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Maxinkuckee Village


The Maxinkuckee Village was never officially a town of its own, but it once was a relatively thriving village, with its own school, church, and several stores. In fact, Maxinkuckee was originally the "town" on the shores of the lake, rather than the town we know of as Culver today. Had it not been for the arrival of the Vandalia rail line, Maxinkuckee might have grown up to be the more populous of the two communities. With the arrival of the railroad, however, the small village on the east shore was eventually overshadowed by the town of Marmont, later Culver. The area today is still a small community unto itself, but with none of the industry that once defined it. Perhaps the last vestige of bygone days was Bigley's apple orchard and store on what is today 18B road, but these ended operations in the 1990s.

Click to enlarge map image for detail on Maxinkuckee Village location.

The area once known as Maxinkuckee Village is located just north of the east shore of Lake Maxinkuckee, on 18B Road, beginning approximately where 18B intersects East Shore Drive and extending about a mile to the southern jog of Queen Road. The essay below, written in the early part of the 20th century (can anyone identify the writer for us? The essay is uncredited in the copy we have), gives a picture of the village closer to its heyday...

Image Below: Click to enlarge this map of the Maxinkuckee village area today.

Village Map

"The village of Maxinkuckee is situated half a mile East of Lake Maxinkuckee, from which it derives its name. From this village on the high bluff on which it is built is obtained the finest view of the beautiful lake any where around the twelve miles of its charming shore line. It has never been regularly platted and laid out as a town. It had two streets. The one that divides the place and runs north and south is called Washington Street, and the one running East and West is called Lake Street. On the North side of Lake Street, about half-way from the village to the lake, was the wigwam of the good Indian Chief, Neeswaugee, which is about opposite the residence of Peter Spangler. The street should have been called “Nees-wau-gee Avenue” to perpetuate the memory of the first owner of all the land east and north of the street. The village contains a store, blacksmith shop, a Church, and a lodge of Odd Fellows, and contains a population of 150. For many years it had a Post Office, but with the coming of rural free delivery system it was discontinued and the people now receive their mail by free delivery. Also the Railroad influenced it. There were plans that might have brought the Railroad around the East side of the Lake but instead it went around the West side and the town of Marmont (Culver 1894). The town of Marmont prospered and grew but Maxinkuckee stayed the same. The Post Office went to Marmont (Culver).

At the village of Maxinkuckee the first Post Office was established about the year 1858. It was discontinued February 1, 1902. It was in the old general store, kept by Parker and Wise, and stood on the North side of the street, opposite the present general store (1934).One corner of the store was reserved for the Post Office business, George Spangler recalls, “and when mail came in, it was put in a wooden bucket. The store at mail time would be well filled with people ‘round about, and the Postmaster as he shouted out the names in a voice that could be heard from one end to the other, would throw, hurl, or fire the mail matter at the addresses. His aim was true; he seldom pitched a bad one and could qualify for most any baseball team. At the receiving end, the catchers were nearly all adept, too.” Nees-wau-gee Indian village is on the Bigley farm, on the north side of Maxinkuckee Road, just opposite the Spangler Allegany House." Images of the Maxinkuckee Village.


A 1908 plat map of the Maxinkukee Village located on today's 18B Road (then the Maxinkuckee Road) east of the lake on the east shore.

Bigley Orchard
Original Cider Bar & Sales Room

A photo, captioned in handwriting, "original cider bar & sales room," depicting the interior of the orchard store.



More on the Bigley Orchard: Click here.

Van's Market

Van's Market

Van's Market, one of several businesses in the village of Maxinkuckee off of East Shore Drive, an area that once boasted its own one-room schoolhouse (the building still stands, just east of the former Bigley's Orchard Store) as well as the well-known Allegheny Hotel, which reportedly houses Lew Wallace as he wrote the opening chapters of his famous novel, Ben Hur. This photo was taken circa 1935, and is courtesy the Marshall County Historical Museum.

Margaret Houghton and Josephine McFarland Vanschoiack

Margaret Houghton and Josephine McFarland Vanschoiack posed in front of Van's Grocery in Maxinkuckee. Vanschoiack and husband Walter owned the market. The names, McFarland, Houghton, and Vanschoiack, are well-known to longtime Culver-area residents as prominent families in the area since quite early on.

Walter and Josephine Vanschoiack

Walter and Josephine Vanschoiack in front of the aforementioned Van's Grocery, circa 1935



Van's Market

Another shot of Van's Market in Maxinkuckee.

Lee Anson Overmyer

Lee Anson Overmyer in front of his general store, opened in 1912 in the village of Maxinkuckee on the east side of the lake. Anson also operated a "huckster wagon," possibly visible in the garage behind him, from which he sold goods around the lake. Thanks to Helen Overmyer for this photo.

Horse Drawn School Bus

A photo of the horse drawn school bus for the Maxinkuckee village school, taken in 1909 or 1910. The school building still stands at the corner of 18B and Queen Roads on the northern corner of the Bigley orchard and farm property. Ira Mattix, according to the caption here, was the driver.

S.J. Rossa Grocery

The S.J. Rossa Grocery story at 1352 East Shore Drive, one of several memorable businesses of the Maxinkuckee Village. This image was taken around 1935.

The R&J Market

The R & J Market

The R & J Market, later changed to Manor Market, near East Shore Drive, another of several businesses that served the village of Maxinkuckee.

The R & J Market - 1955

Another image of R&J Market from 1955. Manor Market

Manor Market

Manor Market was once a familiar sight on East Shore Drive (State Rd. 117), on whose corner (at the intersection of 18B Rd) it sat for many years before it was torn down in the 1980s. This photo was taken by White Photography of Culver on June 1, 1970, apparently after some storm damage.

The R&J Apartments
R & J Apartments

This undated postcard shows the R & J Apartments, "East Shore Rd., State Road 117." These were located near the corner of 18B Road and East Shore Drive in the area of the Maxinkuckee Village.