Behind Indiana Beach from the beginning was the Spackman family. Founder, Earl Spackman, developed the property with his son, Tom Spackman, working alongside him. Today the Spackman family vision has driven Indiana Beach to grow from a swimming area in a cornfield to the largest Amusement Resort and Vacation Playground in Indiana, an escape destination enjoyed by nearly 3/4 of a million visitors annually. Over 40 rides and attractions, games, fine dining, dancing, an exciting Waterpark, six roller coasters, and so much more ... it all had to begin somewhere ...
A dam was built creating Lake Shafer, near Monticello, Indiana. Earl Spackman took his family to the new Lake in hopes of purchasing a lot to build a vacation cottage. While the location was beautiful, the sharp banks of the artificial lake made finding a place to swim in the waters impossible. The dam and the creation of Lake Shafer were big projects for the Indiana area. Travelers would often pass by to see the new lake and view the on-going venture.
With an announcement that Lake Shafer would be lowered to provide water for Lake Freeman, Spackman was struck with an idea: People wanted a place to swim and he was going to give it to them. Using a horse and wagon, 2x4s, and a shovel, Earl Spackman and others literally created a beach along the shores of Lake Shafer. In addition, the crew built a bathhouse for guests to change in and a small refreshment stand. In 1926, Ideal Beach opened to the public with a 12 year-old Tom Spackman working hard behind the counter of the refreshment stand.
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