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


Was built in 1920. Another says 1929 was the year the Maxinkuckee boat was built, although other records indicate 1926.

The shipbuilder had copied the design from a World War I subchaser and manufactured the main super structure from an ancient wooden water tower, which had once served the city of Rochester, Indiana.

The "Redwing" was a single-decker, the 65-passenger, diesel powered excursion boat owned by Mr. Fuller which ran on Lake Manitou in the 1920's and 1930's.

The "Redwing" was moved permanently to Lake Maxinkuckee, at Culver. Mr. Fuller [another state Mr. Tulleo, was the original owner and had christened it "The Red Wing" and giving leisurely rides on Lake Manitou. After about 12 years it was purchased in
1938 - May 18 - Arthur Simpson has purchased a 45-foot boat for taking passengers on trips on the Lake. It will carry 65 passengers and is known as the Red Wing and brought it to Lake Maxinkuckee, and renaming "Maxinkuckee".

Then it was sold to E.A. Thessin who provided tours for three years (1939-1941).

In October 1941 Frank and Emma Amond purchased it and owned it for the next thirty years. The Amond's came from Connersville, Indiana. Frank purchased the local dimestore and put Emma in as manager of it while Frank was building up his boat fleet for the cruise service to included boat rentals; purchasing from Don Behmer and Rex Mawhorter. Among them was a cabin crusier called the 'Funster'.

In 1958 this postcard was circulated - and the back - gave information about the lake and rides.

By the 1960's he had down sized it to the cruises of the Maxinkuckee and speed boat rides. Their children Edward F. 'Ed'. and Joanne helped out too during the summer months. During those years they had their first dog "Max" - the first dog of the lake as grandgrandaughter Kim (Amond) Wright has informed me.

Emma and her faithful companion - a golden brown pekingese dog named Sandy (Kim also provided the name) manned the ticket table for hours on end; and even occasionally he got to ride on the Maxinkuckee - and when doing so you could see him proudly standing on the starboard deck. Emma sat under her umbrella there at the entrance to the pier on the large cement slab in front of the old free flowing stone well - she would ringing the bell to alert passengers that the boat was about to embark on another tour around the lake.

1968 - May 16 Vandals set the Maxinkuckee Cruiser a drift and damaged much of the interior.

    The Maxinkuckee Cruiser was found drifting in the Academy bay Tuesday, May 14 and reported to the police by two cadets, Powers and Walker, who called the police to report it.

    Officers Madonna and Kiel recovered the boat. Mr. Richmond and a group of cadets helped tow the boat back to its mooring.

    Capt. Amond reports that the boat was damaged and the life preservers were destroyed. A complete assessment of the damage has not yet been determined.





The boat was captured in painting by M. G. White and hangs in the library.

Emma died in 1975.

The Culver Citizen caption accompanying this 1975 photo: "The familiar wooden bench and table occupied by Captain Frank Amond will no longer be filled by the enfamous navigator, who has operated the Maxinkuckee excursion boat for nearly 40 years. Phil Scrugg's No. Plymouth Street, a Plymouth real estate agent, and his brother-in-law Mark Naylor, Plymouth, purchased the boat from Ammond recently and will operate it beginning next spring. The boat, made of cypress wood over 100 years old, is currently at dry dock for the winter in Culver 's public park. Ammond retired from the excursion operation after many years in business along the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee"

Phil Scruggs and brother-in-law Mark Naylor bought the boat in 1975 and ran it for one summer. They tried to sell it to the town park board but failed, then tried to give it away but with no luck.

Maxinkuckee Cruise Boat Heads For Lake Wawasee

Culver residents and visitors will no longer view the Maxinkuckee cruise bout on the lake The boat was sold and is being taken to Warsaw where it will be refurbished and put on lake Wawasee - Apr. 26, 1979

On 28 April 1979 a group of people came from Syracuse and bought the Maxinkuckee for one dollar. The years had take their toll on the old boat in the form of dry rot and when moved started to crumble while on its way to its new home. It got as far as Mr. Appenzeller (one of the purchasers) yard and there it sat until in was dismantled on 24 August 1996 and burned at a later date.

Frank died 31 July 1983 in Flordia at his daughter's Joanne Kennedy's home.
It is said Seth Becker rescued the name plate of the boat "Maxinkuckee" and brought it back to Culver in 2000/1.
All that remains - somewhere is the name off the bow:

Henry Firari in is column "Small Town USA" renders his history of the Maxinkuckee entitled: The Maxinkuckee Boat written February 2003