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

History Of Lake Maxinkuckee, O. A. Gandy

This series appeared in the Culver Citizen of 1914 dates were:

    Jan 15 1914
    Jan 22 1914
    Jan 29 1914
    Feb 5 1914
    Mar 26 1914

[By Way of Apology - In attempting this work the author feels that he is filling a long felt want. A concies, accurate history of the Lake, Culver and Union Township that meets the needs of the present generation has never before written. Hereafter no such charge can lie, as that is the main intent in the preperation of this work.

Knowing that he is quite certain to be accused of plagiarism, the author cknowledges at the outset tha practically every word of this history been bodily from Webster's Dictionary.

He is also indebted for much of the information of the following well-known works and authors:
    "Hoyles Rules of the Game",
    "Ichthuological ROmances from the time of Jonsh" by Judge Geo. W Vpereis (as yet unpublished);
    Anedotes I Have Met", by Dr. Wiseman )in preparation); and
    "how to Know the Coons", by A. Barr Keen

According to all up-to-date geographical works, Union Township is bounded ont the North by West townsip, on the East bu Green township, on the South by the county line road, and on the West by Starke county. Thus it will be seen that it is closely and completely hemmed in by natural obctructions which tend to interfere with its growth and expansion, and which would make it extremely difficult to remove the township to any other locality without motr or less disturbing its surroundings.

The township containes on large body of water (Maxinkuckee), a smalled one (Little Lake), one so-called river (Yellow_, and three saloons, while mumerous private ponds and cellars and the new C. C. Clubb fountain add to its reputation as a watering place.

Its is this distinction that brings thousnads of people here from the ciies each summer, and sauses friegh trains to pause in their mad flight along the right of way.

In the Archman ear., the territory now designted on all maps and railroad folders as Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee was wet.

The Mesozoac upheavel, in a few upheaveal was the first great movement in real eastate in these parts, and land has been going up ever since. It laid the foundation for present day speculation in lake frontage and town lots.

The Glacial perios was in all probability responsible for the formation of our Lake Maxinkuckee. When that mighty covering of congealed aquas slid down from where DOe Cook located it, and enveloped the greater part of the North American oomtinent, it probably scooped out the hole, to be filled by the melting of the receding ic pack.

Geologists tell us that it sure was some ice. It covered the ground as completely as a government report, and extended south nrarly to Terry Hut.

Below that the natives did not cut much ice. Reliable authorities state that it average and a mile in thickness and several more miles im frigidity.

Sam Medbourn saysm though, that he cannot recall a winter when the ice was so thick.

Conservative estimates state the the Glacial epoch began 2,400,000 years ago and endeded 80,000 yearsago as half past five in the afternoon. Thus we find, children, by a simple process of subtraction, that it lasted for 2,320,00 years, and probably seemed longer.

It is still referred to by th older inhabitants as the long, cold winter. Fuel billswere high,fresh vegetables were scrce and expensive, and the canned fruit in the cellar was running mighty low when warm weather came again.

True, ice was a great deal cheaper than now-a-days, but cold storage house did no business to speak of, whileth artifical ice plants could not pay dividends.

People simply did not care for ice until a long time sfterwaards. This hard frost occupies a place in the early history of Culver almost as important as th burning of of the Colonnade Hotel.

One historical fact sticks out in connection with this cold snap - it marked the beginning of a doubt asto the infallibility of the weather bureau, whom daily forecasts of "warmer, with local showers, followed by higher temperature" appeared with slight varation day after day.

After a couple million years had passed, and it grew colder instead of warmer, folks began to entertain suspicion that such predictions were apt to err, until towar the end only the most hopeful really expected to put on their summer flannels the next day.

We may as well skip as unimportant the 79,000 or so between Glacial period and the summer excursionist.

The chronicles of the time are filled with dry details of everyday hapenings, intersparsed with the occasional excietment of a road election or dogo fight, and bear a strong resemlance to the diary of an individual who spent a month in Philadelphia one christmas day.
ANd now, having the stage all set, the spot light trimmed, the orchestra in readiness and the audience in breathless anticipation, let us rung up the curtain on the crowning act of the great drama of simple life -

The coming of the First Indiana. Through the mighty oaks that spread their lofty foliage over Vandalia park he catches a glimpse of gleaming waters, sparkling in the rays of the rising sun. Carefully avoiding the collection of broken homo bottles and the decaying debris of countless lunch baskets (how reality does implunge romance!)

He silently picks his way down past Charley Hayes' restauratn, over the site (or do you call it "sight") or the palatial Vandalia depot, down by the round stand, to grass with awe at the towering lighthouse.

The broad expanse of the beautiful lake appears in majestic splendor before him. Out on its bosom bass are leaping with the pure delight of living and a hankering for May flies. Catfish playfully pursue little kitten fish - probably for a mews-ment - disappearing into the tall weeds when the bark of a dogfish is heard.

In the trees all bout squirrls chatter at him. THey had followed him for miles that morning thinking he was - oh, never mind!

He let his eyes wander along the beautiful shore from the Lake View bluff to Long Point, and doubtless his mind pictured haw that virgin shore would appear when carpeted with broken and abandoned minnow boxes, empty beer bottles, tin cans and all the other evidences of civilization.

He saw no game around him, but instictively knew that later on the restaurants and drug stores would abound with punch boards and that bridge would be fasionable.

He was charmed with the beauty of the surroudnings - the wooded banks, the sparkling waters, the apparent abundance of sish, and the general Main-Stree-on-Sunday-night t,osphere of the place, and resolved to make it his home.

The scent of wild flowers filled the air with their fragrances, but he did not care a cent. He was far, far too early for the perfume of burned gasoline, the aroma of hot hamburger and the bouquet of stale Muessels.

Alas! slack! he was but a simple, untutored primitive savafe - why, he'd never even hear of Bill Vanmeter - and he cared nothing foth the fragance of the violet, the honeysuckle, or the johnny-jump-up

ANd he saw it first! His name has been lost to us; his physical appearance, disposition, politics, church and lodge affilations are unknown. Even the exact date on which he first rod the banks of peerlees Maxinkuckee has been forgotten.

Both name and day have diappeared into the misty mazes of the past, but who cares? No one would now remember him or his family if you mentioned them. Probably he is dead and gone to join his forefathers and foremothers in the happy hunting grounds

But it will seem rather flat and stale and tame to one who has been privileged to enjoy the delights of Maxinkuckee.

SOme day a sise and benificent legislator will get an appropriation for the erection of a monument to the unknown savage whose eyes first behold the beauties of Maxinkuckee

But to get on with the story. Suffice it to say he came, he saw, and, liking the place immensely, brought over the rest of the family, his householf goods, phonograph and rubber pland, and settled down to enjoy life just like a summer cottager.

His stories of the numer and also of the bass he caught drew others here, althoug they knew he lied like a native about such things. He sent his friends picture postcard views of points around the shores and they came over for the week end and stayed all summer.

Ina short time quite a colony had assembled on its banks, and all were apparently happy and contented.

But there was a fly in the ointment - a cockroach in the lager - which prevented a full enjoyment of their happy situation.

Next week we will elucidate. Be Patient.

To Be Continued

Part One ~ ~ Part Two ~ ~ Part Three ~ ~ Part Four ~ ~ Part Five