Another Successful Jeff Kenney Historic Tour comes to the V House

The Vonnegut House would like to thank Jeff Kenney, Kathy Taylor Mulder and the Culver Marina for coming by with 20 guests on a historic tour of the Clemens Vonnegut Jr. House on August 8, 2017 and we got a chance to peek across at the two other nearby Vonnegut Lake Max vacation village houses, known locally as the Yellow House (Bernard's House, AKA Kurt's Family House) and the House of a Thousand Candles, (AKA Creighton's House). The tour lasted about 2.5 hours on a beautiful evening and seemed to satisfy a lot of curiosity.

As he has done before, Jeff advertised a Pontoon Boat historical tour with the help of the Marina who lent a boat and captain, and this time he decided to land at our old wooden pier!

Jeff, Culver born and raised, and a bit of a local treasure, a long time Culver Citizen Newspaper editor and reporter and now Academy Historian and Director of the Culver Academies Museum among other things, can talk at some length about just about any house on the lake over 50 years old, so having him come by was an honor on his Magic Pontoon of Memories. The 20 guests all brought some neat insight into the place, from some secret Vonnegut's with personal time spent at the house, to a local English teacher whose wife surprised him with the trip, to some neat people with strong Culver ties who had never known there was a Vonnegut Connection until they saw the tour advertised. They were all treated to a co-host of sorts who is both personally and professionally steeped in Vonnegut and Lake Max History for many reasons, Kathy Taylor Mulder of Indianapolis. Kathy is a long time friend of the house and has personal connections through family to this curious clan of Allemans who settled up here on the lake 125 or so years ago in addition to expertise in both historical research and digital archiving and library science.

Thanks to all for coming and I hope you learned a lot and had fun walking in this place where a lot of neat things happened, historic literary ideas were conceived, and feel free to come back (and even stay a while)!

A few Photos of the Vonnegut Lake Maxinkuckee History Tour

The Vonnegut House Takes on Invasive Exotic Plants

Indiana has a problem, and we hope it didn't start with ol Clemens being partial to botanical delights of the Orient. Mea Culpa if so!

In March of 2016 the Vonnegut house was lucky to host Robert Lamb, Director and Founder of Ecoforesters of Asheville NC and a professional forester. Eco Foresters is the nation's only non profit forestry consultation firm ( that we can find! ecoforesters.com) on his first of now two visits to Culver to advise Culver Academies on their forest lands. 

One of Rob's recommendations to the academy was the removal of invasive exotic plants that are competing with and in some places out competing the native flora.  Rob showed us how to identify the main culprits in North Central Indiana, Oriental Bittersweet, the varieties of red berried Asian Bush Honeysuckles, and Japanese Barberry and some minor Multiflora Rose.

We were a bit embarrassed to learn that a bush right between the driveway and the house was a Bush Honeysuckle, and it's hours were numbered after that as Clemens pulled out the garden shears and showed his industrial know how.

This year Rob and Jon Shaffer, also of Eco Foresters, returned to Culver for 10 days of work and were able to benefit from the smoker on the deck for a home cooked meal before they commenced their labor. They again observed a number of invasives and this time we took more profound action.

For a day this June on a break between renters, two hard working local fellahs, Farmer Jim and  Young Matt helped with shears, saws and chainsaws remove just about every invasive we could identify on the property as well as a few native ashes that succumbed to the emerald ash borer. It was a day of hard work but the guys made quick work of what was mostly bush honeysuckle on the bluff below the house. As the house is perched close to the edge of the bluff down to the lake, we work hard to not undermine the roots that hold that hillside in place, we worked hard on the house and don't want to contribute it to the driftwood on the lake, but we worked through removing all that we could, leaving the roots so that they would stabilize the soil until the local plants recovered to stabilize things...

We worked for hours, tried to be as careful as possible, as none of us is a botanist, but we know the ones we got were bad ones, and maybe still a few to go after a long days work, but it was a good start and we'll keep plucking away for the health of our forests and the home we treasure.

 

 

 

To Book or Inquire please contact Kathleen Aman

 (574) 404-7740

Aman.Kathleen@Gmail.Com