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

Culver Military Academy Culver Educational Foundation 1900-1919  

Here is a section referring to the Academy from the 1900 topographical map by J. T. Scovell

1901 - Albert Knell added a fourth floor to Main Barrack

1902 - The campus area from an aerial view. It shows the old view of the roads, before St. Rd. 10 was put in.

1902 - The "little" Gym was erected. Through the efforts of the Indiana delegation in congress, a law was passed authorizing the loan to the academy of man-of-war cutters for the practical instruction of cadets, in a course of boat drills similar to those given to the fourth class at Annapolis. In June of 1902, the Summer Naval School opened with 20 cadets (first called midshipmen circa 1920) and commanded by Leigh Gignilliat's brother, Thomas, a Naval Academy graduate

    Culver Military Academy, established by H. H. Culver ten years ago, on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee near the present town of Culver, was Thursday incorporated with a capital stock of $240,000. The trustees are as follows: Walter L. Culver, Henry H. Culver, Bert B. Culver, Knight K. Culver, Edwin R. Culver, Emily J. Culver and A. F. Fleet. - - Rochester Sentinel, Friday, July 18, 1902

1903 - The 4th floor was added onto the Main Barracks - this being solely for academic purposes, and containing a drafting room, physical laboratory, chemical laboratory, biological laboratory, Y. M. C. A. room, chemical and physical lecture rooms, dentist's office, barber shop, and dark room for amateur photographers. In June of 1903, an agreement with the construction firm of J. E.. Barnes and Sons of Logansport was signed for $14,225.70. A materials drawing account was set up on Aug. 29, and by the end of September, construction was underway. Albert Knell was the designer and engineer. A survey of the 1895 power plant in the Engine Annex was made. Bradley and Co. of St. Louis], recommended a major up-grades including new boilers, engines, and a dynamo and new Westinghouse Electric Company switchboard. Barnes and Sons was given the contract to remodeling the Annex. The water tank was also inadequate to supply campus needs and the roof possibly co uld not with stand any additional weight. A tower and larger water tank the hill just south of the new gymnasium was constructed by Fairbanks, Morse and Company [of St. Louis]. Barnes and Sons did the site preparation for the foundation and Bradley and Co. done the plumbing to connect the water lines from the Annex to the campus building.

1903 - An article by L. Robinson Gignilliat appeared sometime during this year in the Munsey's Magazine; it was 4 pages long and had 5 illustrations and was titled "An Inland Naval School"

1903-04 a splendid gymnasium was constructed.

1904 - Aug 4 - Improvements at the Academy Brick work on the South Barracks has been finished and concreting and lathing ready on time. Contracts have been signed for; a new kitchen west of the old gym and the extension and enlargement of the engine and boiler rooms. There will be a twenty-foot extension on the ground now occupied by the formation sheds, and a dynamo capable of supplying 1000 lights will be installed. The old gym. is being remodeled for a dining hall

1904 - South Barracks was erected - with capacity for ninety cadets and three officers.
Here is the cover of a summer catalog for 1904

1905 - YMCA chapter established on campus. The gymnasium built in 1902 burned in 1905, it burned to the ground and was replaced, exactly as before, in 1907

1906 -Sanborn fire map of Culver Military Academy grounds.

1906 - Gym was destroyed by fire June 1, 1906, but was immediately rebuilt. This is the largest and most complete private school gymnasium in existence. It is constructed in the Tudor Gothic style of architecture. The main gymnasium hall is seventy-five by one hundred and forty feet. It has walls of white, enamel brick, capped by a heavy oak rail, to which are fastened pulley weights and other wall apparatus. The floor is of polished hard maple. A suspended running track-seventeen laps to the mile-and gallery, skirt the four walls. The roof is supported by steel trusses, and no pillar or post mars the ample floor space. Opening into the main hall are apparatus room, measuring room, filled with the best anthropometric apparatus, director's room, locker room, drying room, and baths. West Barracks was renovated.

By age requirements of being 14 for naval school and the picture being of a young boy this is inserted here - Lewis Wendell Willkie was born in 1892 and he attended Culver Academy Summer School right after his freshman year of high school. His photo shows - the hat and uniform which is Naval I believe. If you wish to read more on the young man follow thelink above. I found the picture intriguing - because of the uniform style and hat; besides the look on his face of total disgust

Here are are early 1900-1909 ads for the school.

1907 - a separate hospital building was erected, of strictly fireproof construction, and equipped with the latest sanitary appliances. It is two stories high, has a diet kitchen, independent heating and lighting systems, and accommodations for twenty-five patients. The style of architecture is the Tudor Gothic, which admits of highly ornate trimmings and is peculiarly adapted to buildings for this purpose. The architectural treatment combines the restful and quiet effect essential to hospitals, with the massive and dignified appearance appropriate to military buildings. A reception hall divides the first story longitudinally; this hall also serves as a waiting room. On the left of the reception hall are located the surgeon's office and chambers also the operating, sterilizing, and emergency rooms. On the right of the reception hall is the contagion ward, with separate baths, nurse's quarters, kitchen, etc

1907 The gymnasium built in 1902 which burned to the ground in 1905 was replaced, exactly as before.

1907 - Culver Summer School of Cavalry opened. The here is an ad for the summer school. Gignilliat began a two-week excursion with the entire Naval and Cavalry to the tri-centennial Jamestown Exposition in Virginia. An account of the excursion by Robert B. D. Hartman is found in 2 parts - as: When the Rails Hummed the “SPIRIT OF CULVER” part one and part two

1908 - The Arsenal or Armory was built was located north of the present Mess Hall. It was converted to the Tailor and Uniform Shop c. 1920 and later was the dry cleaning, bookstore, and mens' clothing store (The Toggery Shop).

This provides an unsual eagle eye view of the campus from above Lake Maxinkuckee; it was created for the Culver Military Academy promotional catalog in 1908. It is a composite of buildings and activities that were then part of the winter and summer programs.

1908 - the Health Center - was built -names have vaired over the years as to Hospital, Infirmary, and Health Center. The main entrance originally faced the lake but in 1948, a major renovation added a north wing, relocated the entrance to the west, and removed the 'gingerbread' facade it originally had atop of the building.

Robert B. D. Hartman rwrote of these early years as BRICK, STONE, STEEL AND IRON . . . AND LOTS OF VISION

1909 - 26 Aug. - Sold For $100 An Acre
    The James South Eighty Bought by Emily J. Culver

    Last week James South gave Emily J. Culver a contract ofr a deed to be delivered Oct. 1 to his 80-acre farm for $8,000, or $100 an acre.

    The South farm is seperated from the Culver farm by 20 acres owned by Frank. Parker....

1909 - News articles:
    Now Indiana has a navy. The bill providing for a naval branch of the military, chiefly beneficial to Culver Academy, passed both houses and has been signed by the governor. Now we are safe from foreign invasion. - - Rochester Sentinel, Friday, March 5, 1909

    E. R. Culver , son of the founder of the military academy at Culver , accompanied by Albert Krell, both of St. Louis, are at Culver making arrangements for having plans drawn for a new dormitory to the Academy. - - Rochester Sentinel, Wednesday, August 25, 1909

1909 - Open Air Barrack built just north of the Gym and in 1924 it was moved to where the Henderson Ice Arena is today. It was used for the Academy Band. Final use was by the crew members of Universal Studios during the filming of "Tom Brown of Culver " in 1932 and that summer it was razed to expand the area of the Woodcraft camp

Here are several 1909 ads for the school.

1910 - Fleet retires. Major Leigh Gignilliat, the commandant became superintendent and Bert H. Greiner became Commandant. Culver Military Academy Alumni Association was formed.

About 1910 Edwin Raymond Culver built his home just east of the Palmer House; another partial view. In the mid 1920's turned it over to the Academy for use as the superintendents house until 1989 when it along with the guest house next door was razed in 1989 to make way for the new library. Culver Military Academy Alumni Association founded by Gignilliat

New Mess Hall at Academy to Be the Most
Complete of Its kind Anywhere

1910 - Open air barracks was built north of the "Little Gym. The Culver family secured a patent for the design. The novelty of is wore off by the 1920's and it was converted to a more traditional use, In 1923 it was moved to the area of the Henderson Ice Arena and was used and the band building till 1932 when was razed for additions to the Woodcraft Camp. It was last used by the film crew during the production of "Tom Brown of Culver ".

Here is 1910 ads:

On April 17, 1911 the new CMA Mess Hall was dedicated. It altered the layout of the campus. It's size dominated the west side of the campus. The cost of construction, excluding furniture, fittings, and kitchen equipment was $80,000.

The Iron Gate and the Final Formation, as we know it, was born on, June 8, 1911 and thus began the graduation tradition of passing through the iron gates. The iron gate was found by Edwin Culver and his wife during the first decade of the 20th century while on a tour in Europe - had hopes of it being used in one of the new campus buildings on campus but it did not fit and was stored away.

This a 1911 Catalog for the Summer Naval School gives information for the Naval School Cadets and battalions of 1910. As well as many vintage pictures of the Academy grounds, buildings and Naval school activities along with scenes of the lake. And here is the full page from the Harpers Magazine Advertiser and the cropped out add for the academy:

Here are several 1910-1919 ads for the school.

1912 - The heating and Electrical Plant was built several yards north of the Mess Hall. It is now the Music and Arts Building. The Woodcraft Camp established. Here is a winter scene about 1912 of the academy campus:

Culver Military Academy has stirred up a big fuss in Washington by its request that the cadets be permitted to march near the front of the inaugural parade as an escort to Vice President Marshall. It now looks as if the school wo uld certainly be permitted in the procession.

Capt. W. A. Fleet, of the Academy, is now in Washington attempting to gain a place for his cadets. He first visited Gov. Wilson at Princeton, and learned that the coming executive had no objection to the plan to honor his colleague, if it co uld be arranged satisfactorily. Armed with this word, he hastened to the capital, only to be frowned upon by Gen. Wood, who has charge of the military part of the parade. The general impression seemed to be that the procession was originally arranged in honor of the President, and that his running mate should not share in the glory. However, at a meeting which Senator Shively and Capt. Fleet had with Gen. Wood, it was finally decided that the Vice President-elect shall have an escort and that it shall be the Culver Black Horse Troop. Sixty of the troopers will form the escort and will bring their mounts with them from Indiana. - Rochester Sentinel, Saturday, February 1, 1913

1912 - December over the Christmas holiday the laundry was moved out of the basement of East barracks into new quarters of what was the old engine room.

1913 - The North barracks and the Administration building were built. The Administration building included a magnificent administration hall and administrative offices. A descriptive of this building was found as such:
    1913 Saturday May 3, Volume XVII Number 24, Vedette - A new barrack will be erected during the summer of 1913 and the capacity of the academy increased thereby to 440 cadets...the site for the new building has been selected on the ground north of the East barrack, which the new one will parallel...The first floor will contain offices for the headmaster and commandant, together with the additional class rooms...

    The upper floors will be given over to the cadets. The most distinctive feature of this new building will be the imposing sally-port which will constitute a sort of official front for the academy to which visitors will be brought over the drive which is eventually to lead from the corner of the grounds near the hospital. Above this will be a splendidly lighted airy room for the purpose of faculty meetings, courts-marial, etc. The increase room capacity and in number fo cadets will also make it possible to carry out a long cherished plan for six company organization insted of the present four, and for the rooming of the cadet corps according to companies. the quarters will divide admirabluy in a way to allow this, with one floor for the band quarters.

    1913 - May 17 - Vedette GROUND BROKEN - The new barrack is already of the way to realization since ground was broken on Monday. The Old retaining wall and three trees have gone and the sand from the foot of the hill is filling the grade toward the track. Mr. Baker, of the architects, Baker & Knell, has been on the job all this week runnings levels, and staking off the lines of the new building and of the changed drives and walks.

    1913 - may 24 - Vedette - Pick and Shovel - A great deal of progess on the new barrack and administration building has been bade during the past week. All the plans have been completed, the stakes have been set and the foundations have been started. It was necessary to tear out all the old heating pipes for the gymnasium in order to make room for one corner of the new building. Most of the excavating has been done. When the building is completed it will contain all the academy offices and several new section rooms, besides enough cardet rooms for one company.
Madam Schummann-Hein Recital on Easter Sunday, 1913. - - The little circular guard house that stood at the corner of the East barrack was remodeled and a given new coat of paint in the school colors

Library was moved from the East barrack to the Y.M.C.A. rooms; into the room that housed the bilard tables they have been moved into the bolwling alley. The Old library room of the East Barrack will be remodeled for the superindent offce and there will be an entrance into it from the North barrack.

1913 - March 25 the Cadets of Culver Military went to the aided and rescue of the residents of Logansport, Cass, Indiana when the Eel River and the Wabash River flooded the town

1913 - April 19, Saturday - Vedette - The new pier is now nearing completion, all brand new material, painted warship gray, which makes it look much finer than its predecessor, which never received a coat of paint. the peir is made in sections, each being numbered so that when it is taken down in the fall it can be put up again wwhen wanted without much trouble. this pier will reach 500 feet from shore, more than half the length of the giant steamer 'imperator'. To accompany this pier wer are also to have new diving towers, chutes, and most likely a place for polo games. The new apparatus for the water games will doubtless induce more to enjor the delights of the water sports.

October 13, 1913 Vol. XVIII No. 2 Vedette
    The Grading down of the terraces in front of the gymnasion and riding hall has added much to the appearance of the buildings. A gravel road has been made, starting at the side of the riding hall, passing in front of the camp and then turning again to the right of the riding hall, the gymnasium and the new barrack. A concrete pavement has also been made, extending along the new barrack over to the camp.

    The parade ground..The entire field has been heavily fertilized, then plowed, harrowed and rolled. It will now be sown to grass once more.... The Grading down of the terraces in front of the gymnasion and riding hall has added much to the appearance of the buildings. A gravel road has been made, starting at the side of the riding hall, passing in front of the camp and then turning again to the righ tof the riding hall, the gymnasium and the new barrack. A concrete pavement has also been made, extending along the new barrack over to the camp.

    The parade ground..The entire field has been heavily fertilized, then plowed, harrowed and rolled. It will now be sown to grass once more.... Here are several 1913 ads for the school.

1914 - Feb. 21 - Vedette - The Passing of the Shack - It is gone! The time honored and much abused O.d's shack has been taken down entirely obliterated. All that remains are the memoires of days gone by and a few scars on the wall. the shack could of told man storied on which Culver history is founded. So might the permit board, willl-worn by the sands of time assisted by the ever jacknife in the hands of industrious orderlies who are now making the same deep cuts in the business would as the ded on the old permit board. It is alas! with the rest of the shack, has gone to join the ranks of the great "has beens".

1914 April 25 - vedette - on the west side of the hospital a road has been built, connecting with the one that is in front of the gymnasium, and extending to the publice road at the rear of the hospital. It will afford a better way for the battallion to go to and from the drill field and will give the vechiles a shorter route out of the grounds.

1914 - As a thank-you and remembrance to the cadets services - Logansport donated the "Logansport Gates"  to the academy and they were dedicated., and here on this page too can be found an account to the "big wind" or storm of 1913.

And here is the 1914 Sanborn map of the Academy grounds.

1914 - Nov 26 - Golf course was established as in the Nov. 26 1914 paper it was referenced as “From here your drive to the first hole, which is in the southeast corner of the drill field, then to the second hole 300 yards straight ahead towards the Shaw school house. The third tee is across the field from the cavalry field, from where you drive to the third hole near the Shaw School house, then to the fourth hole in front of the grandstand. From here your drive to the fifth hole which is 375 yards due north to the railroad track. Then from the sixth tee, which is on the small hill near the swamp across the railroad track, you drive the sixth and last hole which is in the rear of the artillery sheds.

1915 - Planning was began to formulate for a two-week long Schoolboy Military camp for high school-age youngsters. By in March they had gained the endorsement of state and county officials for the program. Commandant Gignilliat had named the facility "Camp Woodrow Wilson". The students started arriving on May 9th and ended on the 26th. The last session was in 1917 and was sponsored by the Culver family.

1915 - April - Academy Road Proposed change

1916 - October 22 the stable burnt the housed the Black Horse Troop and 66 of the horse died in that fire [another account says 1915 and 80 horses died]

Plans were announced for construction of a new 104' by 212' Riding Hall to house 136 mounts. Albert Knell was the architect who designed the building.

At the same time Albert Knell also designed the new Arsenal and its construction began in 1916.

The trustees decided to center both buildings to the east and northeast of the Academy Hospital and convert the old Riding Hall into a Recreation Building. The site was to low and to unstable for foundations for the Arsenal and Riding Hall - thus began the massive fill of the area with dirt for the area now occupied the Woodcraft; when completed the grade had been raised 14 feet.

1916 - ROTC or Reserve Officers Training Corps comes to Culver; this came about with the passing of the National Defense Act of 1916 passed in June which had been drafted in November of 1915 by the War Department. among the Culver was in the first round of colleges and secondary schools which totaled 46 and had three branches - Calvary, Infantry and Field Artillery. Camp Newton D. Baker opened in May and continued till 1942 when World War II ended all ROTC activity. Also authorization for construction of three new buildings was granted by the trustees for: the English, mathematics, and Commerce Departments; which were located between the Mess Hall and the power plant. Gignilliat commissioned Chicago jeweler C.D. Peacock to design an official ring for Culver Military Academy.

And the sa me year the Culver Military Academy Alumni Association founded in 1910 by Gignilliat at his suggestion the name was changed to the Culver Legion.

By International News Service

Culver , Ind., April 10 -- Official announcement has been made that the Culver Military Academy has tendered to Maj. Gen. Barry, commanding the central department of the United States army, the use of the buildings and the ground of the academy for training soldiers. It is estimated that 25,000 men can be taken care of here. -- Rochester Sentinel, Tuesday, April 10, 1917


Culver 's military camp for high school boys from eight states has been named "Barry camp," in honor of Maj. Gen. Barry, commanding the central army division with headquarters in Chicago. - - Rochester Sentinel, Saturday, May 5, 1917

1917 - In 1916 at the advice of Edwin Culver that the grounds was in need of some landscaping attention; Jens Jensen a landscape architect was hired. His first suggestion was to get rid of the canal system by filling it in - and then get rid of all the un-natural foliage in the area and replace it with shrubbery and trees native to the area. The filling in of the canal system and reflecting" pool took place soon after the area for the new Riding Hall was filled in and the Riding Hall was erected. Robert B. D. Hartman renders his story of Jens Jensen and The Campus in its Glory

Thus by 1917 the drainage ditch system and the lagoons faded into history.

And the expanse of lake front campus as known today was created. And during this year Edwin Culver asked the Academy grounds keeper to procure for him a personal gardener - thus came "Leo" August Wennerstrom and ultimately became in harge of the Academy grounds also until his retirement in 1949.

1917 - the second Armory was built containing large bays on either side of the arsenal tower to house cannon and caissons.

1917 the Riding Hall was dedicated and the lake front side of the riding hall was terraced and outfitted with reviewing stands for athletic event and military reviews. Major Hugh Glasswork became acting superintendent while Gignilliat was off serving his country. The last Schoolboy Camp assembled on April 30.

1918 - The CMA Trunk Room caught fire from a fire in the stovepipe and the building was consumed in 30 miintues time. The building was first bult by H. H. Culver as the Tabernacle for the 1889 chautauqua season. It became the CMA gym whe the school was started in 1894 then in 1907 after the new gym was built it became the school's dinning hall and after it was built in 1911 the building was moved and became a trunk room, housing cadet luggage and belongings.

1918 - The superintendent's home then known as the Gignillat cottage burnt on 25 March. Some furniture and belongings were saved from the fire.

In 1918, the new Riding Hall was opened and the old Riding Hall was converted into the Academy's first Recreation Building. It becaame a venue for athletics and dances.

1918 The new arsenal was ready to be occupied in 1918, there was not formal dedication of the building and the equipment did not arrive till the summer of 1919 after the war surplus had been inventoried by the army from World War One and also to arrive were 80 horses. The old Arsenal became the Tailor Shop and the QM Store after being remodeled and sat north of the Mess Hall. One of the towers rooms are used for campus security and the other for the horse carpentry shop. The west end houses the harness shop, blacksmith shop, storage space for hay and feed; box stalls and practice cages for polo occupy the remaining space. When the Junior ROTC was terminated in 1989 the 2nd and 3 rd became abandoned.

Here is the 1918 Naval Academy Catalog. It is packed full Summer Naval School gives information for the Naval School Cadets and battalions of 1917. As well as many vintage pictures of the Academy grounds, buildings and Naval school activities along with scenes of the lake.

1918 - Sep 11 Change at Palmer House - The academy has rented the Palmer House for the winter sessionas a barrack for 43 additional cadets admitted from the waiting list who will fomr a replacement contingent to fill the probable vacancies caused by the draft. The "Roost" will also be used for the same purpose accommodating six cadets. Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Walter will reserve apartments in the hotel for their own use.

1919 - a contract was signed to construct a road from Bunker Hill (Lakeshore Drive) 5,500 feet north and east to the CMA Riding Stables. Earlier the Lake Road ran along Aubeenaubee Bay from Logansport Gate. David Burns always claimed if you looked closely at the Parade ground field - on a good frosty morning you could see the path of the old Lake Road still today.

Also in 1919 the cornerstone for the Legion building was; Argonne and Chateau Thierry Barracks was built and opened honoring the American contributions in WWI named after two battles where American soldiers and Marines contributed to major victories in Flanders, 1989.
June 1919 - Ahdeek, a 38-foot motor pleasure boat, was built in 1916 at Morris Heights, New York. She was acquired by the U.S. Navy on 2 September 1918 and served into the next year as USS Ahdeek, probably in the New York area. Served during World War I and in the early post-war era as USS Ahdeek (SP-2589) in 1918-1919, probably in the New York area.

Using their powers of persuasion on the U.S. Navy, Ross and Gignilliat received four “motor yachts complete in every respect” between 1920 and 1922 and they became mainstays in Culver's fleet. Two of them, the Estelle and the Ahdeek, were designated as “Flag Boats,”

In June 1919 she was ordered sent to the Culver Military Academy, in Indiana, where she apparently remained for many years, on loan from the Navy. Ahdeek was finally stricken from the list of Naval vessels in October 1933.

Belonged to the Culver Military Academy and was destroyed in the boathouse fire of March 1938

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