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

Ralston Hotel  




Also known as Assembly Grounds, Maxinkuckee Park and Maxinkuckee Assembly.

It is said that "The Ralson was first known as Maxinkuckee Inn; and there was a Hotel Annex" I have found only documentatation of two names "Assembly" and "Ralston" 1890 built by J. V. Coombs, W. U. Callene, and Richard Vorhess of FLora and C. G. Canrell of Illinois
    The Maxinkuckee Assembly hotel has recently been completed at Lake Maxinkuckee, a short distance from Culver . The hotel contains 120 rooms and has an octagonal auditorium, where all services will be Held. - July 23, 1900 Logansport Pharos Tribune


This is the mention of the hotel, annex and camping and rates in the 1903 Assembly program.


It was a large three story frame building with a two story porch and a basement entrance at lake level - it sat about 20 feet from the waters edge. waters edge.

The Ralson was first known as Maxinkuckee Inn; and there was a Hotel Annex. It was said the be located at the southern edge of Peru Court. The map below is of the area today - the bright green line is Peru Court in its entirety:


Interesting note is that up till 2006 this street and never been paved - it was dirt only and it was of no more quality than a common alley of Culver .

Thus everyone can guess at the location of the Ralston - for themselves - until we can find documentation as to exact location.


It is said to have closed after the 1905 season.

1908 - Mar 26 - The Assembly Hotel has been sold by C. G. Cantwell to Eugene H. Ralston.

1909 - Nov. 4 - Assembly Hotel Traded
    An exchange of properties has been made by E. H. Raltson turns in his hotel to S. E. Reeves of Plymouth on a piece of farm land on the Tippecanoe river in Fulton county. The deeds have not yet passed, but the contract has been signed.


1909 - Dec 2 - E. H. RLaston to S. E> Reeves, Assembyl Horel, Culver, $4500

1910, Jun 9 - The Ralston Hotel has been leased by Sam. Green who has newly furnished it. It is now open to the public

1910, Aug. 11 - Small Fire at The Ralston
    Narrow Escape of Summer Hotel From Destruction

    The Ralston hotel on the old assembly ground narrowly escaped destruction by fire thrusday evening.

    About 8:30 a lady guest discovered a smoke issuing from a room on the second floor. In response to her alarm the guests of the house and occupants of neighboring houses gathered in force and organized a bucket brigade which did such efficient service that in half an hour the danger was past

    The occupant of the room, Chas. McGartney, had left a lamp burning. Doubtless the lamp had exploded as it was afterward found in fragments.

    The flames set fire to a quanity of clothing hanging against the wood partition and ran up the parition, through the floor and into the room overhead occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Levi Bush. In like manner clothing was destroyed in this room, the partition charred to the ceiling and bedding damaged.

    The loss of the occupants of the rooms is without recourse but W. O. Osborn's agency will make good the loss to the owners of the building, C. A. Reeves and others of Plymouth, and the lessee, Samuel Green of Culver.


1910 - Oct 6 - Carl Jordan has taken the Assemby Hotel vacated by Green. 1911, Mar 23 - ... at the Jordan home, known as the Assembly Hotel....

1911 - June 11 - The Assembly hotel is to have a new cement porch, a cement walk leading to the pier, and a general scheme of inside decorating.
    Mrs. Rachel Rhumphery has traded a 120 acre farm in Jennings county to the heirs of Stephen R. Reeves of Plymouth for the Assembly hotel property at Lake Maxinkuckee. The properties were each put in at $4,000.

    There are between three and four lots in the hotel grounds. Mrs Rhumphery takes possession at once.


The in 1911 little over a year later it burnt to the ground and only a few pieces of furniture is said to have been saved from the hotel. The cause of the fire was the kitchen stove.
    August 10, 1911 - The Ralston House, located on the Assembly Grounds, owned and occupied by Mrs. Ray Rhumphrey, caught fire about 7:30 Friday morning and was totally destroyed. The three story and basement frame building containing 39 rooms was too far from the water main to be served by the fire company, but firemen and neighbors formed a bucket brigade to the Lake and saved the neighboring homes from suffering the same fate.


From the Citizen Aug. 10, 1911 - Hotel is Consumed
    The Ralston House in the Assemby Grounds Burned Down Saturday Morning

    The Ralston hotel, owned and occupied by Mr. Ray Rhumphery, cauguht fire about 7:30 Friday monring and was toatally destroyed

    The fire was descovered by Landlord Walter of the Palmer House across the lake.. Attracted by the smoke he raised his field glass and then sent in the fire alarm to the telephone office.

    There were no guests in thhe house and Mrs. Rhumphrey and her family were at breakfast and recieved their first knowledge of the fire when neighboring cottagers ran in with the news.

    The fire was then burning in the third story.

    Mrs. Rhumphrey is sure that it started near the southeast chimney from a locomotive spark, but Mr. Walter located it near the northwest chimney with which the kitchen range in a small addition to the hotel was connected.

    The building was too far from the water main to be served by the fire company, but the members of the company turned in and organized a double line of men reaching down to the lake, with a supply of buckets procured from the cottagers and the hardware store a steady supply of water was passed up and used on the cottage owned by Mrs. Carrie Davis of Logansport young men which stood about 75 feet south of the hotel.

    There was no wind and the flames mounted straight into the air. The heat however, was intense and the men on the roof of the cottage put up a splendid fight to keep the cottage from burning.

    Their work saved at least three cottages, the Nethercott cottage being only ten feet away and another nearly as close.

    A portion of the contents of the hotel was taken out, but the most of th furnishings were destroyed.

    Mrs. Rhumphery bought the property last spring of S. E. Reeves of Plymouth for $4,000.

    There was $2000 on the building but the contents were uninsured. Mrs. Rhumphery had 22 rooms furnished, complete or in part.

    Since taking the property she says she has expended $1,500 on furnishing and improvements.

    The hotel was a three story and basement frame building - the basement being fitted for a dining room and kitchen by the former proprietor, E. H. Ralston. It was 28X80 feet and contained 39 rooms.

    It was built in 1890 by J. V. Coons, W. U. Callene, and Richard Vorhess of Flora and C. G. Canrell of Illinois. for the accommodation of visitors to the Assembly instituted by an association of Northern Indiana. Its original cost was about $2,500, but considerable has been expended upon it by later owners.


1913 Aug - Flora A Davis of Los Angles has sold her cottage on the site of the old Assembly hotel to Carlisle H. Thomas of Indianapolis for $800.

David Burns related many times that it was divided in half and 2 cottages was made out of it and that a person by name of Murphy or Orpha Mc Farland had lived in one of them - but if it burnt in 1911 - how could this be?.






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