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

1906 Ice House Fire  

From fire departments records comes:

    "At near 12:30 P.M. Tuesday, June 12th 1906 fire was seen to be in the tower of the ice house on the banks of Lake bus i n e s s Maxinkuckee and the fire alarm was sounded at places, as they once by Chief Saine, sounding the fourth ward. He soon had the Company on the run to the scene of to meeting in the fire. The wind was northwest by west when the the new Town Company came to the blaze with their rubber buckets and seeing we could save nothing there we 1912. turned our attention to the home of G.W. Smith whose house stood in direct line of the fire as it was being swept by heavy wind. By using hard work and good use of water the house was saved. The cause of the fire was given as sparks from the southbound 11:52 passenger train lodging in the tower. After seeing to some grass fires in the area, the Company was called back to the ice chute that was remaining by the water's edge, but on fire. A number of the fire boys went up it and a line of boys were formed and water was handed up to them and was used to good effect to put out the remaining fire. - T.O. Saine, Chief

Another report of this fire stated that they had taken all of the furnishings out of the Smith home

It was reported in the 14 Jun 1906 issue of the Culver Citizen as follows:
    The six ices houses south of town burned with a loss of $35,000. On Tuesday sparks from the southbound 11:52 passenger train set the ices houses on fire. It was the largest fire up to that time. The fire department responded with fire buckets. Flaming brands were blown westward to houses nearby, some flying as far as the cemetery. These homes were saved by the fire department, Each of the ice houses was 140 by 40 feet and 30 feet high. Four of the houses were one half full of ice, about 6,000 tons. The houses had been erected about 15 years before. It will cost $25,000 to replace the ice houses

Maxinkuckee, Morage Houses A Culver Catch Fire at Noon



Reports received in this city this afternoon are to the effect that the Maxinkuckee Ice company's storage houses at Culver were afire and that the entire row, of six buildings would be totally destroyed, including 10,000 tons of ice.

The fire broke out about noon, but from what cause is not known.

Fifteen box cars on tbe Vandalia side track which is alongside the ice houses were burned.

The Vandalia wreck train and crew from this city was quickly dispatched to - the scene of the disastrous conflagration.

No residences are built near the scene of the fire and the loss will be confined to the ice company and the Vandalia railroad.

Charles Wedekind, local manager of the Maxinkuckee Ice company, says it is possible that a portion of the ice was saved if the blaze was discovered in time to tear down a frame structure before fire reached it.

The houses were not as well filled as usual owing to the mild winter.


June 14, 1914 - Culver Citizen
    Another Great Fire

    Ice Houses South of Town Burn with a Loss of $35,000

    Set on fire, presumably by sparks from the locomotive of the southbound 11:52 passenger train on Tuesday the big block of ices houses, near the south limit of the towon, was entirely consumed.

    It was the largest fire that has ever occurred in the town

    The alarm was turned in about 12:30 from the Keen's studio by Harry Menser who saw the fire from his father's residence. He telephoned to Sltattery's drug store and Levi Osborn, the clerk, on his way to the M. E. church to ring the bell, met Fire Chief Harry Saine and the latter immediately got busy.

    The delivery wagon of Saiine & SOns gathered up a bunch of boys belonging to the department and a supply of fire buckets from the fire station.

    By the time the three-quarters of a mile had been covered the fire had envelopred two of the six houses. The flames started at the east end of the structure where the ice-chute crosses the tracks from the lake shore, and the winde carried them against the houses.

    Burning brands were blown westward ammong the group of dwellings near by (some flying even as far as the cemetery) and several were at times on fire in the shigles, but the work of the owners and the members of the department was effective in preventing further destruction.

    At onee time it seemed impossible to save the house of George Smith and sll the household goods were removed, but the wind veered and the propertey escaped by the narrow margin of a few minutes.

    The barn of Martin Jones was directly in the line of the flying brands and was on fire several times, but the bucker brigade was able to meet the emergency.

    By one o'clock the ice-houses were almost level with the grounf, short lengths of blazing studding only remaining..

    Work was then concentrated on the runway close to the lake and a section of this was saved.

    The members of the department turned in with the railroad section hands to extinguish the fire in the debris that covered the track and was bedly twisting the rails.

    A pile of coal containign about a carload close to the main tracj caught fire and generated such a heat that it was several hours before the water and ice thrown on it cooled it sufficiently to permith the track hands to lay rails.

    At 2 o'clock the wrecking outfit from Logansport arrived bringing a large hang of men.

    In the meantime the local freight going south was held at this station all the afternoon and it was 4:30 before the track was open.

    The plant destroyed was owned by the Maxinkuckee Ice company of South Bend and consisted of six houses, each 140 by 40 by 30 feet high , and the engine and office buildings. Four of the houses were about one-half full of ice, aggregating about 6,000 tons, two were empty. The total capacity was 18,000 tons.

    George Davis is the local superintendent in charfe of the plant. During the summer employement is given to at least fifteen men, at times more.

    Chief Saine is of the opinion that a fire engine would have saved at least two of the houses

    The ice houses were etedted about fifteen years ago (1891) by the Maxinkuckee Ice company, then composed of Armstron, Sam Medbourn and Sterling R. Holt. Less than two years ago the property was sold to the present owners, Hollingsworth & Reamer of South Bend.

    Mr. Medbourn estimated that it would cost $25,000 not to rplace the houses.

    The ice in stock is estimated by Supt. Davis to be worth about $10,000 on which there will be some salvage.

    It is know that the property was insured, but the Citizen is unable to state the amount.

    Naturally, this fire occuring within less than two weeks of the acedemy loss, has given renewed interest to the question of providing protection, and it will be strange if diefinte steps are not taken at once to guard against a calamity which may at any hour overtake the business section.

The Maxinkuckee Ice Company will build new ice houses this season to take the place of those burned. The greate portion of the ice stock has been saved and is being covered to protect it from the weather. It is all under contracy most of it to the Candalia road, and will be shipped out as fast as possible. - Jun 21 -1906

The Maxinkuckee Ice company will build new ice houses this season at the lake to take; the place of those burned.

The greater portion of the ice stock has been saved and is being covered to protect it: from the weather. It is all under contract, much of it to the Vandalia road, and will be shipped out as fast as possible. - SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 1906. - LOGANSPORT DAILY PHAROS

Supt George Davis will begin work on the new ice houses of the Maxinkuckee Ice Company about Sept 1

Tha Maxinkuckee Ice Co. to Replace Their Culver Hoses at Once.

Jacob Reamer of the Lake Maxinkuckee Ice Coc. of SOuth Bend was in town Saturday looking over the site of the ices houses with a view to rebuilding.

Mr. Reamer says the work will begin in time to get the houses completed by January , and that the structures will be of the same dimensions as those destroyed by the fire l ast May.

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