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

Lake Maxinkuckee 1913-1914  



Biennial Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries and Game for Indiana
For the Fiscal Years of 1913 and 1914
GEORGE WILLIAM MILES Commissioner Assisted by PRESTON H MILES pg. 89-9_

Lake Maxinkuckee

So much has Already Been Written About Lake Maxinkuckee and That by thought far more capable than mine That It May seem presumptious of me to Attempt anything more than a sort of outline description Hon Daniel McDonald of Plymouth has devoted much of His time to research work connected with the history of the country about the lake during the times of the Indian occupations through His efforts while a member of the State Legislature a statue was erected to the Indian Chief Menominee at Twin Lakes and in a pamphlet published by the Lake Maxinkuckee Association I have Contributed a special story of the early history of the Indians About the lake The United States Bureau of Fisheries detailed Doctor Barton W Evermann one of the greatest ichthyologists our country has produced and a Hoosier by birth to survey the lake and to list the fishes The fishes found in it Also Have Been Described by Judge A C Capron of Plymouth

My visit to Lake Maxinkuckee firmly established in my mind the deservedness of all the praises I had ever Heard spoken of the lake. It is common knowledge That hotel owners and resort exploiters sometimes exaggerate in Their descriptive folders those features That are in September forth as enticement to would be vacationists. And even at the risk of being accused of the same offense myself I am tempted to say here it would be difficult that for one to overpraise the natural beauties of Lake Maxinkuckee

This beautiful body of water lies in the southwestern part of Marshall County. The survey made by the United States Bureau of Fisheries finds the lake to be 1,864 acres in area the survey Having Been made in 1900. Before I visited the lake for the purpose of gathering materials for this story, I Examined the the original land surveys on file in the State Auditor's office at Indianapolis.

By subtracting the amount of high land bordering the water from the sections in Which the lake occurred I computed the area represented by water to be 1,955 acres. The Original surveys were made three quarters of a century ago. Since that time the drainage system of which the lake is a part has-been lowered by artificial ditching. Too the methods of computing the areas in both cases Were different. The figures Determined upon by the mapping party however are the ones to be accepted which show the lake to spread over an area of about three square miles

The name that has been given the lake is of Indian origin although in its present modified spelling the name the Indians repeated to the early surveyors is only imitated. Attempts have been made to have the name interpreted by surviving members of Indian tribes but with little success. The names of two or three of the Indian chiefs who lived at the lake before the white settlers came are still retained

In 1828 a log cabin was built by the whites a few rods of the present residence of Peter Spangler for Nees-wau-gee of a small band of Indians who owned the land surrounding lake. Eight years later Chief Nees wau gee entered into a with the United States ceding all His land and agreeing to remove his subjects to a place that had been reserved west of the Missouri River. Besides the chief there were perhaps one hundred of the band who lived in wigwams clustered about the log cabin. But they Were peaceful and had made friends with the settlers thereabouts. The the day before they started the chief sent word all the white settlers to come to his village so that he could bid them farewell.

Mr McDonald describe them farewell Their departure as Follows

    The old chief was visibly affected and tears were seen to flow from His eyes. All the people present Took him by the hand and bade him a last adieu, as well as most of the members of his band. Early the next morning with their personal effects packed on their ponies they marched in single file away following the Indian trail along the east shore to the south end of Lake Maxinkuckee thence southward to Kewana, where they joined the other bands and immediately Proceeded on Their long and wearisome journey.


Chief Quash-qua also had a log cabin and ruled over a on the banks of Lake Maxinkuckee but little is known of long he lived here or of what became of him

Another chief was Au-be-nau-be whose name is still perpetuated at the lake it having been given to a beautiful bay and it having been chosen for the name of the yachting club Let me repeat what Mr McDonald has to say of this chief
    The most of Au-be-nau-be's reservation was in Fulton County and that noted chief never lived on that portion of his reserve on the lake or in Marshall County. He lived in a village bearing his name in Fulton County but was frequently seen in and about the lake. As he is the only Indian whose name has heretofore been perpetuated at the lake by the use of his name a few words as to who and what he was may be of some interest in this connection. His reservation covered some thirty odd sections of land and he presided as chief over his band numbering two or three hundred men women and children. Polygamy was permitted among the Indians and Au-be-nau-be provided himself with five or six wives .He was very fond of spirituous liquors and was generally pretty full and when in that condition he was pretty quarrelsome which resulted in many fights and knockdowns. On one of these occasions when he was more than ordinarily drunk he got into a fracas with one of his wives and in the melee killed her. A council of his tribe was called as the story goes to deliberate what his punishment should be This council following an ancient custom decided that a son of the murderer should be the avenger of the murder and slay his father. The sentence of death was pronounced and the son was given a certain number of moons to carry it into execution. The father had the right to defend himself and if he could keep out of the way and escape the infliction of the penalty until the time had expired he was to be considered a free man. His son kept watch of him and as he wanted the old man out of the way so he could succeed his father as chief of the band he was really in earnest in wanting to kill him. Finally the opportunity presented itself. One day the old man drank to excess sat down in a log cabin west of the Michigan road just over the line in Fulton County about eight miles southwest of this lake and went to sleep. His son having followed him stole in upon him pulled his tomahawk from his belt and with a terrific blow it into his head up to the handle. The blood spurted to the ceiling above and with a single groan and a struggle the chief Au-be-nau-be fell over on the floor dead

    The son whose name was Pau koo shuck succeeded his father as chief of the tribe and the same year disposed of the lands belonging to the reservation by treaty to the government and with his band in September 1838 started for the reservation west of the Missouri River. According to the account of one who accompanied the Indians on that expedition Pau koo shuck when near the Missouri River refused to go any farther and finally escaped and returned to the old hunting grounds. He spent the remainder of his days which were few hunting and fishing along the rivers and lakes in the neighborhood where he had formerly lived. His life however had proven a failure his kindred and friends had been dragged from him and he grew restless and discontented drank whiskey to excess and went from place to place getting into frequent quarrels and fights. In one of these disturbances which occurred at or near Winamac he was so badly hurt that disease set in and he died. The writer was informed by one who said he was one of the pallbearers that the body of Pau koo shuck was carried from Winamac and buried on Long Point on the west bank of Maxinkuckee Lake



There is on record but one treaty made concerning the lake in which the name is spelled Muk-ee-nie-kuc-kee and was concluded between William Marshall on behalf of the United States and Com-o-za, a chief of the Pottawattomies, and his band, for which the sum of eight hundred dollars was paid. The treaty was signed by William Marshall Nee-see-aw-quet, Com-o-za, Ah-he-pah-am-sa and Paw-pee and was witnessed by J B Duret secretary and Cyrus Taber and Joseph Barren, interpreters

In 1883 the Vandalia Railway touched the lake with its Terre Haute and South Bend branch so that the country which formerly heard the wild whoops of Indians was now to be awakened by the shrill whistle of the iron horse. That is the lake had been "discovered" and the new railway began hauling people to this spot of beauty, and when this happened it became profitable to own and operate steam passenger boats, whereupon there were other noises than that of the railway to replace the vocal thrills of the red man

The railway follows the eastern shore of the lake for perhaps a third of the shore line. The Culver station is at the northeast corner of the lake after leaving which it follows the turn of the bay and strikes southward in a straight line crosses Green's Flat beyond which is the station of Arlington .

The station at Culver is worthy of mention. Extending from the track to the shore is a beautiful park heavily wooded and its velvety green lawn carefully trimmed. The town of Culver with about three hundred population, lies a little north and west of the station. At the shore is a large pier where the passenger boats land and here is an excellent bathing beach which is a busy place on every afternoon during the summer months

Leading eastward from the station is a footpath along the beach. On a high bluff overlooking the lake is situated the Lake View Hotel a large structure and capable of caring for a large number of guests. There are several cool clear springs nearby/ The bluff juts out into the lake so that one standing on the veranda of the hotel high above the surface of the water is able to see every bit of shore line excepting that of Aubbeenaubee Bay.

excepting Bay Continuing along the shore line eastward the path leads to Palmer House a deservedly popular hotel which every accommodates a large number of people .The grounds are very pretty and the buildings are almost hid from view the large massive trees. The beach here is sandy and a large spring has been forced to send its waters up between pair of trees standing beside the walk that leads to the pier.

Just around the point from the Palmer House is the Roost stone structure built into the high bank so that its roof is level the top of the bluff while its front door is only a few inches the surface of the lake

Now we have come to Aubeenaubee Bay the northernmost extremity of the lake. Over the bottoms of this bay the aquatic life is abundant both plant and animal Here too is located the Culver ver Military Academy a seat of learning of national importance. Not only are the buildings of imposing architecture but the parklike grounds surrounding them are in harmony. Out into the bay extends a large pier, belonging to the academy, along which are fastened big ten-oared row boats used by the students in their naval practices and along one side of the pier are diving chutes .The beach at the shore is sandy and far out into the bay is shallow but not far out in front of the bay the water has a depth of forty feet.

. From the bay down to the Indianapolis Boat Club the shore line is comparatively straight and the banks are high. A roadway follows along here. and many cottages have been built amongst the trees that reach to the water edge. Just around the point which ends this strip of straight shore is a small inlet called Spangler's Creek

From Spangler's Creek down to Aubeenaubee Creek the shore line makes a gentle curve. About midway between the two creeks the Maxinkuckee road comes down to the beach. Back a little from the lake bank on the Maxinkuckee road is a cool clear spring. At the mouth of Aubeenaubee Creek stands the Edwards Pier. A short distance further stands the Indianapolis Pier. All along this east side of the lake the summer cottages are numerous and the banks are high and shady >

the banks are high and shady At the farthest southern extremity of the lake is Norris Bay, into which empties the Norris inlet. This small stream flows through a marshland grown thick with cattails flags lily pads and spatterdock

From the mouth of the inlet the shore line begins curving gently by Farrar's Woods on up to the bay known as Kettle Hole, thence northward to Arlington. The banks along here are gravel. The gravel pit can easily be seen from across the lake.

At Arlington is a station of the Vandalia, a cluster of summer cottages, and the popular Arlington Hotel. A large pier stands at the shore to accommodate the passenger boats. The beach is popular with bathers, for it slants so gently that there can be no danger from wading out too far into the lake

Long Point juts out into the lake and separates the bay at Arlington from Outlet Bay. It is a long high point of gravel formation standing high above the water and commanding a very pretty view of the lake. It has proved to be a very popular place on which to build summer homes. Just back of the point is Green's Flat through which meanders a small stream on its way from Outlet Bay to Lost Lake.The flat is marshland and the cattails grow so high over this piece of ground that the little area of water, called Lost Lake can not be seen from Lake Maxinkuckee. Opposite Long Point across Outlet Bay stands two or three large ice houses

A brief description of the bottom levels of the lake are appended here for the benefit of fishermen

The Sugar Loaf is midway on a line from Long Point to Indianapolis Boat Club. It is only a few square rods in area lies only ten feet under the water. The depth of the water surrounding this mound rapidly increases to thirty five and feet.

Midway between Long Point and the Indianapolis Pier is another mound six or seven times as large known as the Weed Patch. Here too deep water surrounds the mound the descent being even more rapid than at the Sugar Loaf

Straight south across the lake from Aubeenaubee Bay, about midway between the Morris inlet and Long Point near, the; shore, is the deep spot known as Kettle Hole, which is about forty feet deep. Surrounding the hole are broad flats ranging in depth from ten to fifteen and twenty feet

About midway between Lake View and Outlet Bay is another deep hole of about forty five feet, but which has never been given a name






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