A VISIT WITH ... Roscoe B. Stevens
||A VISIT WITH ...|
Roscoe B. Stevens
The Citizen visited Roscoe B. Stevens. a long time resident of the, area, a couple of weeks ago
and the following talk with him is the tirst in a series of conversations with people with memories of our
Mr. Stevens celebrated his 82nd birthday last October, and has spent most of his years in and
around Maxinkuckee and Culver.
In fact he remembers well the variety of businesses that once formed the East Shore community
of Maxinkuckee. Looking toward the ceiling he could remember offhand several grocery stores,
including one owned by Eli Parker, a blacksmith shop, butcher shop, shoe shop. barber shop, post office
and a saw mill. He believed the town was originally populated by Civil War Veterans. The town eventuallv
died out when the railroad route went through Culver, then called Uniontown, rather than through Maxinkuckee.
Talking about the Civil War reminded Mr. Stevens about his grandfather and great-grandfather,
both of whom were surgeons who served during that conflict.
Much of his life has involved Lake Maxinkuckee. He remembers when ice was farmed on the lake
during the winter, usually once, but occasional late winters allowed a second harvest in early spring.
It was nice to get out there at 12 below zero wind from the north and work twelve to fourteen hours
a day." he says with a bemused look. He remembers that he made $1.50 a day in the winter of 1917
filling the four ice houses which then existed.
He remembers the problems they used to have with the horses which pulled a plow-like cutting
blade across the 12 inch or thicker ice. "We used to take a 16 foot plank and some rope with us." he
remembers. The rope was used when the horse fell through the ice a loop was thrown around its
neck and tightened, causing the horse to lose consciousness. This would stop the horse from fighting
the men who were trying to save it, and the animal could then be pulled out of the water using the plank as
a ramp to the safe ice.
Mr. Stevens was involved in construction work for many years. and has built over 200 houses and
buildings in this area . This work continued until just a few years ago.
Mr. Stevens remembered how he started working. His father taught the common school in this area.
When he reached e ighth g rade. he was told that he now had education and he should get out and go to
work. which he did .
He remembers when Culver had boardwalks along Main street. As a young man, he pulled pranks, such
as putting a bumblebee nest under the boardwalk and prodding it with a lath as a passerby came near.
We asked him whether he might not like to spend his retirement in warmer climes. such as Florida. He
summed up Florida, He summed it up in one phrase - "Thee hundred miles long, a hundred miles wide, and a foot
high!" Obviously, he is not interested in moving to Florida.
Mr. Roscoe Stevens is a man with many memories but he does... viisit with him has been interesting
to his many friends in this area, and we wish him an equally happy and rewarding future. - CUlver Citizen Jan 25 1975