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

Legend of Maxinkuckee - 1899

How the Pretty Little Indiana Lake Got It's Name

A Season of Great Properity at the Resort -

Comfimed of Present and Old Times -

Talk of Railway Excursions

(Special Correspondence Indianapolis News) Maxinkuckee, Ind. - September 8 - The approaching clos of the season finds the beautiful little resot, winding up a summer the mostsuccessful, from every material point of view, it has ever had.

There has been only one vacant cottageat the lake and the owner of that had twenty-seven applicants for it before the middle of July.

A number of new cottages were opened this year, and the hosteteamess made so much money that their owners are lyingawake of nights, trying to determine how to invest their surplus.

As for the railroad, it must have made nearly enoug to cancel itsalleged indebtedness to the State. In short, there has been a "go-ness" from start to finish in this year's doings, that has been a joy to behold.

The social featuresof life here were never before so attractive. Never before have thene been so many pretty girls and so many nice-looking, well-behaved youngmen. The truth is, that social lifeat Maxinkuckee is changing - has changed.

I should say - and neveragain will a young man, be ducked in the lake for wearing a white shirt, or a pretty girl be looked down upon because she choosed to wear something more stunning than a blue serge gown and a natty sailor hat.

Thise days hace gone forever, and gowns of the most approved decollete style are now as pentiful at the hotel hop or a private function here, the attendance, considered, as a Newport or Saratoga.

Such sights as might have been seen any Wednesday or Saturday nights this year would have seteditor Dan McDonald, the acknowledged father of the lake, starl mad, twnetyyears ago. As it is, McDoanld seldom trusts himself to the lake now. He says the place has outgrown him. It should not be forgotten however, that his ready pen was the first to p oint out its beauties and its healthfulness, and when he dies, there should be a monument to his memory somewhere on these lovely shores.

Orgin of the Name

Ther is a curious lot of contradictins as to the origin and meaning og "Maxinkuckee".

McDonald, I believe holds that it is an Indian word, and signifies "gravelly bottom", or something of that sort, and in this he is corroorated by Major McFedden, of Logansport, who was here when the first white settler arrived, and no one knows how long before.

Others hold a directly opposite thory, and insist that an Indian, who lost a moccasin in the lake, declared that ih had got stuck, in the mud, and that Maxinkuckee, is simply an Indiana corription of "Moccasin-Muddy". This theory falss flat for want of mud, because it mus be admitted that in the ten miles circumference of this natural bowl of pure spring wather there isn't mud enough to fasten a moccasin in.

The most reasonable accounting for the name I have heard, and a very pretty tale it is was given me this summer by the great-grandson of a half-breed Pottawattomie Indian, while I was floating down the dear little Tippicanoe river on a fishing trip.

In 1770 there was a soldier in the Brittish army in Boston named Mike McNuckee. His sympathy was with the suffering coloniate, but he was a soldier of the crown. A good many other good Irishmen were in the same fix. Mike's time expired in '74 amd he declined to re-enlist. The ostensible reason was that he would not fight under the same flag with the hireling Hessians, with with who family had some cold steel differences in Ireland, but the truth was that honest Mike wanted, when the real fighting should begin, to be on our side. A few years later, he was a soldier in the Continental army, and a good, one too. He carried the flag with a cheer over the breastowrks at Trenton and lightened the horrors of the dreadful winter at Valley Forge by a cheerfulness and rollicking humor that there were an inspitation to his famishing comrades. The end of the war saw Mike a captain. He had been commemed by Washington in general orders for conspicuous bavery. He was a magnnificent specimen of physical manhood, and kind and courteous as he was brave.

A Love Story

On returning to Boston the vitorious offices were feted, perhaps not so much as they deserved, but certainly as much as their grateful countryman could afford. Atone of these welcome home, Captain McNuckee met the lovely daughter of his colonel, and fell in love with her at first sight. His Irish assurance whispered to his palpaitating heart that his feelings were reco[rocated. Perhaps they were. Stranger things than that have happened. He saw the lady next day and the mext and on the third received an invitation to her marriage with a prominent young minister. From that instant he was a changed man. Life was never bright again for the gallant vaptain. He would not trust himself to see the lady, and rsolved to leave Boston at once. Not even a promised nomination for alderman could keep him. THis last may seem incrdible, but it must be remembered that it occurred moret than s undred years ago.

He decided to lead the life of a hermit, and et his face to the unbroken wilderness of the West. He had plenty of time on his hands, and an eye for the beautiful in nature. Over the mountains he spen, across the rivers, and through the swamps, staying a little while here and a little while there, but not satisfied anywhere. A last this wandering footsteps brought him to the placid shores of this lovely little lake. He he built a cabin, "just big enough to put Queen Mab in" fish and game were abundant, and for thirty years he lived witout seeing a human face, except for the reflection of his own in the clear water of the lake. Then the Indians, - disturbed by advancing civilization, one day invaded his sacred preserves on their westward retreat. In a spirit of honesty the offerdto buy his lake, and he sold it to them cheap. It has been unkindly and untruthfully said that, being an Irishman, he had nouse for so much water. What he reallywanted was solitude. The night before he left the Indians made him a merry feast, and it was resolved then and there that the lake should from, thenceforth and forever bear his name. It was solemnly christend "Mike-Mac-Nuckee" The poor unlettered Indians had a hard time trying to twist their tongues around this purely Cletic patronymic, and "Maxinkuckee" was the best that they could do.

I regret to any that no one ever knew what became of the gallant captain after he left the lake.

Local Improvements

The Culver Academy is a feature of Maxinkuckee now, and adds very much to the attractiveness. A few yeas ago a bungling turned the sewage of the academy into the lake. The Maxinkuckee Association, with Dr. Hurty at its back, made a raid on the academy authorities and got a promise that the thing would be c hanged. The pipes have never been taken up, however, and an eminrnt physician of Terre Haute whose family have b een here all summer, declared this week that some sewage at least was still going into the lake. If this proves to be true, and it is now being investigated. The Maxinkuckee Association, which is composed of cottage and hotel owners, will at once apply to the court for relief. It is inconceivable that such a blunder, shouldhave been made in the first place and it is to be hoped it is not being persisted in. Dr. Hurity, is whom the health and pleasure-seekers here have the utmost confidencem has the matter in charge.

There is talk of the Nickel-Plate road extending its line in here nextyear, and now and then a rumor that the Erie will also come it. The first would have to build a span about four miles. They would strike the lakeon opposite sides. - Harry DeVitte - Sep 9 1899, Indianapolis News

This article also appeared in the South Bend Tribune (Indiana) Sept 11, 1899 excepting the las section "Local Improvements?