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 Spirit Lake Massacre Memorial

Spirit Lake Massacre Memorial

Birth
Death unknown
Burial Arnolds Park, Dickinson County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 11985 · View Source
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European settlers began arriving at Lake Okoboji after a treaty with the Dakota Nation in 1851. One Dakota leader, Inkpaduta, did not recognize the treaty. His band of Dakota Sioux arrived in the area during the harsh winter of 1856-57 looking for food. The European settlers had food but refused to barter with his Indians. Facing starvation, the Indians attacked and killed 33 settlers at various locations around the lakes from March 8-13, 1857. Although the settlers lived around West and East Lake Okoboji, the incidents are recorded as the "Spirit Lake Massacre". Four women were abducted and taken to Minnesota where they were later ransomed after three months of captivity for horses, tobacco and cloth. The Dakota leader, Inkpaduta, evaded capture and died in Canada in 1881. One of the survivors of the massacre and abduction, Abbie Gardner Sharp, returned to the site of the violence in 1891 and purchased the cabin in which her family was killed. Having separated from her husband and without many resources, she operated it as Iowa's first tourist attraction. She charged admission for people to enter the cabin where she recounted the story of the massacre. She also operated a gift shop. Her heirs donated the site to the State of Iowa.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 30 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11985
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Spirit Lake Massacre Memorial (unknown–unknown), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11985, citing Pioneer Cemetery, Arnolds Park, Dickinson County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .