Local monument turns 75 on Marshall County's, Culver’s anniversary
DESCENDANTS OF ORIGINAL PIONEER FAMILIES SOUGHT
One of Culver's least -known historical monuments will celebrate its anniversary later this month as plans begin to bring it more recognition.
Located on state-owned property at the southeast corner of State Road 10 and Queen Road, the hand-carved stone commemorates the arrival of Marshall County's first party of European settlers 175 years ago, on the afternoon of July 26, 1836.
The pioneers had sent representatives ahead in the previous year to explore the land and even begin building cabins. The families (many of them already related to each other by marriage) included the Logans, Voreises, Morrises, Thompsons, Dicksons, McDonalds, Brownlees, Houghtons, Blakeleys, Lawsons, and others.
On July 12, 1836, they left southern Indiana in a caravan of covered wagons to head north on the new Michigan Road, described by one participant as "still little better than Indian trails." They arrived on the 26th on the high land east of the lake (later the Voreis farm), where, according to tradition, they blew a conch-shell as a signal to Vincent Brownlee, one of the 1835 party who had stayed over the winter.
In July of 1936, a group of descendants of the original families decided that a memorial was necessary. Ernest Logan carved the stone (and was later elected President of the settlers' association), which the Academy, having come into possession of the Voreis farm, agreed to host.
According to the Culver Citizen newspapers of July 22 and 29, and August 5, 1936, 132 members of the pioneer families gathered for the dedication of the monument, followed by lunch in the CMA "Open Air Theatre" (with talks by Brig. Gen. Gignilliat, Adm. Rodman, and a Mrs. M. Austin, of Plymouth), a boat trip around the lake, and the Sunday evening parade. In addition to President Logan, the group elected Harley Zumbaugh Vice-president and Mrs. Dora Kline Treasurer.
Local members of the pioneer families intend to gather this month in honor of the anniversary and make plans to improve signage for the monument in time for its 76th birthday next year.
Interested members and friends of the settler families are invited to contact The Rev. John Houghton at 574-842-2402 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to join the new Facebook group for "Marshall County Pioneers."