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Writers, Musicians, and Cultural Figures of Lake Maxinkuckee

Cole Porter in Culver -- one of the most famous regulars on the shore of Lake Maxinkuckee past.

Kurt & the Vonnegut family on Lake Maxinkuckee -- "I made my first mental maps of the world...on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee. Because everything about that lake was imprinted on my mind when it held so little and was so eager for information, it will be my lake as long as I live. I have no wish to visit it, for I have it right here." - Kurt Vonnegut  

The House of a Thousand Candles.  The book -- a mystery novel -- was believed to have been written at, and about, the famous "House of a Thousand Candles" (which still stands today) on the East Shore of Lake Maxinkuckee. Read all about it and read the whole book online! More info on Nicholson here. Info on ordering the book here.

Lew Wallace: his days on Lake Maxinkuckee

Booth Tarkington's Lake Maxinkuckee Days

James Whitcomb Riley: "The Hoosier Poet" writes of Lake Maxinkuckee

Warner Williams: Culver's Revered Resident Artist by Jeff Kenney

Article: Mark A Roeder on Famous Names Associated with Culver


Famous People (from a 1980 Plymouth Pilot-News article)

By BOB RUST. "Name Dropping", an old cliche referring to people who delight in associating "great" and "near great" personages in conversing with others, is not, necessarily, a trait of Culver "old timers." It could be though, for a roster of those who have frequented the area is impressive.
Through the years, appeal of the community-area has lured many well Known Hoosiers and nationally known people. Among these have been George Ade, James Whitcomb Riley, and General Lew Wallace, who it is said, wrote part of his famed "Ben Hur" on one of his many sojourns to Maxinkuckee's Allegheny House.

Then there was Hoosier author Meredith Nicholson, who wrote, at least in part, his best seller "House of a Thousand Candles," while vacationing at the East Shore home of Preston Wolfe.

In June, 1912, the Indiana Society held one of its many outings at Culver. Those attending this conference included George Ade, Meredith Nicholson, Charles Fair­banks, Gov. Tom Marshall, J. M. 5tudebaker, Ex-Gov. Durbin, and John T. McCutcheon. Some 40 years later it was the setting where a large group of Hoosier editors and publishers joined by some Ohio and other midwestern journalists convened for several days.

In itself, the roster of Culver Military Academy and the Culver Summer Schools is impressive and the CMA campus has attracted visitors nationally as well as internationally. Making the Lake Maxinkuckee area a "port-of-call" visit on one or more occasions have been Will Rogers (1920s), Gen. John J. Pershing, Dan Beard, Ernest Thompson Seton, Madame Schuman-Heink, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill); Adolphe Menjou, Hal Roach, Jr., Josh Logan, who attended Culver elementary school, Horace Heidt, Richard Mellon, William Jennings Bryan, Burpee Brothers, Hal Holbrook, Barbara Stanwyck, June Allison, Dick Powell, Tim Holt and many others.

Famed composer Cole Porter as a young boy, spent many summers at Lake Maxinkuckee in the early 1900s. The late Tommy Hendricks, newspaperman, and AMA executive for many years, wrote a series of newspaper articles in 1945 concerning his boyhood companionship with Cole Porter.

The articles tell about when the Porter and Hendricks came to Lake Maxinkuckee during summer vacation. Here they would spend time at the Hen­dricks, Shirk, Helms and Edwards cot­tages, all of Peru. As Tommy relates it, a big time came when the Lake Steamer, "Peerless" docked at the Hendricks pier. Cole would climb aboard, slip to the stern in his wet bathing suit, sit on the varnished piano bench and hammer away at the piano.