Culver Visitor Center

QUICK FACTS

  • LAKE MAXINKUCKEE IS THE 2ND LARGEST NATURAL LAKE IN INDIANA

  • OFTEN HAILED "THE CAPE COD OF THE MIDWEST"
  • CENTRALLY LOCATED: JUST 10 MINUTES OFF US-31, 1 HOUR SOUTH OF NOTRE DAME, 1.5 HOURS FROM FORT WAYNE, 2 HOURS WEST OF INDY, ,AND JUST 2 HOURS SOUTH OF CHICAGO

  • SUMMER POPULATION: NEARLY 3,000 & FALL/WINTER/SPRING POPULATION: ABOUT 1300

  • LOCATED IN MARSHALL COUNTY, WHICH IS HOME TO THE BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL

  • HOME TO CULVER MILITARY ACADEMY & CULVER GIRLS ACADEMY

  • 2017 Division II  Stellar Designee

 

 

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HISTORY

cole porter sailing Lake Maxinkuckee
Downtown Culver indiana

The town of Culver would not be what it is today without Lake Maxinkuckee. The first known residents were the Miami Indians, followed by the Potawatomies, who were drawn to this place by the bounty and beauty of the lake. Evidence of many settlements and the trails that connected them can still be found in the surrounding area. In 1825, the first man of English descent moved here and ten years later, as Native Americans were being removed from the Midwest, white settlers came with their families and started building lives along the shores of the lake. The first Union Township school was then founded in 1836.

The Vandalia Rail Line from Logansport reached Culver in 1883, ushering in a boom for the town as visitors from Logansport, South Bend, and Indianapolis enjoyed boating, fishing, and rustic living. Travel by steamboat quickly became the most common form of transport, reaching its heyday in the quarter century after 1880, with Lake Maxinkuckee even featuring a floating dancing pavilion! A Chautauqua event known as The Culver Park Assembly hosted 12,000 visitors in 1889.

A few years later, in 1894, H. H. Culver and his wife, Emily Hand, opened the doors of a secondary boarding school now known as Culver Academies. Since then, education, farming and tourism have been the defining features of this unique town. Culver has attracted students from all over the world as well as many prominent visitors such as: Carrie Nation and William Jennings Bryant, James Whitcomb Riley and Kurt Vonnegut, Buffalo Bill and Joshua Bell, George Steinbrenner and George Foreman, and most recently Vice President Mike Pence. For a small Indiana town, Culver certainly has had its share of interesting times, which even includes a connection to the Titanic! 

We are fortunate to have two History organizations in our town:

The Antiquarian and Historical Society of Culver has been in existence since 1991 and celebrates the history of the area in many distinct ways; designating local landmarks to The National Register of Historic Places, maintaining Heritage Park in downtown Culver, recreating an historic lighthouse on the lakeshore, and sustaining the Museum of Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee History.

Culver-Union Township Heritage, Inc., is a community-based and project-oriented volunteer organization working to preserve local history. Sponsoring events like the Culver History Hayride and history-themed Moonlight Paddle (as co-sponsors), CUTH may be found online at www.culverheritage.com and Facebook.com/CulverUnionTownshipHeritage

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Arts & Culture

It is fairly well known that the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee have been graced by artists and writers for over 100 years, and,through the many gem-like facets of its community, Culver continues to be rich in artistic expression: literary, theatrical, musical, and visual.

One can often find book-signings at the Culver Union Township Library or the Culver Coffee Company. There are summer theater productions offered by both the community-based Maxinkuckee Players and the Culver Academies Summer Schools and Camps. Music fills the air through special performances arranged by the Antiquarian Society in summer and the Culver Academies Fine Arts Program as well as the annual performances by the Maxinkuckee Singers in winter. For the best in High School Theater, five productions are offered each school year, two at Culver Community Schools and three at the Culver Academies. And don’t miss the special performances by visiting artists to the Academies’ Huffington Concert Series and the eppley auditorium events! 

The visual arts are no less represented with ongoing exhibitions at Culver Union Township Library and the Culver Academies’ Crisp Visual Arts Center, home of the Culver Art Collection. For those who would like to purchase fine art, there are rotating exhibitions at the Culver Coffee Company, and for the adventurous seeker, jonathan's fine arts & antiques and Main Street Studio have the most unique offerings anywhere in the tri county area. All in all, the arts are alive and well in Culver and always worth a visit or an extended stay.

THE CULVER ACADEMIES: CRISP VISUAL ARTS CENTEr, eppley auditorium, huffington concert series

MAXINKUCKEE PLAYERS

THE CULVER COFFEE CO.

JONATHAN'S FINE ART & ANTIQUES

MAIN STREET STUDIO

 

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