I knew when I started this blog that I wanted to include interviews, specifically of people who have lived here, or have been coming to Lake Maxinkuckee, for a long time.  When I started asking around for names, one that kept coming up was Agnes Bramfeld.  

Agnes with her granddaughter

I was delighted when I finally got to interview Agnes.  We communicated via email for a few days before we had a chance to talk on the phone. I was supremely impressed when she emailed me four pages of information about Bramfeld Cottage itself.  I came across a paragraph in those pages that touched my heart and I knew this was a love story.

Agnes and her husband, Bud, lived in Chicago so I asked how they came to know about Lake Maxinkuckee.  She said their dear friends, Dorothy and Jim Peterson, used to come with a cousin and his scuba club.  The scuba club knew about the clear waters of Lake Maxinkuckee so came every year to dive.  The Peterson’s and the Bramfeld’s fell in love with the area so started coming on their own, both eventually buying property on East Shore Drive. 

Like so many families, Agnes would come with their children for the summer and Bud would commute on the week-ends.  Bud passed away in 1994, but their 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren continue to fill the cottage every summer.  Agnes lamented the fact that this summer is so different from previous summers due to coronavirus but is enthusiastically looking forward to next year!   

I believe it’s fair to say we all heartily agree.

When asked about a favorite memory, Agnes immediately said their 4th of July parties.  They had a parade, people dressed up in red, white and blue, and decorated wagons and floats.  The Bramfelds cooked burgers and set up tables outside for the pot-luck meal and one year counted 250 people.   Now that’s a block party!  Agnes no longer hosts this annual celebration but has plenty of pictures on display as a reminder.  She credited Jim Peterson with being the great organizer of the event. 

Bramfelds in holiday attire

Bramfeld Cottage 4th of July

If you attended one of the 4th of July parties at the Bramfeld’s, I would love to hear more.  Feel free to leave a comment or email me. 

When asked what she sees as the biggest change since she first started coming to the lake, Agnes easily replied:

  • So many old summer cottages are being torn down and new, large houses are replacing them.  The new houses are quite beautiful but we are losing the summer cottages.
  • There is a lot more traffic. It just doesn’t feel like being in the country anymore.

You might have enjoyed reading this article but feel duped by the title. Where is the love story?  I found it in those four pages of history, in a paragraph that was crossed out:

  “I cannot talk about the history of this house without mentioning the most recent owner, Bud Bramfeld.  He loved this house and this place with a passion.  He couldn’t wait to get back in the spring.  He loved it when we had parties and he loved it when we didn’t.  We have lots of pictures of him around and are reminded of him every day, many times.  Thank you, Bud, for this house.” 

That’s a love story about people, a house full of memories, Lake Maxinkuckee and the Town of Culver.