THROW BACK THURSDAY The old whale jawbones of Lake Maxinkuckee

Jeff Kenney
Citizen editor

Be sure to scroll through to see both photos of the whale jawbones which once acted as a kind of decorative gateway into the Henry Harrison Culver homestead area, and later became a mainstay at Culver's Woodcraft Camp.

Brought to Culver by one of Culver Military Academy founder H.H. Culver's sons from Nantucket, the jawbones were placed on the lake end of the curving pathway up to the Victorian style home Culver built for his family around 1880. The first photo here, from circa 1895, shows members of the Little Nichols baseball team posing under the jawbones, which stayed at the location for several years (the walkway, house, and grounds remain largely unchanged on Culver Academies property on the northeast shore of the lake).

At some point, the jawbones were moved to the Woodcraft Camp, where they adorned the area outside the camp museum cabin for some years (scroll to second photo, here). They were still there into the 1940s, though the removal of chips of bone here and there as camp souvenirs through the years finally led to the demise of the old relics, which are believed to have fallen into such ruin that they were discarded sometime in the 1950s.