Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana's Summer Resort, 1885- History and Genealogy of Lake Maxinkuckee

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

Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana's Summer Resort, 1885

Indianapolis News
July 31, 1885



A Beautiful Sheet of Water Now Easily Accessible - Some of Its Beauties - Contemplated Improvement.

8ince tbe Vandalia road hss bern completed to the borders of this lake it is easy of acceas. Now it requires but one change of cars at Colfax; involving a transit of a few yards on a platform and a run of a huudred and twenty miles from Indianapolis to Marmont, on the shore of the lake Maaxinkuckee is a beautiful sheet of water, more than four miles across in its largest diameter, Its shores are a series of low hills, with an occasional level, still crowned with forest trees for the most part, though their density has been diminished by cultivated farms whose, waving cornfields peer down through the shallow gorges. The shores slope so gently that the bather may walk ont thirty or forty yards before the depth compels him to swim. Two steamers, one a side-wheeler and the other a propeller, brought from Lake Erie, visit the Marmont landing on the arrival of trains to take the visitor to any of the club houses or other stopping place he may desire to go. Another steam craft is the Vixen, a little canoe - propeller belonging to and officered by Commodore L. M. Vance, the engine and furnishings of which he madde himself, and which he ran on our own Venitian water - course from the Bucktown rialto to Broad Ripple till the bloated owners of the canal aud a rival steamer forbade. It is equal in speed to the largest craft on the lake and attracts much attention as it skim along, and wakes the echoes with the savage little bark of its little plaything of an engine. Many other craft propelled by sail, our or paddle traverse the lake in all directions. The air at Maxinkuckee smells and feels like that of a much higher latitude, and It is difficult to believe that its odorous breezes do not sweep through resinous thickets, carpeted with lycopodium embossed with wintergreen, as at Pctoskey; or across vast reaches of deep blue water as at Chequaniagon; or from depths of dark and cool maple forests, as at Minnetonka. The - aspect of its changeful skies, too, suggests the farther North. It has no precipitous headlands and deeply indented bays, such as make Minnetonka at once so picturesque and so treacherous, and no hiddea rocks to wreck the inexperienced or adventurous navigator, no islands dot its surface; but its temper is as capricious as its aspect is lovely in all moods, and whether it lash the sloping shore with the spray of itd white caps, or duplicate without a ripple the serene early morning sky, or mirror the midnight night moon aureoled with silver spleudor it is always fresh, always charqiing. The seeker of the white water lily will find it by crossing the lake to the outlet, taking a canoe, shooting under the low railroad bridge and pursuing his torturous way through obstructing lily-pads a quarter-of-a-mile to Lost Lake, no inconsiderable body of water. Here, all along tbe shores. and particularly where its lear waters glide stealthily between low banks to seek the Wabash, this most regal of all the lilies may be found in abundance, like molten gold resting within the white enamel lining of its bronze and emerald crucible, and shining in the distance like a star above the waves, the purple or crimson lining of its green leaves showing whenever a, breeze ripples the surface of the water, and forming a combination of color upon the background of crystal to ravish the soul of a painter. There are as yet, no spacious and costly hotels nt Maxinkuckee, The club houses serve this office tor their owner and friends, though several of these have lately been diverted from their original purpose, and have been opened to the public. Some who, like John Palmer, with whom the writer tarried, domiciled at night under the canvas of a friendly tent near by, erected cottage for their own summer habitation, have been induced by visitors (who, seeing the comfort and luxury of their way of living, have importuned them) to provide an annex for lodging and admit them to the privilege of the family table. The ubiquitous Ohmers have already erected a large eating house and skating rink close to the depot at Marmont and are draining and beautifying a large grove near by with the view of patting up cottages for rent to the summer sojourner so that by next season there will be no want of ample accommodations. And here, it may be said, that accessibility to the Chicago markets, which by the push and enterprise of her wide-awake merchants are better supplied with the luxuries of the season than are even the marketd of the South, insure everything in its earliest season, so that for creature comforts Maxinkuckee is not behind any of its pretentious sisters. Many cottages - on the bank of the laka belong to Indianapolis gentlemen and cluba, Harry Adams, Otto Stechhan, the Vajens. McQuat aud others are on the eastern shore, and Hilarity Hill illustrates its name near by. This latter institution occupies a commanding position, and from its terraced front the sound of music, vocal and instrumental, of various degrees of harmony, ia often heard far into the night. Its owners have all the abandon and love of mischief of boy let loose for tbe holidays. Some of them, while in the citv, cribbed the sign, "McCarty Street", from one of the Indianapolis street cars, and proceeded to nail it to Harry Adams's cottage. It will be admitted that tbe party who gets the last laugh on Harry Adams is an early riser. He slumbered toolate on this occasion. for the device, "Insane Asylum," obtained by consent from the same streetcar company, now point its slow, uumoving finger up the stairway at Hilarity Hill. Gentlemen and clubs from Plymouth, Rochester, Chicago, Terre Haute, Laiayette and cities further away have cottages here, and available sites are now held a high as city lots, with a prospect of increasing in value. A number of cottages of pretentious architecture are to be built. this summer and many more are contemplated, so that our nearest and most popular watering place promises, in the near future, to be a place of prominence. Fashion has not yet invaded Maxinkuckee - or rather the fashion which consult comfort first, prevails. Those who have fine toilets to display and propose to devote their time to displaying them need not come here. Ease, rest, comfort, independence, cool air, pure water, fishing, - boating thee may be - htad in abundance. Who wants fashion and discomfort should go elsewhere.