Distinctive Destinations

Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin

  • Address 74 Monument Drive
    Arnolds Park, Iowa 51331
  • Hours
    12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
  • Phone 515-281-4221

Visit Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin

Plan Your Visit


Known first as one of the sites of the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre and later as one of Iowa's first tourist attractions, the Gardner Cabin survives as a reminder of one of Iowa's tragic frontier events. Here you can learn the dramatic stories of Abbie Gardner and the Dakota leader, lnkpaduta. The State Historical Society of Iowa owns and preserves the Gardner Cabin and Museum. The cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Compared with the rest of the state, European-American settlement came late to northwest Iowa, where settlers faced isolation and harsh frontier living conditions. The Dakota Indian nation had for years led a successful hunting and gathering way of life in the same area. Relations between the original inhabitants and the new settlers were usually peaceful, but there was little friendship as the two groups competed for the land and its resources. One of the few violent conflicts between European-Americans and Native Americans occurred at Arnolds Park and became known as The Spirit Lake Massacre.

Open everyday except Monday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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