American Indians & Settlers
American Indians called the Lakes Region home for thousands of years. They were enticed to the lakes for many reasons: the tallgrass prairie provided ample grazing for an abundance of buffalo and elk; the lakes were a flyway for flocks of migratory birds including the magnificent trumpeter swans; there were over 40 varieties of fish in the lakes; and the prairie landscape was covered with a giant garden of wildflowers.
Early European explorers traded with the Oneota (Ioway & Otoe) and the Dakota Sioux Nations in the region. People still find arrowheads and other Indian artifacts on the lakeshore and surrounding areas. Hunters and trappers preceded the settlers who arrived in 1856.
Tragically, in 1857, 42 of the lakes' first settlers were killed in a conflict known as The Spirit Lake Massacre. Thirteen-year old Abbie Gardner survived three month's captivity and years later returned to the area to share her story.
Today the Gardner log cabin still stands. A pioneer burial plot, a 55 foot tall granite monument and visitor center complement the site. The cabin, operated by the State Historical Society, is located two blocks
Location. 43° 22.025′ N, 95° 8.203′ W. Marker is in Arnolds Park, Iowa, in Dickinson County. Marker is on Lake Street 0.2 miles north of Okoboji Grove Road. Marker is located on a pier on West Lake Okoboji. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37 Lake Street, Arnolds Park IA 51331, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Glacial Gift (here, next to this marker); Steamships of the Iowa Great Lakes (a few steps from this marker); The Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum (a few steps from this marker); Massacre Monument (approx. ¼ mile away).
Categories. • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 2, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.