Pharos-Tribune

Breaking news

November 13, 2013

Longtime Indiana Beach owner dies at 100

MONTICELLO —

Thomas Spackman, who led the Indiana Beach amusement park for decades, has died at the age of 100.

Spackman died Monday at a Monticello nursing home, according to Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home.

His father, Earl Spackman, founded what was then known as Ideal Beach along Lake Shafer near Monticello in 1926. Thomas Spackman became the park's CEO in 1945 and changed the name to Indiana Beach seven years later.

Numerous rides and other attractions were added during his time at the helm of the park, which became known for its infectious television and radio commercial jingle "There's more than corn in Indiana."

Indiana Beach was drawing about 750,000 visitors a year when the Spackman family sold it and two nearby campgrounds in 2008 to New York-based Morgan RV Resorts.

Spackman was always willing to take risks to improve the park about 30 miles north of Lafayette, White County Community Foundation director Leslie Goss told the Journal & Courier.

Goss recalled an 85-year-old Spackman taking the first leap when Indiana Beach added its first bungee jump.

"He wanted to test it and make sure it was safe for everyone else," Goss said.

Spackman was also known for his exacting nature, said Janet Dold, executive director of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

"You would always see him at Indiana Beach," Dold said. "He would walk the grounds and make sure everything was clean."

Spackman graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and received a business degree from Indiana University in 1937. He was married to his wife, Helen, for nearly 56 years; she died in 1993.

Spackman's funeral is scheduled for Friday at Monticello Christian Church.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking news
  • Bunker Hill parents charged with neglect BUNKER HILL — A month-long investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Mike Tarrh recently resulted in the arrests of Richard Avery Jr., 30, and Heather Avery, 28, both of Bunker Hill. Police say they received information from the Miami County Di

    April 16, 2014

  • Chrysler set to mark Indiana factory's opening TIPTON (AP) — Chrysler is set to mark the opening of a new transmission plant in central Indiana with a ceremony next month including the company's top executive. Chrysler officials say CEO Sergio Marchionne (SEHR'-jee-oh mahr-kee-OH'-nay) plans to

    April 16, 2014

  • Landmark Peru eatery coming back from tornado PERU (AP) — B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native told the Kokomo Tribune. "We u

    April 16, 2014

  • Nearly 600 pounds of pot seized in Fort Wayne FORT WAYNE (AP) — Authorities have seized nearly 600 pounds of marijuana during a raid of a Fort Wayne house. Allen County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jeremy Tinkel says officers from the county's drug task force, along with state and local polic

    April 16, 2014

  • New conservation areas along waters open Friday INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Almost 1,900 acres of land in conservation areas in southern and western Indiana are set to open to the public. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the acreage along Sugar Creek and the Wabash and Muscatatuck (mus-CA

    April 16, 2014

  • Woman who used cocaine before crash avoids prison GREENFIELD (AP) — A central Indiana woman is avoiding prison after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of cocaine when she caused a crash that killed her husband. A Hancock County judge on Tuesday ordered that 30-year-old Rebecca Garner o

    April 16, 2014

  • Leaders await decision on Indiana Plan expansion INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two of the state's top Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they would like to see the federal government sign off on an expansion of Medicaid through the state's health care plan for low-income residents, but they added that th

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary [Duplicate] Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing BOSTON (AP) — The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 2

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fry sentenced to 55 years, $10K fine Loren Fry, 78, was sentenced today to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of murder last month in the 2011 deadly shooting of Dave Schroder, a 76-year-old Logansport man. Three members of Schroder's extended family took the st

    April 15, 2014

  • More than 300 Indiana schools rated four stars INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials say more than 300 Indiana schools have achieved top four-star honors. The Department of Education announced Tuesday that 311 schools earned made the list based on test scores from 2012-13. Indiana had 313 Four Sta

    April 15, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.