AHS Lunch

March 15, 2013


Committees, Culver

Image borrowed from www.waymarking.com

I hope it won’t include a big “V” like Warsaw!

The Antiquarian and Historical Society of Culver (AHS) bought lunch for me and a few other Culver citizens on Tuesday to solicit our opinions.  They should know how opinionated I am by now…  Lunch was appreciated, but not necessary!

AHS is floating the idea that Culver needs a Visitor’s Center and that this would be a good combination with a new History Museum.  An opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  I heard most of this presentation once before at the Culver Chamber of Commerce meeting in February.  Both times I had to agree that a visitor’s center would be nice, but wondered if our tourist season is long enough to justify it.

One of the ideas I found intriguing in both presentations was including office space for various Culver not-for-profits.  This could possibly help with providing personnel to cover the facility while it is open.  Possible groups they named were the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council and the Culver Chamber of Commerce, but others could include the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Tri Kappa, Boys & Girls Club, etc.  Providing some meeting space for these groups could be a plus for those that don’t already have a venue.

Another idea with some merit was to combine this with a new Town Hall.  While funding could get tricky with a public/private partnership, particularly with funding construction, there would definitely be some synergy provided by this combination.  A discussion should be held with the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce which became dependent on municipal support only to go through struggles the past several years when that funding dried up.  (As if AHS’s current experience isn’t enough…  They’re losing their home and capital investments in the Culver Union Township Public Library at the whim of a new library board.)

I was disappointed to hear about the lack of support from the Marshall County Visitors Bureau.  Since Culver features prominently in their promotions, I would think providing some seed money for this project would be a positive move on their part.  The initial reaction was apparently that they thought it was a great idea, but funding from them would be zero.  This might warrant a discussion with the County Commissioners.

I still hesitate to join the crowd that says Culver should concentrate on being a tourist destination only.  I’ve never been one who’s comfortable with all my eggs in one basket.  Diversity would help our community and I will continue to strive for that through MCEDC.  That doesn’t mean that I think tourism shouldn’t be a component in our community’s economy.  It should.  And if AHS can foster the creation of a new Visitor’s Center, I think it is a worthy endeavor.

George Duncan has been leading this subcommittee of AHS.  If you’re interested in sharing ideas or volunteering your help, you can contact him at:  gaduncan2@aol.com

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