Northern Indiana’s Kosciusko County is blessed with many lovely lakes that are left over from the last glacial age. Among them is the scenic 640-acre Webster Lake adjacent to the town of North Webster, where the oldest sternwheel paddle boat in Indiana cruises the calm waters to this day.
Steamboats first began sailing on the Webster Lake as early as 1902. In 1914, Captain Joseph Breeck began operating a 65-foot, wooden-hulled sternwheeler named the Dixie, which today is the oldest of its kind still in operation. The boat primarily served the community by delivering people, mail, and groceries to various locations around the lake. The original Dixie was later replaced by Captain Breeck with the current 76-foot steel-hulled Dixie in 1929, and he continued to operate the ship until his retirement in 1939.
Today, 90 years later, the boat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and daily excursion tours of Webster Lake are still offered on the Dixie throughout the summer months. These pleasant and relaxing excursions around the lake are filled with local tales of history and lore. As you pass the summer cottages and year-round homes dotting the lake, residents and visitors alike will greet the Dixie and its guests with a welcoming wave from their boats and docks along the shoreline.
Know Before You Go
Parking is available at the site where the boat is docked.