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

Culver Military Academy Dinning Hall  

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    New Mess Hall at Academy to Be the Most
    Complete of Its kind Anywhere
    Culver Military Academy has just completed its thirteenth session, the most successful in its history. As in previous years, the applications for admission have far exceeded the capacity of the buildings. Yet no new barracks will be built. The trustees i nstead had decided upon comprehensive plans...

    ...present mess hall, with some crowding, would seat the number we propoce [project] so seat in our new building, yet the lod [old] hall has only half the floor space of the new. This comparison give an idea of the spaciousness of the new building. The generous dimensions provided for broad aisles between the tables...

    ...addition there will be provided a canning and preserving room; also a room equipped with power ice cream freezers.

    The floor space of the kitchen will be about equal to that of the mess hall. Those already familiar with the academy's plant will again an idea of the size of the mess hall and kitchen building from the fact that it will occupy more space than the which hitherto has been the largest building on the grounds. In this building there will be adequate messes for civilian employess [employees] and for kitchen and mess hall help. Like the mess hall the kitchen will be built of reinforced concrete throughout, fireproof and absolutely saniotary [sanitary]. It...

The rear of the building was three stories high and supported a hugh kitchen, refrigeration plant, bakery, dairy and ice cream plant where the Academy pasturized its own milk operating their own dairy onthe 3rd floor off the mess hall ubtil about the very early 1950's.

The main floor of the Mess Hall was constructed of small green, wine, and white tiles. They were laid in 1911 and quickly became a focal point of the expanse of floor without supporting pillars was quite revolutionary for the period. The ceiling was divided by three skylights, thus providing natural lighting, reducing weight and supplementing electric lights. The main hall is 90x130 feet, and contained seating for 1,000.

Cadet and faculty tables were set family-style and served by waiters through 1958. Each waiter was assigned two-three tables and and was respondible for his settings, silverware, and glassware. They maintained small pantrys built into the walls and were responsible for washing and maintaining their inventory. The waiter staff was under the command of major domo and head waiter, Charlie Dickerson. His service to the Academy covered more than half century. He maintained a military-like precision with his waiters. They stood inspection, were checked for clean uniforms, polished shoes, and took great pride in their professionalism.

The expansive hall seated the entire corps of cadets in a single formation. The sidewalls are wainsccoated in white marble broken at intervals by green marble pilasters. The four murals depicting scenes from Indiana history were gifts of the Class of 1928. The unique chairs were designed for the Academy by E. R. Culver. Each had a metal frame attached to the back that could hold a folded overcoat and hat of the occupant.

The second floor mezzanine was used almost exclusively for visitors. Faculty were at assigned tables beneath the mezzanine. To add character, ivy was allowed to grow unimpeded well into the building's second decade when the ravages on the masonry were finally heeded. Thereafter, "ivy-covered walls" became an anathema.

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.

Shortly after the mess hall was built the academy had a short lived in-house dairy. The academy bottled its own milk around this time - a Half-pint milk bottle imprinted "Culver Military Academy Culver , Indiana", dated 1914 exists. It is believed that the dairy barn was probably located on St. Rd. 117 at the south west entrace of what is the golf course today - this barn burnt down in the 1970's. Later the Newman Dairy Farm south of Culver supplied the milk for the academy which was pasteurized on-site at Culver. There was a series of pipes where the milk came down to a spicket where waiters would get it.

Weigand Construction done the expansion and renovation of the Lay Dining Hall

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