Beauties of the Famous Summer Resort of Northern Indiana
When the Pottawotamie and Miami Indians last met in council in the newly admitted
stale of Indiana, says a recent writer on Maxinkuckee, tbey pitched their tents on the
borders of Maxinkuckee lake. The little sheet of water which is about three miles in
circumference, nestles in the high lands of north ern central Indiana, is surrounded
completely by high, wooded bluffs, excepting for a piece of low land on the east,
where a little inlet pierces the: rocks, and for another on the west, where a sumptuous
stream filters its easy way through a marshy stretch of low lands
The Indians realized that the defeat of the red men a few years previous at Tippecanoe, only a day's march south, meant the end of their domination in that section, and solemnly heaped elder bushes upon their fire, typifying their farewell to scenes long loved and beautif ul. There was nothing in the progress of affairs at Washington which co uld reach their d ulled cars, but the more eloquent message of advancing immigration was all the testimony they needed that they, like all their kindred, must soon "move on."
For years afterward, the neighborhood of Maxinkuckee lake was little known. The pioneers were a fter farming lands, until only the occasional fisherman or hunter purled the close shrubbery an its banks, and disturbed the stillness of its sunlit surface. Gradually the country filled up. Farm land ran into the edge of the lake, but no effort was made lt establish rights in the water. About war times the place became known as a very pretty ground for picnics. A farmer living half a mile away, on the east side of the lake, erected a very large house, with the upper floor arranged as ball room, and here, while the daughters of the house drew rude melody from their violins, many a party of banqueters w is gathered.
There were no f ull-dress affairs. The women danced in calico gowns and thought them good enough, and the man, when the nights were hot, hung their coats on the pegs by the fiddlers' stand and took their places in the dance. Good red liquor was the favorite tipple, and until the growing needs of the federal treasury bunted out all places of sale, this liquor was sold in "quantities less than a quart' to any one who wished to buy.
The steep, woody slopes of the lake were often dotted with gay parties of farmers and villagers in Sunday attire out for a holiday, and. as time passed these residents of the vicinage brought with them such guests as tarried within their gates, and these people, as they returned to their friends, spread the story of Maxinkuckee's beauty
It was always a famous place for courtships Whether newer Hiwathas wooed their Miunchabas or these shore: tradition does not say, but they probably did. since, from the earliest times o white settlement, some spirit known nowhere else has brooded over these waters making courtship easy and insuring happy matches. No matter how bashf ul the swain, how coy the damsel, if he co uld lead her feet lo press the pebbly shore of Maxinkuckee the chilly barrier between them melted away, and he spoke with composure and was listened to with favor. Scores of happy wives for miles around will stop in the busiest time of garden-making to tell you of the dinner spread in the shade on the "north bank" when "John left them other girls to come and eat from my basket." They with tell you, with blushes on cheeks forty years old, that John proposed that night and that neither of them bad ever repented it, "fur's I know."
Pleasure parties from cities finally learned of the place, and families wo uld come for a week at the lake, pitching a tent and living in charming discomfort.
Such a party was of no manner of account unless some courtship co uld be furthered, and no locality perhaps has entwined its name in the destinies of so many happy households.
It was always au excellent place for fishing. One of the deepest lakes in the west, its chief prizes swain far below the surface, and seldom raised to The angling of rustic fishermen. Still the shallower places supplied perch and bass and the finest quality, and when the modern appliances for fish were brought to the lake by the city visitors great gar and pike struck with the fierceness of a muskallonge.
Fights which strained every nerve and every mental resource of the fishermen were of daily occurrence, and the prizes brought to shore have formed the topic of tales which lived for years
Aug 9, 1889 Logansport Pharos Tribune