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

History of the Boats or Launches  



The boats or launches of Lake Maxinkuckee were a colorful part of the lakes history. They first provided most the important needed commodity - transportation from the depot to the cottages that dotted the shores of the lake.

They also provided pleasure and more so - as roads became more accessible and the advent of the car the importance dwindled down to the pleasure use.

    Historical Time line:

    1852 -  “Queen of the Lake” . . . Large Flat Bottomed Skiff, built by Isaac A. Morris.
    1874  -  “The Anna” . . . . Large Sailboat, built by W. W. Hill.
    1876  -  “The Nancy Lee” . . . Built by Capt. Ed Morris.
    1878  -  “The Victor” . . . . First Flat Bottom Sailing Craft, Steamboat
    1880 -  “The Elephant” . . . 18X20’ Sailing Craft, in cooperation building venture, built by Lake View Club membership
     -  “The Welcome” ; in 1885 renamed “The Lake Forest” . . . 14X50’ two-deck, side wheeler steamboat . . . built by Capt. Ed Morris
    1883 -  “The Aubbeenaubbee” . . . Steamboat, two-decker
     -  “The Bessie” . . .
    1884 -  “The Lloyd McSheeny” . . . Steamboat; Owner, Capt. Oliver Knapp
    1886 -  “The Peerless” . . . Steamboat; Capacity: 100 passengers; builder, Capt. Ed Morris, (Note: 1894 advertisement says: “Steamer Peerless meets 7 trains daily at Vandalia Park and carries passengers to all Hotels.”
    1895 -  “The Peerless II” . . . Steamboat built by Capt. Ed Morris . . . Sold to M. K. Lord, 1897. Remained in operation till 1915.
    1903 -  “The Doxie” . . . Steamer, built by Capt. Crook, was launched May, 1903. (Note: Announcement states: “ Accommodations to all cottages and persons to points around Lake Maxinkuckee.”
     -  “The Neeswaugee” . . . 14X70’ 2-deck Steamboat, Capacity: 200 passengers, built by Capt. Crook. Remained in service till 1915.
    (?) -  “The Daisy” . . . Steamboat.
    1883 -  “The W. R McKeen” . . . Ironclad Steamer.
    1905 -  “The White Swan” . . . 30X70’ 2-deck excursion ship, builder, Capt. Crook . . . Remained in service till 1907. … Prominent tourist floating dance pavilion.
    1938 -  “The Red Wing” Formerly on Lake Manitou, the 65-passenger, diesel powered excursion ship purchased, 1938 by Art Simpson. Renamed “The Maxinkuckee”. Later owned by Erv Thessin, Frank Amond, Phil Scruggs, Sold late ‘70’s for use, Lake Wawassee.
    1941 -  “CSS Fowler” . . . 3-Masted Square Rigger with auxiliary diesel power. Built, CMA boat shop by W. C. Craft. Named for Comdr. O.W. Fowler, director, Culver Naval School. (54X13’ ship carries 1,600 sq. ft. Sail.)
    1958 -  “CSNS Yarnell” . . . 60X131/2’ diesel powered, destroyer type ship. Built CMA Boat Shop by W. C. Craft. Named for Adm. Harry Yarnell, CNS Director.


We have been left with some irreplaceable memories of John and Bea (Rassner)Bigley of the launches. Also so did aniel Mc Donald.

To the right is what David Burns claims to have been a cinder from one of the Lake Maxinkuckee Steamboats of years past - the first is the front side at one angle and the second is theback side at another angle - Yeah I know a weird thing to save - hoard, oh welll...Why not?


Pictures of some of the launches that have not been identified can be found under the 'Unknown launches'. It seems that some of the launches from other area lakes or were moved back and forth between lakes:
    Capt. JEWELL has removed his steamboat from lake Manitau to lake Maxinkuckee, the transfer being made yesterday. He will probably return it when the boating season is over, if notearlier. . . . Rochester Sentinel - Saturday, August 7, 1880


1884 - Logansport Journal February 5, 1884 - A number of Indianapolis gentlemen have had a steam yacht built to place on Lake Maxinkuckee. It is about seventy feet long, and will conveniently carry 80 passengers. It will be run the coming season for the accommodation of excursionists and private picnic parties, and will, undoubtedly, pay its owners a fat premium on their investment. It has been shipped to the lake and will be launched as if soon as the weather will permit

1888 - Jan 24 - A Chicago gentleman has made arangements to place a large steamer on Lake Maxinkuckee next season for the accommodation of pleasure seekers - Logansport Pharos Tribune

1890 - Ed Morris, of the steamer Peerless, it is understood, will build a new steamer this winter, which will probably be named "The Climax," as he does not propose that it shall be excelled.

1896 - Jul 23 - Thos. Grittith recently completed the setting up of an engine in one of the steamers on Lake Maxinkuokee. Lougansport Pharos Tribune 23, Jul 1895

1900 - April - Census shows that one Oliver R. Stevens born May 1869 was a partner in a boat he was married with a family. on the next page is founf Oliver Crook and was listed as manger of a steamboat and with him in his house hold was James Smith who was captain of a steamboat - since livign within the same household one could assume that Crook was his employeer at the time. They all lived in the 1st ward which was the Scott Street area. and found in the 2nd ward of the town was one Robert F. Buckherster and Orrin J. Hudson listed in seperate housholds but both were listed as an Engineer of a steamboat.

1900 - Nov 3 - CADETS ARE EXPELLED
    One Hundred and Three Students at Culver are Dismissed. A telegram from Culver says that about 100 students_have been expelled or suspended from the Culver Military Academy for sinking most of the pleasure boats, including one steamer, in Lake Maxinkuckee, on the shore of which the academy is situated, the ' sinking being a Hallowe'en prank.

    The Pharos learned today that while the students were expelled as above, stated, the cause was entirely another one. It seems that two students named Beck and Harrington were dismissed from the academy for absenting themselves from the grounds without leave.

    When they started away Wednesday evening, 103 students broke ranks and followed them to the depot, singing songs and shouting defiance to the faculty.

    Col. A. F. Fleet followed the crowd, rounded them up and marched them back to the barracks.

    Yesterday morning an order was read, dismissing the whole 103 insubordinates from the college. The boys have since packed their traps and gone home and the school is running along as usual.


From the Chattel Mortgages Book 5 Marshall County, Indiana comes:

MortgagorMortgagee Date Amount Description
Koontz, J. H. & J. F. et al Morris, Edd 20 June 1887 400.00 Steamboat
Walter, D. G. et al Morris, Edd 20 June 1887 400.00 Steamboat
Lord, Emma E. Willard, Chas. P. & Co. 31 Mar. 1890 875.00 Steam boat
Lord, Emma E. Crook, Oliver 10 Nov. 1890 1,000.00 Steam boat
Lord, Emma E. Schmidt, Harold 25 July 1891 1,800.00 Steamboat "Aubbeenaubee"
Lord, Emma E. Morris, Edmund 22 Mar. 1897 4,000.00 Steamers "Peerless" & "Aubbenaubee", all belongings, piano
Lord, Emma E. Forgy, Geo. B. 14 Mar. 1898 360.00 Naptha launch, steamers "Peerless", "Aubbenaubee"
Lord, Emma E. L McCormick, Monroe C. 12 Apr. 1900 107.50 Launch "Dewey", 3 horses, cow, watch, buggy
Lord, Emma E. Cappel, Louisa A., Admnx. 18 Oct. 1900 700.00 Launch "Dewey", 2 steam-boats, fixtures, machinery
Lord, Mrs. E. E. McAllister, Elmer A. 6 July 1901 21.91 Steambts "Aubbenaubee" & "Peerless
Crook, Oliver Benepe, Dr. J. L. 11 Sept. 1901 300.00 Gasoline launch Doxey, portable boat house
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 23 June 1902 7,000.00 Steamboats "Aubbeenaubee" & "Peerless", launch "Dewey"
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 10 Sept. 1902 2,300.00 Steamboats "Aubbeenaubee" & "Peerless", launch "Dewey
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 6 Feb. 1903 5,500.00 Steamboat Neeswaugee
Crook, Oliver Lord, Emma E. 20 Dec. 1904 2,230.00 Steamers Peerless & Niswaugee, launch Dewey


1913 - May 29 - The fleet of boats to cruise the waters of Lake Maxinkuckee this summer for the pleasure of passengers includes:
    Captain Crook's Steamers, Neeswaugee and Peerless and his launches, Charlene and Mildred,
    L. S. Finney's launches, East Side May and the Carroll ,
    and the boats of Arthur Morris


This is a list of some of the main known ones, a brief history and photographs that have thus far been found.

June 1919 - Ahdeek, a 38-foot motor pleasure boat, was built in 1916 at Morris Heights, New York. She was acquired by the U.S. Navy on 2 September 1918 and served into the next year as USS Ahdeek, probably in the New York area. Served during World War I and in the early post-war era as USS Ahdeek (SP-2589) in 1918-1919, probably in the New York area.

Using their powers of persuasion on the U.S. Navy, Ross and Gignilliat received four “motor yachts complete in every respect” between 1920 and 1922 and they became mainstays in Culver’s fleet. Two of them, the Estelle and the Ahdeek, were designated as “Flag Boats,”

In June 1919 she was ordered sent to the Culver Military Academy, in Indiana, where she apparently remained for many years, on loan from the Navy. Ahdeek was finally stricken from the list of Naval vessels in October 1933.

Belonged to the Culver Military Academy and was destroyed in the Boathouse fire of March 1938


Admiral Ross
    It was used to transport the admiral on his daily trips from his lakeside cottage to headquarters. Following Ross’ retirement, it went into service as an instructional boat and became a favorite of crew coach. Belonged to the Culver Military Academy and was destroyed in the boathouse fire of March 1938


Admiral Rodman
aka Regina

Belongs to the Culver Military Academy. It was placed into service in 1935 as 'Regina' and was renamed the 'Admiral Rodman' in 1936.

In 1935 the Regina joined the fleet and immediately caught the attention of sailors, yachtsmen, and people wandering along the shoreline. It was nearly fifty-six feet long, had a nineteen foot beam, was diesel powered, and, at twenty-two gross tons, was the largest vessel on Lake Maxinkuckee. It had bunks and a mess. It was in service until the late 1950's.


CSS Yarnell, Admiral Yarnell Belongs to the Culver Military Academy.


Anna
    1874 - Built by W. W. Hill A large sailboat. 


Anna Belle
    Associated with Scott's Landing. 


Aubeenaubee

Bessie
    The first steam boat was owned and run by William Davis in 1885. It was named Bessie in honor of his daughter. It's name was soon changed to Vandalia.




Carol &
    Owned by Capt. Lee R. Finney. Anchored at Maxinkuckee Landing. Sold to Dick Louden and Eddie Bobery. Was said to be the last of the lake launches.

    1913 - May 22 - L. S. Finney will run the launches East Side May and the Caroll. Dick Louden will be his right-hand man.

    1922 Mar 22 - L. R. Finney has sold his two passenger boats, the "East Side May" and "Carol" to Walter VanShoiak, who will runt hem this season in conjunction with Dick Loudon's three boats. The two lines will pool their business and maintain a running schedule which will furnish the pulblice with a complete service


Charline [Charlene]

1909 - March 4 - Capt. Crook has purchased from a Bay City manufacturer a 30-ft. gasoline boat, driven by a 24-horse power, four-cylinder engine. The boat, with a speed of 15 miles an hour, will carry 40 passengers, and coat $1,500. It comes "knocked down" and will be put together by George Terry of Bass Lake, and is to be used to supplement the Lake fleet

1909 - May 27 - Capt. Crook has named his new launch "Charline" in honor of a little granddaughter

1909 Jun 10 The "Charline" Launched
    Last Wednesday, June 2, witnessed the launching of the beautiful 35-foot launch recently built by Capt. Crook.

    It is quiped with a high tension Boschmagento and a Buffalo motor, recomended and sold by Capt. Morris.

    The time honored custom of "breaking the bottle of wine" over the bow as the boat glided int the water was prefored by Myrtle Delight Thompson, the charming little daughter of Mr. L. B. Simcox, whose bright eyes while standing on the bow of the boat waiting to perform her part looked like two diamonds set in the bow.

    Before the boat started she read the following lines written for the occasion and christened the boat "Charline"
      Here's to the pride of Lake Maxinkuckee
      Whoever rides in her is quite lucky
      Heaven will smile on her, as she glides
      With loads of people for pleasure rides
      Honoe to Terru, VaMeter and Crook
      Who built and know her just like a book
      There faithfully men have toiled early and late
      To give this beautiful lake something great
      Now the can look with pride and pleasure
      And reap a due reward from this treasure
      We trust that no storms she will see
      Happiness and peace will her watchword be
      In the name of all that is given a queen
      I christen thee "Charline.


    We must not forget to mention the names of Captain Fisher and Elmer Hall who took such active part in launching the Chaline

    A long and successful life to the Charline.

    1913 - May 22 - Capt Crook's fleet will consist of the steamers Neeswaugee, and Peerless; and the launches Charlene and Mildred - the latter having bee purchased of Capt. A. J. Knapp. John Buswell will be Capt. Crook's manager this season.



CMA Pontoon
    A large double pontoon paddle wheel workboat. This ponderous vessel, designed and built at the Boat Shop and powered by a 1941 Oliver tractor engine, is used for general maintenance of the naval fleet


Culver
    April 1898 - Built by Capt. Morris for Mrs. Lord. It replaced the Peerless & Aubbeenaubbee. Naptha Launch  

    1898 - Apr 15 - New Boat. - Mrs. R. K. Lord's beautiful naphtha launch appeared upon the lake Monday in full running order and is a gem of the first water and can carry about 25 people. It was built by Capt. Morris and will be used for the spring traffic in place of the large steamers Auhbeenaubbee and Peerless. During the summer season it will be used by private parties, who desire to ride upon the crystal waters of Lake Maxinkuckee without being in the company of strangers. The boat was christened "Culver" which will be very appropriate. This will make three magnifieent boats now in the possession of Mrs Lord, which are absolutely the peers of all boats upon resort lakes in the country. The steamers Aubbeenaubbee and Peerless are now receiving a new coat of paint aud will soon appear in public resplenden in their beauty.



Colletta
    The Elks' band will play on the streets every evening until next Sunday, advertising the benefit excursion to Lake Maxinkuckee. Last night they attended the formal launching of the steamer '"Colletta." owned Iby Frank Kienly, a member of the band.

    The steamer, Colletta, is again afloat having been stranded on a rock for several days. Aug. 18, 1898 Logansport Pharos Tribune


Daisy

Dewey
    Owned by the Maxinkuckee Steamboat Co. (Crook & Lord, Capt. Crook, manager and Mrs. R. K. Lord, (owner) Was 30 foot trimmed in brass. 

    1898 Aug 12 - The Dewey has a big morning's work every Sunday. It delivers a cargo of ice cream and receives a cargo of church goers.... The captain of the Dnwey is the proud possessor of a display of photos showing, himself in various positions connected with his official position

    1898 - Dec 22 - John Gast, the timer, has purchased Captain Crook's launch, the Dewey. Captain Crook will replace it with a new launch next summer 1900 - June 29 - Mrs, R. K. Lord has purchased a marine engine which will be placed in the launch Dewey.

    1904 - Sep 15 - The steam motive power has [been] taken out of Capt. Crook's boat, the Dewey, and a gasoline engine put in.



Dixie
    This was just mentioned by name in John and Bea Bigley's rticle in the 1986 Marshall county history. Nothing more has been found on it - could it be a typo and was meant to be "Doxie"?


Doodlebug (1979)
The Dorcas, an exceedingly fast launch owned by W. H. Fulton on the east side, for a long time has had no rival, simply because she could show a clean pair of heels to every opponent she came in contact with. But recently a new boat arrived in Culver by the name of the Lois, owned by Louis Duenweg, and she was placed im the lake. She is a beauty, and her rakish make up denoted speed. Last Sunday the Dorcas and her skipper were out on the bosom of the lake, and skipped over the water at an 8 knot an hour gait, when it was apparent that the Lois was close on the former’s heels. Capt, Fulton gave the Dorcas another notch, when she fairly flew over the water; but her rakish oppoent without apparent effort commenced to close the gap that separated them, aud in a very short time took the lead, thus making her the champion. We understend that Captain Fulton is not satisfied, and undoubtedly another race will take place in the future - Aug 16, 1901


Doxie / Doxey / Helen
    Found in the 7 May 1903 issue of the Culver Citizen: Capt. Crook's Launch "Doxie" was launched last Monday [27 April] and put in commission. He is now prepared to accommodate all early cottagers or persons desiring to go to points around the lake.

    1904 - May 12 - Capt. Crook’s launch, the Helen was put into the lake last Saturday. This boat was known as the Doxey last year.


East Side May & Carol
    Owned by Capt. Lee R. Finney.

    1909 - Apr. 15 - L. F. Finney, at the Carson cottage, is building a 35 foot, 20 horsepower, 3-cylinder motorboat which will have a capacity for 35 passengers. He will run it as a public conveyance and it will be launched June 1 as the "East Side May."

    1913 - May 22 - L. S. Finney will run the launches East Side May and the Caroll. Dick Louden will be his right-hand man.

    1922 Mar 22 - L. R. Finney has sold his two passenger boats, the "East Side May" and "Carol" to Walter VanSchoiack.

    Owned by Capt. L. S. Finney and operated by Eddie Bobery. Sold to Dick Louden and Eddie Bobery Anchored at the Maxinkuckee Landing.

    Mar 16, 1923 - MAY 16, 1923— The Louden launches are at the depot pier , being placed in readiness for summer traffic.



Elephant
    1880's - A sailboat Built in Chicago and launched by the Lake View Club. A sailboat. It was originally built for service on Lake Michigan. It was 18 by 20 foot and at its time was the largest sailing craft on the lake. It was rumored about that there was danger of capsizing it. None of the club members were expert sailors and thus he Elephant - became just that to the club and its members. Eventually it was shoved up on shore, and a bonfire made of it. 


Estelle

Using their powers of persuasion on the U.S. Navy, Ross and Gignilliat received four “motor yachts complete in every respect” between 1920 and 1922 and they became mainstays in Culver’s fleet. Two of them, the Estelle and the Ahdeek, were designated as “Flag Boats,” Serving with distinction for many years. Owned by Culver Military Academy. Wireless Signal boat


Fleet Wing
    Built by Capt. Ed. Morris and used to transport people and material on the lake until the coming of the railroad in 1883 and the steamboats arrived.\


Flotilla pre 1938 Culver Military Academy
Gladys
    Manager Elbrecht's new launch, the Gladys, arrived last week; It is a 21 foot boat, fitted with a Western gas engine and handsomely furnished throughout

    James Barnes and wife are occuping the John E . Barnes cottage on Long Point. James has purchased the gasoline launch Gladys, of Mr. Elbrecht. - June 30, 1904


Kittie Mac
    1870's - A clinker was ran by Capt. Mc Donald


Lady/Lake Forrest or Welcome
    1885 - Newly built and launched by Capt. Morris. A side wheeler 50 by 14. Was first named Welcome. Was junked in the 1890's. Said to have ran at an angle. The hull laid for a long time near the railway depot.

    Clemens O. Mueller of Indianapolis and long-time East Side resident, writes that the first steamr was a side-wheeler, "Lady Forest", junked in the late 1890's and whose hulk lay half-sumerged near the rairoad trestle in from the oth Kreutzbergers "of hallowed memory" - 24 Apr 1957 - CItizen  

    Koontz, J. H. (Mortgagor) Shakes, Thomas (Mortgagee) on 12 Aug. 1891 for the amount of 200.00 on Und. 1/2 of steamboat Lady Forest

    Walters, Daniel G. (Mortgagor) Tyler, Nusel P.; Armstrong, William S. (Mortgagee) on 12 May 1891 for the amount of 336.40 of nd. 1/2 of steam boat "Lady Forest
    1899 - June 30 - The old side-wheeler which has beeu an eyesore to the people for the last eight or ten years, as it laid in a delapidated condition upon a sand bar near Kreuzberger Park, was burned this week by the section men. This was one of the first boats that ever plowed the waters of Lake Maxenkuckee, and was a daisy in its palmy days

L. S. Finney

Lloyd Mc Sheehy

Maxinkuckee

Mildred
    1913 - May 22 - Capt Crook's fleet will consist of the steamers Neeswaugee, and Peerless; and the launches Charlene and Mildred - the latter having been purchased of Capt. A. J. Knapp. John Buswell will be Capt. Crook's manager this season.

br>
Morris
    A steamer owned by Capt. Morris and was in operation as of 17 jun 1886


Nancy Lee
    1876 - Capt. Ed Morris. A sailboat. It was sold to the Peru Club. Before this one he had built the first flat bottom sail boat of which the name is unknown.


Naptha

Nees-wau-gee

The O. W. Fowler, Culver's first square rigger, was in use from 1941 until 1982-1983 . It was named in honor of CMA's Lt. Commander O. W. Fowler and it was placed into service in July 1941.


Ohio
    Academy powerboat destroyed in the March 1938 boathouse fire. Was possibly one of the four “motor yachts complete in every respect” that Ross and Gignilliat received between 1920 and 1922 Using their powers of persuasion on the U.S. Navy, and they became mainstays in Culver’s fleet. Two of them, the Estelle and the Ahdeek, were designated as “Flag Boats,”




Katheryne
    9 Jul 1903 Culver citizen - A New boat Capt. Morris has been at work on , a new sail boat for the last six month and it was completed and launched last week. It is a new departure in the sail boat line on Lake Maxinkuckee; being known as a knock-about. It is sloop rigged, 7 1/2 feet beam 24 feet over all and 15 feet and 5 inches on the water line. It carries 380 square feet of canvas and can beat anything of her class that is on the lake. It will be named the "Katheryne" and Mr. Allen Williams has chartered her for the season. Her approximate cost was $600.


The R. H. Ledbetter was placed into service 7 July 1984. It is steel hulled, 54 feet. It was funded by Robert H. Ledbetter it was constructed by T. D. Vinette of Escanaba, Mi. as much of the hardware and equipment was used from the O. W. Fowler as was the mast spars and sails incorporated into it. It was outfitted with a new Cummins diesel engine. 


Peerless

Queen of the Lake
    1852 - Built by Isaac N. Morris. A Flat bottom skiff. 


Revluc

Shortly before World War II the Revluc, a Richardson cruiser was a gift of Bertram B. Culver , Jr. It had been based at Harbor Springs, Michigan, and was well known in the yachting fraternity. At Culver,it served a special function as a VIP boat and became a mainstay of the summer fleet It served the Naval School of 36 years into the 1960's. It was then scuttled off Perry's Point to become a diving site for scuba instruction.


S. S. Arlington

Sea Gull
    Built by Edmund Morris. A large sail boat used to transport people before the steamers arrived. 


Sentinel D
    Dr. Durr had his gasoline launch, the Sentinel D., hauled down from Plymouth and put in the lake this week. It is a good boat and will make a fine addition to the large number of powercrafts on Lake Maxinkukckee - April 21 1904


Togo
    1903 - Was launched by the Culver Military Academy. Said to have been on displayed at the St. Louis World's Fair.


Vandalia
    Was renamed from 'Bessie' when the railroad reached the lake. It came in February 1883 and owned and ran by William Davis in 1885 and named in honor of his daughter. It came from the St. Joseph River at South Bend. It was not a profitable investment as patronage was not sufficient. It was removed to Cedar Lake [Bass Lake] Starke county, Indiana.


Victor
    1878 - Brought to the lake in 1878 from Rochester. It was launched from the Maxinkuckee Landing on the East side. It ended also in 1878 because there was only a few that patronized it and thus did not justify the owner keeping it on the lake. It was a was to small unpretentious boat it had a diminutive engine and boiler and was not considered entirely safe.

    1880 In chattel book 5 is found Barber, Emitt P. (Mortgagor ) Killen, M. L. & Jewell, R. S. (Mortgagee ) on 23 Aug. 1880 for the amount of 96.72 on One steam boat "Victor"


W. R. Mc Keen Capt. R. K. Lord.

White Swan

Unknown by name
    Sometime during the life of the Elephant - Ed. R. Wheeler of the Shady Bluff also built a large sail boat. It was intended to be the finest boat of its kind on the lake at that point in time. But its construction proved to be fa ulty and it leaked badly. Mr. Wheeler being so annoyed soaked it with coal oil, set a match to it sending it up in smoke! The name of the boat is unknown.


Unknown's
    1910 = 18 Aug. issue of Culver citizen states the W. L. devine placed a fine, new launch in the lake recently. It is 26 feet long, has a 35-horspower, four-cylinder engine and cost $1,800.







Today is