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Main Street in Culver

Read the complete text of the Culver Downtown Historic District writing, compiled by the Antiquarian and Historical Society of Culver, for placement of downtown Main Street in the National Register of Historic Places. The detailed report forms a thorough look at the architecture, history, and significance of the buildings and businesses of downtown Culver through the years!

Main St. Facing North

Main Street, facing north from corner of Main & Madison, 1950s (photo donated by Edna Taber).

Main Street Looking North

A postcard captioned, "Main Street Looking North," probably near the turn of the century or before, as evidenced by the lack of pavement.

Main St. - 1912

This postcard depicting Main Street is dated 1912, and faces south. Prominent on the right is the Methodist church which stood where the new addition of the library now sits. The original Carnegie library would be erected just south of the church 3 years after this postcard's date, in 1915.

Main St. Snow

Main St. under the effects of a blizzard, in this undated photo supplied by Marizetta Kenney, probably taken in the 1930s. Visible is a dentist's shop, the drug store, the State Exchange Bank, Carnegie Library, and the Methodist Episcopal Church that once stood at the corner of Main and Washington Streets. Details from informed readers about the shops depicted would be welcome.

Main St. Snow

Similar view of Main Street as the previous photo, probably from the same snowy day!

Main St. 1930s

Main Street in the 1930s.

Saine & Sons Grocery

Saine & Sons Grocery on the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets, where Mary's Shoppe is today located.

The Home Theater

The Home Theater, operated by the family of H.L. Werner in what is today Fisher & Company Clothiers on West Main Street. The theater closed sometime during the 1930s.

Main St. & Library

Main St. and the Carnegie Library, , 1957 (photo donated by Edna Taber).

Main St. 1930s

Main Street as it appeared in the 1930s; the old State Exchange Bank can be seen to the left, the Culver Public Library at right.

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade, Main Street -- facing east from corner of Main & Jefferson, 1950s (photo donated by Edna Taber).

Main Street, Culver, Ind.

This view of Main Street, on a postcard captioned only, "Main Street, Culver, Ind.," appears to be looking south.

Main Street, Culver, Ind.

A version of the same turn-of-the-century postcard showing Main Street looking south, this one a colorized version from the Mike Shesky collection.

City News Agency

The City News Agency is the most visible business in this early 1970s photo of South Main Street's east side. The News Agency was owned and operated by William Taber, also a consummate photographer whose photos grace several pages of this website.

Main St.

This very early postcard showing Main Street while still unpaved, also shows clearly Rector's Pharmacy and the other businesses on the east side of this block.

Lakefest Parade - 1980s

A Lakefest Parade in the 1980s. While not as vintage as many pictures here, it does depict some of the changes to Main St. Note the Corner Tavern, for many years a downtown staple, Al's TV and Appliances at its former location, and Andy's clothiers, all no longer part of Main Street's scenery today.

Lakefest Parade - 1980s

Another shot from the same day as the previous photo. Note the former gas station on the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets, where Mary's Shoppe has since been constructed.

Hardware Store

The Hardware Store was an early fixture in Culver; this picture was taken at its location on the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets in 1903.

Main St. Late 1930s

Postcard depicting Main Street as it appeared in the late 1930s.

Rector's Pharmacy

Rector's Pharmacy on the east side of Main Street, an undated postcard. The Pharmacy was opened in 1909, operated by Nathan Rector until its purchase by Robert McKinnis in 1962, and moved before eventually shutting down in 1977 when McKinning and Ron Tusing merged to form Mr. T's Drugs. Mark Roder's entry on Culver's Drug Stores from his Culver history book is here.

Street Scene, Culver, Indiana

"Street Scene, Culver, Indiana," proclaims a 1950s postcard depicting Main Street looking south. On the right, the Methodist Church, now gone, can be seen, the library just to the south of it, and the State Exchange Bank to the south of the library.

Culver Public Library

The Culver Public Library is seen at left in this early 1970s photo of the west side of North main Street in downtown Culver. At right is the building that would house Norcen Insurance, demolished in the early 2000s to make way for the library's new addition.

Culver Elementary children in downtown Culver faill, 1924

Wonderful and rare photo from the Stahl family collection, depicting the second grade class in the fall of 1924 -- along with teacher Edna Stahl -- walking down South Main Street (the camera is facing south). On the left can be seen the O.T. Goss hardware (today Snyder's, in the same building) and even the vacant lot just north of the hardware store.

1939 Postcard

1939 postcard showcasing the United Methodist Church on Main St., seen from the northeast (the library is due south of the church, and the State Exchange Bank due south of the library).

Gretter's Market

Gretter's Market was located on the east side of Main Street, in what is today a vacant lot just south of Verl's Barber shop, directly across the street from the bank. Detailed information about the years of operation of Gretter's would be welcome (photo courtesy Phil Gretter).

IGA Grocery Store

The IGA Grocery Store and the Culver City Drug store, 107 and 109 S. Main Street (the west side of Main). As a point of reference, Colwell (formerly Abad & Epley) Realt Estate is presently at 107 S. Main.

J's 5 & ?

Erecting the sign for J's 5 & ?, a dimestore that opened in Culver, under Cindy Johnston, in 1975 and closed in the 1980s. It was located at 114 N. Main, on the east side of the street across from the Library, where Michelle's Headquarters is today.

Main St. 1970s

The west side of Main Street as it appeared sometime in the 1970s. Notice the McKinnis Drug Store, which preceded the existence of Mr. T's (which opened in 1977), and the reflection of the Marathon sign across the street. Also present is Culver Clothiers, later to become Andy's Clothiers.

Main St. Oiled

Main Street being oiled in 1906 by Monton Foss and an assistant. This picture seems to be taken at the corner of Main and Washington Streets, the Methodist Episcopal Church in the background.

Main St. Facing North

Main Street facing north in 1919. Note what appears to be brick paving. The hardware store, today operated by Bill Snyder, was still owned by O.T. Goss. The State Exchange Bank is visible at left, with the steeple of the Methodist Church behind.

Main St. 1970s

An early 1970s shot of the east side of Culver's downtown North Main Street shows the Back Door Boutique shop and Kline's TV and Appliances.  Judi Burns, who corrected me on an earlier mistake on the naming of the TV shop, notes that the Boutique and Kline's occupy buildings that were mainstays of Culver's downtown businesses (among their previous occupants: Rector's Pharmacy and a number of restaurants -- including one once operated by the Snyder family -- and other shops over the years) and that those buildings are now gone, and an empty lot exists where they once were.

East Side of North Main St.

View of the east side of north main Street in downtown Culver in the early 1970s. Visible, in spite of the poor quality of the original image, is the Kelly shop, run by Marilyn Kelly of Culver.

J's 5 &...?

J's 5 &...? the dime store that once operated where Michelle's Headquarters is located today on the east side of north Main Street, across from the public library in downtown Culver. This photo, taken in the early 1970s, also shows a portion of Marilyn Kelly's Kelly Shop at right.

A kid's memory of downtown Culver (Judi Burns):

West Side of street:

1) Standard Oil

Washington Street

1) Nipsco (in basement Dr. Oldham, D.D.S

Library Addition

2) Library                   

3) Bank

Jefferson street

1) Texaco

2) Shoe Repair

3a) Barret Irvin's City Drug

Mr. T's Rexall

Shoe Stable

Caudill's Beauty Salon

Culver Citizen

Reality CO. now

3a) Strader's Quality Grocery

Main St.Main St.


Jim James Grocery

4) Culver Clothiers

5) M& M Restaurant

? Restaurant

Sensibaugh Restaurant

Nan lous Restaurant

Cafe Max

6) Sytsma Appliance

Now Cafe Max expansion

7) Corner Tavern

CornDance Cafe

Madison St.

1) Babock Eye Dr.

Bed & breakfast now 

Main St.


East Side of street:

Johnson Tire Service

Yarn Shop ? Muhlausen's


Family Vision

Washington Street


Easterday & Uummel

Now ????

 2A - Hersh Strang Barber

 2B - Beauty Salon and numerous business occupied

NOW _ Insurance Agency

3 - 5and 10 Frank Amond's Taylor's


Johnson's Pool Parlor

4A  A & P

4B Foreman's Dress Shop

Kelly's Dress Shop & Fabric expanded to A&P side

Upstairs was the Lions & Masonic Quarters

5 - Easterday Funeral Home

Easterday-Bonine Funeral Home

Bonine Funeral Home

Verl the Barber

6 - Gretter's

Chuck Robeson Inc.

7 - Rexall Drug store Rob McKinnis

Klines expanded to it

empty lot

8 - restaurant


empty lot

Jefferson street

1) Marathon

2A ???

B Taber Newspaper Stand

3A Culver Scholl Sup. office

Sytsma Appliance

Mackey's Antique's

B Hair Salon 

Mackey's Antiques

4) Spencer Plumbing

Sages Ins.

Mackey's Antique & Bear Shop now

5) Culver Hardware

1) Ricarrdi Dry Cleaners

Auto Parts store - various owners

Above: Photos from one of Judi Burns' pages about her late husband, Dave (former Culver Fire Chief) and the Culver Fire Dept. in general, and Judi's recollections of the stores of downtown Culver in years past.

Main Street Businesses and Buildings:

The Culver Public Library

The State Exchange Bank

H.L. Werner's Watch Repair

Grocery Stores

Pharmacies & Drug Stores

The United Methodist Church

Emmanuel Methodist Church

The Culver Citizen Newspaper

Assorted Businesses