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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New London in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

The West Lake Massacre

The West Lake Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, July 16, 2014
1. The West Lake Massacre Marker
Inscription.  Rev. Andrew Jackson had two services arranged in his Norway Lake Swedish Lutheran Parish for Wednesday, the 20th of August, 1862. In the forenoon a meeting was held at the Lundborg cabin at West Lake, now known as Monson Lake in Swift County. Here a new contingent of people had just arrived from Sweden and were bid welcome. There was an air of joyous expectancy, for there was a wedding to be held within a few days, preparations for which were being made in true old-country style.

At the close of the service, a little boy, Peter Broberg, son of Daniel P. Broberg, came running all out of breath, and told that the Indians had arrived at the Broberg cabins about two miles away, and that they were abusing the children that had been left at home. The visit of the Indians was nothing new, and no particular alarm was felt.

Andres P. Broberg and the four Lundborg brothers, however, started at once for the Broberg cabins by a short-cut through the woods and over the meadow along the lakes. Daniel Broberg placed the women and children in a wagon hitched to an ox team, and took the regular prairie trail for home. The good pastor warned
The West Lake Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, July 16, 2014
2. The West Lake Massacre Marker
Marker is beyond and right of the
Lundborg-Broberg State Monument.
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the Lundborg boys to leave their guns behind, so as not to unnecessarily provoke the Indians, which they did. Accounts of the tragedy do not agree upon this detail, as most assert that the boys nevertheless did take their rifles. Mr. A. P. Oman of Anoka, who as a boy was an eye-witness, told the writer last summer that the boys did not have their guns. He also ventured the opinion that if they had, there would have been some dead Indians there, for the boys were all crack shots.

Be it as it may, Anders Broberg and the Lundborg boys arrived at the cabins and found the band of Indians there, all of whom were known and familiar to them. They pretended to be on a friendly errand, greeting and chatting with them. All at once the Indians on some, pre-arranged signal gave simultaneous fire, killing A. P. Broberg where he sat at ease at the table in his cabin. Johannes Nilson, a half-brother of Mrs. Broberg, and four small children were slaughtered in the cabin, or in the yard as they tried to escape. Anders, Gustav and Lars Lundborg were all shot and killed. Their younger brother, Samuel, was also shot and received a flesh wound. He fell to the ground and so successfully pretended to be dead that the attacking Indians, after rifling his pockets and striking him with the butt of his gun left him. He escaped and lived for many years thereafter.

The Elder Lundborg
State Monument and West Lake Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, July 16, 2014
3. State Monument and West Lake Massacre Marker
The Victor E. Lawson marker is beyond
and left of the Lundborg-Broberg State Monument.
came into sight just in time to see his boys shot down. He had his gun, but seeing the futility of trying to cope with so many enemies, turned and fled into the brush. The Indians fired several shots after him, but just then Daniel Broberg with the women and children in the wagon caught the eyes of the savages and they abandoned the chase of the elder Lundborg and started for the wagon. They shot Daniel who was driving his oxen and an Indian leaped up into the wagon. The two wives of the Brobergs jumped from the wagon and ran for their lives, but were caught by the savages and tomahawked. Mrs. A. P. Broberg clung to her ten months old baby boy, John Albert, but the redskins had no pity for women or children. Mr. A. P. Broberg, two daughters and little Peter Broberg also jumped from the wagon and made a break for the woods.

Only one member of each of the two Broberg families escaped alive from the terrible massacre, Anna Stina from the A. P. Broberg family, and Peter from the D. P. Broberg family. Space will not permit us to tell the thrilling escape of the survivors, how the Norway Lake settlers rendezvoused on an island in Norway Lake, known as the Isle of Refuge to this day, and finally made their escape by way of Lake Prairie, Paynesville and St. Cloud.

That massacre wiped out the Norway Lake Parish. However Rev. Jackson also had another parish further
Lebanon Cemetery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, July 16, 2014
4. Lebanon Cemetery
east into Kandiyohi County – this parish had the name of Nest Lake which later became the Lebanon Lutheran Church in New London Village.


The above is taken from the Beginnings and History of the Minnesota Swedish Lutheran Conference (Augustana Synod) and written by Victor E. Lawson, the pioneer historian of Kandiyohi County and condensed from the eye-witness story of the lone survivor Anna Stina Broberg mentioned above.

The names of the 13 victims are found on the state monument located in this inclosure.
Erected 1978 by the Tribune Printing Company, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
Location. 45° 17.835′ N, 94° 56.858′ W. Marker is in New London, Minnesota, in Kandiyohi County. Marker can be reached from 3rd Avenue Southwest east of Oak Street South, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in Lebanon Cemetery immediately west of the 1891 Lundborg-Broberg State Monument. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New London MN 56273, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles
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of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lundborg-Broberg State Monument (here, next to this marker); This Historical Inclosure (here, next to this marker); Origin Of Crow River Dam and Mills (approx. ¼ mile away); Early History of New London (approx. ¼ mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Robert lhlang Post 537, The American Legion (approx. ¼ mile away); Federal Fish Hatchery (approx. ¼ mile away); Little Crow's Camp (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New London.
Regarding The West Lake Massacre. Beginning on August 18, 1862, unarmed men, women and children were killed and wounded on their homesteads in surprise attacks by the Minnesota Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux," when they waged war against the United States following two years of unfulfilled treaty obligations.

In the Dakota War of 1862, 868 men, women, and children perished by actual count. Those killed whose remains were never found and the soldiers and citizens killed or mortally wounded in the hostile engagements with the Indians made the total death list number at least 950.
source: Monuments and Tablets Erected by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society, 1902
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
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1. The Story of the Massacre. As told by Anna Stina Broberg Peterson, the only survivor of the Anders P. Broberg family. (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 

2. The West Lake Attack. Minnesota Historical Society. (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 

3. 1862 Dakota War. "It was the largest Indian war in American history. The main battleground was the entire Minnesota River Valley in southern and central Minnesota. The uprising spread into the Dakota Territories and sent panic into Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.... To this day, the number of civilians killed on American soil as a result of hostile action is exceeded only by the attacks on 9/11." (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 
Additional keywords. U.S.–Dakota War of 1862
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,019 times since then and 192 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 6, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Dec. 8, 2022