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

Commercial District of downtown Culver Part 4  

Part 3

There were two long-time drug stores in the district. The first was Thomas Slattery’s Culver City Drug Store, mentioned above. Established shortly after the turn of the 20th century, this was located in the north room of the north building of the Osborn Block

The second drug store was Rector Pharmacy, started by Nathan Rector in a room of the Menser Building in 1909.

The store was later moved down the block to a wood frame building, constructed c.1910, which has been demolished. 

In 1977, the two drug stores merged under the name of Mr. T’s, which is now located on Academy Road in a different part of Culver .

There were a number of movie houses in Culver . At least two were in the historic district. One of the earliest was the silent movie house in the south room of the Menser Building. The Home Theater, owned by John Osborn, was located in the south room of the south building of the Osborn Block.

Of the two historic service stations which were located in the district, one remains. This is the station, built c.1935 and leased by the Standard Oil Company, located on the southwest corner of Main and Jefferson Streets. In 1932, a Linco Petroleum Company station was built on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Mains Streets. This site is now a vacant lot.

Culver has had one bank in its history, the State Exchange Bank, established in 1901.
By 1914, a handsome two-story brick building had been built on the northwest corner of Jefferson and Main Streets to house this institution.
  The building was rebuilt or remodeled to its present appearance in recent years, and does not contribute to the character of the district.   

It has changed hands and is now known as the Indiana Federal Bank.  

Another businesses which sho uld be mentioned is the Corner Tavern at 117 S. Main Street. It is housed in a two-story, wood frame building which was either built at this location or moved here about 1910. Apparently, it started as a grocery store, but soon became a tavern. It has been a pop ular gathering place in Culver since.

The Culver Commercial Historic District contains the largest concentration of historic commercial buildings in Union Township. Shortly after the railroad was extended through the town, additions were made in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Depot, and a secondary commercial area developed on Toner Avenue (now Lake Shore Drive). Most of the buildings of this secondary commercial area, which still exists, have been altered, and none were identified in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory. Possibly the only significant building in Culver which is directly associated with commerce and is not located in the historic district is the Kreuzberger Saloon (54024), an outstanding Italianate style building which dates from 1894. This resource is located at 303 State Street, near the Pennsylvania Depot.

In other parts of Union Township, there were several small market centers. The most important of these were the village of Maxinkuckee, the oldest commercial center in the township; and Burr Oak, Hibbard, and Rutland, which grew along the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad, built through the northern part of the township in 1884.

Buildings associated with Maxinkuckee which were identified in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory include houses, a school, and a farm. The Allegheny House (50023), an 1855 inn, is the only remaining building in Maxinkuckee related to commerce. In Burr Oak, the Indiana Historic Sites and Structure Inventory identified one commercial building, the G.T. Marrows Grocery Store (51006). This has been demolished. No historic commercial buildings were identified in Hibbard or Rutland.

Historically, the economy of Marshall County was based on farming and timbering. Most of the commercial centers existed as processing and shipping centers for agric ultural goods and wood, and as market centers for farmers and other residents. Plymouth, the county seat, contained the most important commercial center. This was identified in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory as the Plymouth Downtown Commercial Historic District (21001-069). Plymouth was laid out at the intersection of the Michigan Road and the Yellow River in 1834. The extension of several major railroads through the town in the late 19th century contributed to development of the commercial district. Growth continued during the first three decades of the 20th century. The district retains much of historic character, and contains notable examples of a number of architectural styles, including Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Neoclassical.

Other historic commercial centers of Marshall County are Bremen, Bourbon, and Argos. Located in northeastern Marshall County, Bremen was a small settlement which increased in importance after the northern line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was constructed in 1874. Bremen became an important regional market town, and agric ultural shipping and industrial center. Its historic commercial area was identified in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structure Inventory (01001-044). The district contains a number of Italianate style buildings dating from the late 19th century, as well as Neoclassical and Arts and Crafts style buildings from the early 20th century.

Laid out along the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroad in 1853 in eastern Marshall County, Bourbon was another regional market town. The Bourbon Commercial Historic District (31001-034) was identified in the Indiana Sites and Structures Inventory. As in the Bremen Historic District, a large percentage of the 19th century buildings in the Bourbon district are Italianate in style. One of the most distinguished buildings is the Bourbon Town Hall, a Queen Anne style structure built in 1898 (31034).

The towns of Sidney and Fremont, laid out on the Michigan Road in southern Marshall County in the 1850s, were consolidated in 1859 and named Argos. The LaPorte and Plymouth Railroad was extended through Argos in 1868 on its way to Peru. In 1882, the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad was constructed, and Argos’ future as a regional market was assured. The Argos Commercial Historic District (41001-021) was identified by the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory. As in Bremen and Bourbon, many of the late 19th century structures in Argos are Italianate in style. Other styles which are represented in the district include the Romanesque Revival and Neoclassical.

The Culver Commercial Historic District continues today as a marketplace for area residents, Culver cadets and staff, and members of the resort community. The railroad has been abandoned and the town no longer serves as a marketplace and shipping center for farmers. Recently developed shopping areas on the outskirts of town offer some competition to the Main Street commercial district. Its ability to survive may depend on its historic character, which distinguishes it from other commercial areas. The Culver Antiquarian and Historical Society has initiated this nomination in hopes of preserving that character.