2018-09-12 / Local News

Madam Carroll to cruise with new owners

Comet staff report


Chris Peters (left) and Chris Lehe (right) will take ownership of the Madam Carroll on Nov. 1, 2018. Photo provided Chris Peters (left) and Chris Lehe (right) will take ownership of the Madam Carroll on Nov. 1, 2018. Photo provided According to a recent press release the new owners of the Madam Carroll are two longtime friends, Chris Peters of Lafayette and Chris Lehe of Brookston. They have teamed up to take on ownership and operation of “Indiana’s largest boat” beginning Nov. 1.

The Madam Carroll is the largest licensed United States Coast Guard approved vessel in Indiana. It was built and launched by the late captain Bill Luse on Lake Freeman in August 1976. She is 135 feet in length with a beam of 36 feet, giving her a capacity of 500 passengers. The Luse family continued operation of the Madam Carroll through 2012 when the vessel was purchased by Tom Heckard of Logansport.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we have been evaluating for months,” said Peters.

“The boat and the Luse family are a huge part of Indiana history, and the upgrades and work done under Tom’s ownership will ensure she continues operation for many years to come. We feel honored to be a part of something so historic,” added Lehe. Peters has recently relocated back to Indiana from the East Coast where he oversaw sales and marketing for a number of theme parks, including the conceptualization and launch of Diggerland USA, a construction theme park where guests operate real heavy machinery. Prior to his work out East, Peters oversaw the sales and marketing for Indiana Beach and is familiar with the local market. Peter’s mother, Janie, owns and operates Art of Framing, Inc. in Lafayette. His family has enjoyed the Monticello area with a cottage on Lake Freeman for over 30 years.

Lehe with his wife, Kimberly, and two children reside in Brookston where their family owns and operates Lehe Farms, overseeing nearly 5,000 acres of popcorn, dent corn and soybeans as well as thousands of livestock annually. Lehe earned his business degree in Lafayette and then went on to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematical Economics at Ball State University. The Lehe family has always held strong community ties and attitudes toward public service. His father, Don Lehe, has served as a State Representative since 2002.

Operations on the boat will continue for the 2018 season under Heckard with Lehe and Peters shadowing. The team is encouraging all patrons to check back online later in the year when a new web presence will be launched.

“We want to be sure that the community has the ability to follow our progress as we go into the 2019 season, and our new site along with email updates seems to make the most sense,” notes Peters.

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