35; & north of these both is an tract 80A

1885 - It is said that Henry Harrison Culver acquired Aaron Benedict land holdings for the Culver Military, Aaron Benedict lived in Maxinkuckee.

From Corwin's One Townships Yesterday's:
    The new-comers to the lakeside settlement are Aaron T. Benedict and his wife Cordelia, with their children. They had moved here from Miami County and settled at the extreme north end of the lake. It was in 1872 that, they located here.

    The Benedict homestead was established on a knoll somewhat back from the lake. Pine trees were planted around it. These grew and grew, and in the passing years witnessed the changing fortunes of the family in the house they sheltered. Finally, by marriage and death, the Benedicts were parted and scattered, and there came a day when the homestead was deserted. At length the house itself was gone, and only the pine trees remained on the knoll that overlooked the lake. There they stand to this day, a little grove of them, grown real tall now, landmarks, telling the story of human habitation there once where no dwelling stands any more.

    The Benedict homestead beneath these trees was north of the present Road 10 and east of the Hibbard Road. The highways today are not as they originally were. In the 'seventies the old roads ran close to the house. There was a three-point intersection almost in front of the house, where the highway from Marmont, coming diagonally and directly northeast from the lakeside, joined the eastbound Argos Road and the Hibbard Road. The Argos Road was immediately south of the Benedict house, while the Hibbard Road then followed a northwesterly trend till it reached the Shaw school house, then proceeded north a short stretch before turning east, as now.

    "Aaron T. Benedict, my father, owned two hundred acres at the north end of the lake," says Mrs. Augusta Warner of Culver . "All of this is now the property of Culver Military Academy. The original site of the Academy was on the Benedict tract, bordering the bay. It was acquired by Henry H. Culver from the family."

The quote from the Thomas Bigley Biographical sketch is:
    He also owned considerable acreage north of the lake along Aubeenaubee Bay, 83 acres along the lake front and 200 acres thence north. He built a home approximately a half mile from the lake and planted pine trees around it. He never lived there, but rented it to his daughter, Augusta, and husband William WARNER and family. Later the house burned but the pine trees stand to this day; the site is historically known as the Pine Tree House. His land holdings were later acquired by Henry H. Culver for the Culver Military Academy.

and another quip under the Wayne Flagg biographical sketch found in the same book [History of Marshall County Indiana Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986 (Taylor Publishing Co., 1986, Publication # 357 of 1422) Marshall County Historical Society pg 169] is:
    Wayne's maternal grandparents, William B. Warner (1846-1898) and Augusta Benedict Warner (1848-1939), ...

    The William Warners owned a farm that is nor part of the Culver Military Academy Campus. Wayne's mother was born on this farm. The house was located near the pine trees where the activities of the Woodcraft Council Fires are held.

Just recently this has surfaced about the Benedict property - "Pine Tree House" - 1872 – Landmark “Pine Tree House” built by A. T. Benedict, Maxinkuckee. Benedict ran sawmill on dammed creek running through Bigley property, - also Grist Mill.

1898 - Culver Military Academy - 15.92/18.92a
    H. H. Culver - 76.49 to the North
    H. H. Culver - 38.10 to the North
    H. H. Culver - 39.25 to the East

Henry H. Culver came to Culver in the spring of 1883 and retired to the "Founders cabin" (William Thompson) and began buying property on the northeast side of the lake; first buying 98 acres [the Hissong farm] in the spring of 1883 [another source says 90 acresand yet another source say 83] and then 208 acres [another source says 202] {Aubeenaubee Bay Farm] in 1884.

It is said that he built in 1884 a farmhouse besides the homestead house.

It is said that the original Culver farmhouse and was moved to 301 North Shore Drive which is within the academy property. By pictures and what I have come up with this cottage/house sat on the Aubeenaubee Bay, on the north side of the lake as pictured   -here possibly as one see what resembles a house in the background


Culver Educational Foundation/Culver Military Academy Campus - it appears to read 92.80 acres; at the left is a more detailed view of its holdings from the section cropped out of the 1908 plat map and enlarged


By 1884, Henry H. Culver owned 306 acres of land bordering the lake, much of it marshy and unusable. By the time he returned to St. Louis in 1885, he and his workers had laid about nine miles of drain tile and reclaimed much of the land by draining the marsh land; that is now part of The Academies campus.


This ditch system soon was referred to the as the "canal" and the early pictures show canal and lagoon's which were a part of this system. The meandering drainage ditch ran through the campus from near the tennis courts to the lakeshore site passing in front of the Main Barracks, yet to be built back then. A pool also was built between 1883 and 1885 as part of Henry H. Culver 's effort to drain the marshy north shore of Lake Maxinkuckee. The first gymnasium is barely visible at the right of Main, and the white building at the far right was the Academy boathouse.

By 1886 he owned more than 300 acres. In 1886 the Culver 's built a large home near their cabin and named it the Homestead.

    It is said that Mr. Culver was interviewed ten years later and to use Mr. Culver's own language
    "I spent the whole summer, by the side of the lake. I fished nearly all the day, and lived in a tent. When fall came I was a different man, It had such a glorious effect on my health that I determined to acquire property here. I bought ninety-eight acres on the northeast corner of the lake. The following year I bought 208 acres at the north end of the lake. A good deal of this land was low and damp. I employed a number of men to ditch and drain it, and before X was done I had put twenty-two miles of drainpipe in the 300 acres. It reclaimed the land and I started to have it farmed. On a part I raised corn, and part of it I devoted to meadow for hay. In 1889 I built a tabernacle, a hotel, and some cottages, and arranged for a big series of religious meetings. I secured T. DeWitt Talmage, of New York; Rev. Sam Jones, of Georgia, and Dr. John Matthews, of St. Louis, and had great crowds to hear them. I had revival meetings and lectures for the whole of that summer, but since that time there have been no public meetings of any consequence."

1893 - Culver Dream Sitting on a large rock on Maxinkuckee's north shore in 1893, Henry Harrison Culver made a decision. There the St. Louis stove manufacturer decided that he would build the school which he had planned since childhood, which would offer an outstanding education to boys high school age, instilling in them not only knowledge but also, a hot only knowledge but also an appreciation of their individual destinies, and by friendly military discipline developing their pride, purpose and dedication. From Founder's Rock he watched construction, of the first building.

In the fall of 1896, after he had entered upon the work of building up the military academy, he added this reminiscence, as indicating a single incident which had attached him to the lake: "While fishing one day near the Indiana boathouse. I caught a fine seven-pound bass, and, sir, that bass has cost me $250,000!”

1887 - Henry H. Culver decided to open a Chautauqua camp similar to the one operated by the Methodist Church in New York State. He built a three story hotel, tabernacle of 5,400 square feet [where the Main Barracks sits today], and several cottages and there was also tenting place. In July 1889 it was directed by Ben Deering and attracted more than 20,000 visitors and opened for business in the summer of 1889. It was known as the Culver Park Assembly on the Aubeenaubee Bay. After two money-losing seasons, he closed it down after the 1890 summer season.

The tabernacle:



This 5,400 square foot building served as the Tabernacle for the ill-fated Chautauqua. It became the first gymnasium in 1894 and after a new gymnasium was built in 1902, it was converted into a new Mess Hall. In 1912, it was moved to the northeast and used for storage. It burned in 1915.

The hotel


After the Chautauqua failed Mr. Culver offered it to the citizens of Marshall county, an indefinite leasehold on thirty or forty acres of land to be used for the purpose of holding an annual fair. He graded and laid off a half-mile track, planted trees, and largely assisted in erecting a grand stand and necessary buildings, besides the buildings that remained from the Chautauqua camp. So for a brief while the area was used as a fairground for Union Township being leased in 1889 to the 'Maxinkuckee Fair Association and it opened in 1891. The fair was discontinued in 1895 because but it too also proved not to be a profitable venture; the Agriculture 1895 fair booklet bears many ads and pictures. It was a venture that lasted all of two years, doubtless because of the location so far from the center of the county, this enterprise was gradually abandoned, and finally the land reverted to the estate, after the failure to hold a meeting for three years.


History 1883-1893 ~ ~ History 1894-1919 ~~ History 1920-1944 ~~ History 1945-1969. ~~ History 1970-present






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