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

McDonald's Farewell  

Hon. Donald McDonald, editor of the Plymouth Democrat, when but a small boy. settled with his parents on the banka of Lake Maxinkuckee nearly fiftyfive years ago.

A few days since he sold his property at the lakee to the Vaadalia railway company.

In parting with his lakeside home, he thus eloquently and pathetically comments upon the changes that have occurred since his eyes first beheld the beautiful lake.

He heads his article "Farewell Maxenkuckee," and says:

"On the 20th day of July. 1836, when in oui infancy, we were dumped out of an ox-wagon on the east banks of Maxenkuckee lake, having traveled all the distance from southern Indiana in that primitive mode of getting through the world, enduring all sorts of hardships, such as camping by the roadside wherever night overtook the caravan, htinx millions of mosquitoes and flies, living on corn dodger, jerked beef and venison, drinking rye coffee and swamp water, picking wild berries by the roadside; the wagons occasionally breaking down or sticking fast in the mud; the women and children frequently shaking with the ague, and in addition to these trials and trib ulations, leaving relatives and friends behind and going to a strange land among hundreds of Indians and only a few white people, did not combine to make that delightf ul picture of pioneer felicity that had been imagined before the experiences had been encountered a veritable reality.

"The Pottowattomie and Miami Indians were numerous about the shores of Maxenkuckee lake at that time, and in the county, which had only been organized six days prior to the date of our arrival, it was estimated that there were about fifteen hundred Indians.

There were but few white people in the county at thai time, probably not more than six hundred all told, and our parents, and those with whom they came, and others who arrived the same year, comprised the first white settlement about the lake, and in that part of the county.

The treaties which had been entered into between the government and the Indians, rrequired the noble red men to vacate the premises, as soon as the land should be entered by setllers, and remove to the reservations, of which there were several in the county.

There were a great many Indians about the lake then, find Au-be- nau-be, Nis-wa-gee, and other less noted Indian chiefs were frequently seen at tbe lake and in the hunting grounds for miles around. Hu's and wigwams dotted the shores of the lake as far as the eye could see, and the bark canoe and the "dug out" comprised the primitive fleet that made up the lake navy at that time. T There were millions of all the various varieties of fresh water fish in the lake then and they furnished the principal article of flesh food for the inhabitants for many years after the Indians had taken their departure. The deer and other wild animals came down the banks and laved their thirst in the sparkling water.

None of forest trees had been felled at that time, and the tall sycamores, the beech and linn, and ironwood, and soft maple, and the brave old oaks bowed their massive tops, and stretched forth their branches in solemn benediction over the beautiful lake a veritable diamond jewel set in the grand old wilderness!

"But those days, with their joys and sorrows, their pleasures and pains, and their vivid pictures of the unseen future, are long since gone into the mystic mazes of the past! Our sainted mother, whose admonitions we thought so cruel in our youthf ul and childish days, was many years ago laid away to rest in the country graveyard, just over the hill in sight of the beautiful hike; the forests have been destroyed, the red men of the forest have ail died and disappeared; their cabins, and huts and wigwams have all been destroyed. and not a trace of any of these original owners of the soil can be found.

The wild game so plentif ul then has all disappeared under the civilizing influences of tbe white man. The Indian trail has been entirely obliterated by the reg ularly laid out wagon road reaching out in every direction.

The sound of the steam whistle from Ihe engines of four lines or railroad surrounding Maxinkuckee can be distinctly heard at Ihe lake every hour in the day. Five steam boats, a dozen sail boats, and hundreds of as fine row boats as can be found anywhere, have taken the place of the "dug out' and the 'Indian canoe' of those early days.,

Commodious hotels, and hundred cottages and magnificent dwellings, club- houses, boat houses, etc., costing thousands of dollars have been erected on tbe ruins of the Indian wigwams which once so appropriately adorned the rustics hores of the beautiful lake.

Where was then the Indian cornpatch is now the wheal field stretching for miles away dressed in living sreen, and the magnificent dwellings, and large and commodious barns and the cattle and horses and sheep grazing on a thousand hills present a picture of fifty years progress which can only be fully realized by those who have been eye witnesses to this grand transformation." Logansport Pharos Tribune may 5, 1891

Lakekview Club...

In 1878 a number of those who had been instrumental in organizing this club, wishing to have something permanent and more elaborate and comfortable, purchased fifteen acres of eligible lake front on the north bank, and erected a large two-story frame building, lathed and plastered, containing a large reception and dancing room, and other conveniences. Also 6 cottages were built for guests [another says there were two cottages and six wooden-floored tents that along what became known as the Indian Trail]. The main building - the rooms consisted of: dining, kitchen, reception rooms downstairs with 8 rooms for the families. It was in existence for about eighteen years - Altogether there were eight families who comprised the Lake View Club.
The club was furnished with a fine sailing yacht, and five sailboats and as many row- boats were owned by the individual members. The organization was named "The Lake View Club," and was composed of the following members, all residents of Plymouth: William W. Hill, Nathan H. Oglesbee, Henry C. Thayer, Chester C. Buck, Joseph Westervelt, Charles E. Toan, Horace Corbin and Daniel McDonald. - History of Marshall County Indiana (1908) Daniel Mc Donald pg. 100

Daniel Mc Donald in his book "An Early History of Lake Maxinkuckee" again gives the ones as forming the Lake View Club in 1878 as: W. W. Hill, N. H. Oglesbee, H. G. Thayer, C. C. Buck, C. E. Toan, Horace Corbin, Daniel Mc Donald and also Joseph Westevelt.

The Vandalia Company has purchased the Plymouth Club house and grounds at Lake Maxinkuckee. The tract of ground contains eight acres and is the most desirable property at the lake. - Logansport Pharos April 23, 1891

The T. H. and L. division of the Vandalia will hereafter have much better facilities at Lake Maxinkuckee than in the past, the company having bought out the property of the Plymouth Club at the head of the lake. There are fifteen acres in the tract which includes the beautiful bluff so much admired by all visitors. The consideration was $16,000. - Logansport Reporter April 24, 1891