DAR Logo

Ladies of the Lake Chapter NSDAR
Spirit Lake, Iowa

Home Join DAR Membership in DAR Chapter Officers Chapter Meetings Patriot Ancestors Contact Us Iowa Society DAR National Society DAR

Welcome to Ladies of the Lake Chapter

We are a DAR chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR), which is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women's service organization. It is our pleasure to welcome you to our website.

The Spirit Lake, Iowa, area has an old and interesting history. To help keep these memories alive, the Ladies of the Lake Chapter has marked these historical areas.

Granger cabin marker
Site of the Granger Cabin

Location: 1200 U.S. Highway 71S, Okoboji, Iowa (on the Okoboji Town Hall lawn)
History: Four young bachelors from Red Wing, Minnesota, were massacred by Indians at this cabin in 1857. They were Carl Granger, Dr. I. H. Harriott, Bertell A. Snyder, and Joseph Harshman. The site is marked in commemoration of the Bicentennial of the United States by a bronze plaque on a native boulder. The marker was placed by the Ladies of the Lake Chapter in 1928.

Howe cabin marker
Site of the Howe Cabin

Location: 1769 - 260th Ave (Highway M56), Spirit Lake, Iowa
History: The family of Joel Howe and his wife and six children were murdered by the marauders. The cabin was located on the east shore of East Okoboji Lake, about four miles distance from the Gardner site. The marker is placed on the roadside, just north of the YMCA (Camp Foster) turn off, directly in front of a farm site.

Original Gardner Cabin
Gardiner cabin   cabin interior   cabin interior #2   doll
Location: 74 Monument Drive, Arnolds Park, Iowa (In Dickinson county at Pillsbury Point on West Okoboji Lake.) U.S. Highway 71 is well marked for finding the Gardner Cabin.
History: The Rowland Gardners, nine members in all, came to the Spirit Lake region by covered wagon in 1856. Originally from Seneca, New York, they came as far as Ohio, stayed a few years, then moved on to Iowa. The entire family, except Abbie, 13, and her sister Eliza, died outside the cabin at Okoboji during the March 8, 1857, massacre by renegade Indians, led by Inkpaduta of the Sioux tribe. In 1891, Abbie returned to the area, purchased the cabin, and preserved it until her death in 1921. The marker for the cabin was placed by the Ladies of the Lake Chapter in 1928.

Site of Luce Cabin
Location: 74 Monument Drive, Arnolds Park, Iowa (About a quarter mile east of the Gardner cabin on Pillsbury Point of West Lake Okoboji.)
History: Luce was a son-in-law of Gardners, husband of their daughter, Mary. He and Mary and their two children were living with the Gardners as Luce was starting to build their cabin, just east of the Gardner cabin. Mary and the two children were killed with the rest of the Gardner family and Luce was killed on his way to warn other settlers living on East Lake Okoboji. The marker was placed by Ladies of the Lake Chapter in 1928.

Site of Mattock CabinMattock marker
Location: 351 N Highway 71, Arnolds Park, Iowa (This site is on Highway 71 at the extreme north edge of the city of Arnolds Park, two blocks south of the Okoboji Bridge at the entrance of the City of Okoboji.)
History: The cabin, where James Mattock, his wife, five children, and Mr. Robert Bruce Mathieson lived, was destroyed and the people within burned by Inkpadutah of the Sioux tribe. After the attack at the Gardner cabin, and taking Abbie as prisoner, the Indians retraced their path past the Mattock cabin, which was still burning, with the screaming victims inside.

Site of Thatcher and Noble Markers Thatcher and Noble markers
Location: 1687 260th Ave (Highway M56), Spirit Lake, Iowa (The Thatcher and Noble markers are located near the Joel Howe Cabin marker. They are a mile north of the Howe site on the east side of East Lake Okoboji.)
History: The Thatcher family was sharing their cabin with the Noble family while they were in the process of building their cabin home. Mrs. Noble was a daughter of the Howes and a cousin of Mrs. Thatcher. Mr. Noble, the Nobles' child, Mr. Ryan (a brother-in-law), and the Thatcher baby were murdered. Mrs. Noble and Mrs. Thatcher were taken captive and Mrs. Noble was killed when she refused the advances of an Indian. Mrs. Thatcher was drowned in an icy stream near Flandreau, Minnesota, when she fell from a log in crossing and the Indians held her under. Mr. Thatcher had been delayed on his return from Waterloo, Iowa, for provisions, and so escaped.

Marble cabin marker
Site of Marble Cabin Marker
Location: 3200 Hwy 276, Spirit Lake, Iowa (The Marble Cabin marker is located mid-way on the west shore of Spirit Lake.)
History: On March 10, 1857, Inkpadutah and his Sioux warriors and their captives crossed West Okoboji Lake on the ice and went up the west side of Big Spirit Lake to the William Marble home. Their arrival was totally unexpected. Mr. Marble was shot and his wife was taken hostage. Then on May 6, 1857, two Yellow Medicine Reservation Indians traded blankets, ammunition, and guns for her. The Indians were later paid a thousand dollars.

Site of Stockade -- Protection from Indians
Location: 1802 Hill Ave, Spirit Lake, Iowa (The site of the Old Stockade is in storage while the new courthouse is being built. When it is done, we will be re-installing it and re-dedicating it.)
History: On August 23, 1916, a granite boulder was placed on the front lawn of the Dickinson County Court House at 1802 Hill Avenue, Spirit Lake, Iowa and re-dedicated in 2009 by the Ladies of the Lake Chapter when a new courthouse was built and the marker moved to the corner with flowers around it. The bronze tablet dedicates this site to the "Pioneers of 1862." This was the location of the old stockade where upwards of forty families sought shelter from the Indians. Many who were taken to this stockade as children were present for the dedication in 1916. Living elderly members were also in attendance. We revere these hardy pioneers and the contributions each would have made. Their martyrdom, however, has given each of them, and this area, a prominent place in history. Several of the Ladies of the Lake members are related to these pioneers.

First Settlement in O'Brien County
Location: Five miles east of Sutherland, Iowa, in O'Brien County, the Waterman home and family was attacked by the Sioux Indians led by Inkpaduta on their way to the Spirit Lake Massacre. Anna Waterman was the first pioneer child born in O'Brien County. Members of the Ladies of the Lake Chapter are related to the Waterman family and share this history with the chapter. The site was marked with a bronze plaque by five DAR chapters.

First Pioneer Child Born in Dickinson County
Location: Lakeview Cemetery, Spirit Lake, Iowa
History: Mrs. Dena Borkman Funk was the first pioneer child born in Dickinson county. Her grave at Lakeview Cemetery was marked by the Ladies of the Lake Chapter DAR with a bronze plaque September 11, 1937.

Fort Defiance marker
Original Site of Fort Defiance
Location: 1005 Hill Ave, Spirit Lake, Iowa
History: Built in 1863 to protect settlers of the northwest Iowa border from attack by Indians, Captain William H. Ingham of the Iowa Northern Border Brigade, authorized by Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, mustered a Company from the area and erected a fort on the site. The stockade enclosure was 132 feet square. The fort, no longer needed, was dismantled and timber purchased by farmers can still be seen in barns in the area. Fort Defiance and the pioneers it protected have passed into history. The marker was placed by Okomanpado Chapter DAR in 1977. The Okamanpado DAR Chapter of Estherville, Iowa, merged with the Ladies of the Lake DAR Chapter in the 1990s.

meteorite marker

The Estherville Meteorite

: The meterorite fell 482 feet due west of "this spot," a few miles north of Estherville, on May 10, 1879. It was one of the three greatest "falls" on record. Parts of the meteorite can now be found in important museums of the world. The original spot was marked in 1929 by the Okamanpado Chapter DAR of Estherville, Iowa. The monument is located along Highway 4 North.

Okamanpadu Lake marker

Okamanpadu Lake
History: Discovered by Jean Nicollet in 1838, and a camp site of General Fremont and later of Major T. W. Sherman on Government Road. It was surveyed in 1860. Okamanpadu Park was donated by E. L. and J.C. Williams. The marker was placed by Okamanpado Chapter DAR of Estherville, Iowa, July 4, 1926.

Web hyperlinks to non-DAR sites are not the responsibility of the NSDAR, the state organizations, or individual DAR chapters.

Last Updated 1 August 2017
Contact Webmaster
VIS Approval
Connect with the National Society
facebook  twitter  youtube