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State Historical Society of Iowa

Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin

Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin

Visiting Information

74 Monument Dr.
Arnolds Park, IA 51331

Memorial Day – Labor Day
Tuesday – Sunday: Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Monday

Labor Day – Memorial Day

Free admission. Group tours welcome.
Please schedule in advance with:
Dickinson County Conservation Board
2279 170th St.
Okoboji, IA 51355
(712) 336-6352

In 1857, amidst rising tensions between Native Americans and new settlers, 13-year-old Abbie Gardner’s family was killed by men of the Dakota Indian nation. This tragedy became known as the Spirit Lake Conflict.  Young Abbie was taken hostage by the Dakota band and released 84 days later. Decades after the massacre, in 1891, Abbie returned to Arnolds Park and purchased the cabin, operating it as one of Iowa’s earliest tourist attractions.

Site History (651.93 KB)
Teacher's Guide (576.62 KB)