Tag Archives: iowa lakes region

A Dark Event in Siouxland’s History, Inkpaduta and the Massacre, Arnolds Park

6 Feb

Every place probably has a dark past somewhere along the way. Even in Siouxland as mentioned previously a band of renegade Sioux Indians massacred white settlers in the Arnolds Park region and referenced as the Spirit Lake Massacre. And a memorial still exists in the region today telling perhaps only the one side of what happened, as tragic as the tale is.

The Spirit Lake Massacre Monument with the Gardner Cabin in the background which tells the story of a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. The museum is situated in the back center. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A museum and a replica Gardner Cabin is of historical significance for the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

This explanation appears on the history net website, while still does not excuse the massacre that took place, it helps give a fuller picture of why events took place. “In the spring of 1857, the renegade Wahpekute Dakota Chief Inkpaduta and his band of warriors descended on the homesteads near Spirit Lake in northwestern Iowa and committed murder and mayhem. The causes of the massacre are still debated. One reason can be traced to an 1854 episode when a whiskey trader and horse thief, Henry Lott, and his son killed, among others, Inkpaduta’s blood brother Sintomniduta and Sintomniduta’s wife and five children. Inkpaduta (meaning ‘Scarlet Point’ or ‘Red Cap’) appealed to the military to punish Henry Lott, but the killer fled and was indicted in absentia. The prosecuting attorney, Granville Berkley, took Sintomniduta’s head and skewered it on a pole over his house in a gross act of contempt. Lott was never found, and justice was never served.”

And the site and museum in Arnolds Park allows visitors a look back into time of settlers in the area and the story of Abbie Gardner who survived the massacre as a prisoner and later rescued. A short video presentation in the museum alludes to the wrongs committed  by white settlers against Inkpaduta to help explain why the massacre took place.

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the related history in the museum helps fill in the background and what occurred to Gardner who eventually moved back to the Spirit Lake / Arnolds Park region and used the Gardner cabin as one of the first must-see tourist attraction sites in the area.

A photograph, circa 1862, of the Gardner Cabin hangs in a museum near the cabin in Arnolds Park which tells the story of Abbie Gardner, a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A depiction of an Indian raid in the in the 1850’s seen in a museum in Arnolds Park next to the Gardner Cabin and tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An 1895 photograph showing Abbie Gardner-Sharp, front row with hat, and seated next to Charles Flandreau and Chetanmaza (Iron Hawk) during a dedication of the Spirit Lake Massacre. Iron Hawk was one of the three Indians who rescued Gardner from the renegade band of Sioux and Flandreau financed the venture to find the captives. The Gardner Cabin stands next to a small museum that tells the story of Gardner-Sharp as a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Besides the memorial and cabin the site also has the remains of those killed. in a small burial plot.

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre with the Spirit Lake Massacre Monument and the Gardner Cabin and museum in the background which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one never expects to find that such an event occurred in the area and I have found various little nuggets of history that probably many locals may not be aware of so many decades removed from the actual event. But I find that it helps one understand and better appreciate a place or region with what has gone on before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Gardner Cabin is a historical remembrance where a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Abbie Gardner-Sharp is seen behind a store counter of her family home that in 1891after returning to Arnolds Park and purchasing the cabin, Gardner-Sharp operated one of Iowa’s earliest tourist attractions. This photo and others as well as historical pieces are found in a museum next to the Gardner Cabin where Gardner, as a young girl, was taken captive and then became the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Floating in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

5 Jun

I don’t often get to the Iowa Lakes Region in Siouxland that includes Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, but I do enjoy my time there when I can make it. On a recent trip the day started out raining, harder as I got closer, but then after a little walking and ducking into places to avoid the rain, it dissipated and turned out to be a nicer day.

I like hanging out near the water. The sound of it lapping up against something is soothing and relaxing and can easily reflect various moods depending on how a person may feel.

A hazy day makes objects to somewhat float in the atmosphere in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one can almost believe you are floating above the water and all, buoyed above all else. Water is so deceiving in a way, reflecting what is around it and “blending” into the scenery, although you know it’s there.

A pier under construction sits quiet and ready for summer action in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But water is enjoyed by many, no matter the species or current occupation employed, it just offers a short escape from the hectic world giving one a little time to relax, enjoy and dream.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fisherman watches his yellow bobber while trying his luck in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

While people enjoy their lunch above at a restaurant near the water, so do two ducks enjoy a quiet day on a pier in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Checking out sights in Siouxland, Spirit Lake

8 May

With warmer weather and lengthening days of sunlight, it is a little easier to get out and check out sights in Siouxland. On a visit of to the Iowa Lakes Region I stopped into Spirit Lake. It has an older historic building, a former hotel built in the early 1900’s listed on the National Historic Registry. I also found it interesting that most settled communities have the typical county courthouses built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. But Spirit Lakes’s is rather modern looking and refreshing in that sense that it utilizes a lot of glass. I didn’t spend a lot of time driving about this community, but on the early April day I was there, I saw a lot of fishermen taking advantage of warmer weather and waiting for the fish to bite. Summer is on the way and those lazy, hazy days of summer are approaching.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Prepping for Summer, Arnolds Park

24 Apr

I stopped into Arnolds Park, Iowa recently just wanting to get out and enjoy some spring sunshine and warmer temps. After having a lunch I walked about seeing the nice weather being put to use as workers were prepping the sight seeing boat the Queen II for cruising the lakes this summer. Docks along the shoreline near the Arnolds Park amusement park were not yet installed. And a boat was hauling a boat docking device of some type across the lake as boaters will later begin bringing their boats to the lakes for idling away summer hours.

I met another couple out “walking” their dog. Well, part of the walk was in a stroller. The woman explained their pet was 17 years old and not as spry as it had been when younger, but it still enjoys getting out and sniffing to its heart content. And it was a nice day for a warm with blue sky and temperatures in the 60’s.

A woman takes her 17-year-old dog for a walk in a stroller in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, April 11, 2017. She said the little guy still gets out to walk, but not as well as when he was younger. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing the work being done at West Lake Okoboji reminded one that warmer, sunny days are coming and it is nice to have the opportunity to enjoy these moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Weather in Siouxland, Milford

22 Apr

A week or so ago when the sun was shining and the sky was blue in Siouxland, I went to the Iowa Lakes region. I stopped at a trail head in Milford. I didn’t bring my bike this time but instead walked a ways along the trail. It was just a nice spring day. And others had to agree as I met a variety of people either walking themselves or riding their bikes.  The sun felt fine, temperature in the 60’s. A nice day to enjoy spring and what it brings.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Farmers prepare for Spring Planting, Sioux County

17 Apr

While driving and checking out parts of Siouxland up by the Iowa Lakes Region and again returning home, I came across some farmers prepping for planting this spring. The two I saw appeared to be disking their fields, although these days I understand that farmers employ a no-till option and just plant directly without any prep work. It’s been a little wet with rain passing through Siouxland, but not all parts are getting rain. I must admit that when I smell newly turned soil in a field it brings back memories while growing up on a farm. Probably the same for people who grew up near a body of water like a lake or the ocean.

Although reminiscing now is easier than the part of growing up, I still have fond memories.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A quick look at History in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

3 Aug

Earlier this summer I took a drive up to the Okoboji, Iowa area before the summer season and visitors inundated the area to just relax and enjoy some time away from home. It had been particularly warm the days prior to my trip and pleasantly, arriving early in the morning, it was nice walking along the lake shore, finding a coffee shop and enjoying the breeze before the temperature began rising.

When it did get hotter, I stopped into the Maritine Museum located near Arnolds Park Amusement Park where I found fascinating tidbits of history about the region, boat building that had occurred and photos of early days around Lake Okoboji and its residents and early guests. It was a fun day even spending some of it indoors and learning more about the early days of tourism.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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