Madden and his wife retired to
"We decided to build a house here in
Madden's curiosity came naturally.
"My wife had been going to Indiana Beach since she was a kid, but I didn't come here until the late '80s," Madden says.
"We had a cottage between here and
"We would wonder over to Indiana Beach and enjoy some of the things, so my interest in Indiana Beach started at least 25 or 30 years ago."
Madden also had an interest in writing historical books, and he has been writing them since 1994. He has written three books for
However, his latest book, "Indiana Beach: A Fun Filled History," did not start out as a
"I had started researching (Indiana Beach), and suddenly the
"Indiana Beach: A Fun-Filled History" is a quick read at 143 pages. It is filled with details how the park evolved from a place where people came to boat and swim in the years before the Great Depression to the amusement park that advertises on television under the motto of "There's More Than Corn in
The Spackman family is the constant in the book from the time
How the venue came to be named Idea Beach is one of the details that Madden reveals in his book.
The firm agreed to make the donation if Spackman named the beach after the company. That name stuck until the early 1950s when
hotel and dance hall that attracted bands from the big-band era through the rock era.
Spackman built the dance hall during the height of the Depression and he overcame plenty of challenges. For example, fire destroyed the first dance hall a few weeks before the start of the summer season.
However, he constructed a new facility that became a draw in spite of the economic downturn, Madden says.
"He didn't bring in big named bands until the economy started to get better," Madden says. "He was a real smart business man in seeing that the economy wasn't very good, so he kept prices down so that he would be successful."
Bands and dances remained a major draw until the end of the 1960s, Madden says.
continued the move to turn Indiana Beach into a midsized regional amusement park.
Spackman purchased the park's first roller coaster in the early 1970s, Madden says.
"Then in the 1990s they added a water park," he says. "They really kind of always evolved with the times."
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