Historic Sites

Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin

Abbie Gardner Cabin

The Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin State Historic Site is a cabin located near Arnolds Park. The cabin was erected in 1856 by Rowland Gardner, one of the first settlers in the Okoboji Lakes region. The Gardner Cabin was the scene of a major incident between Native Americans and white settlers in the Upper Midwest. These conflicts, later called the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857, were witnessed by 13-year-old Abbie Gardner who was abducted from the cabin by the Dakota Indian nation. She returned to Arnolds Park in 1891 and purchased the cabin, operating it as one of Iowa's earliest tourism attractions. Due to the continued use as a home and museum the cabin has remained intact and well preserved. In addition to the cabin, the one-acre park includes a visitor's center, cemetery and monument dedicated to those killed in the massacre. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


74 Monument Dr.
Arnolds Park, IA 51331


Memorial Day through Labor Day

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Friday: Noon - 4 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Labor Day - Sept. 30

Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
School groups by appointment.

Free admission. Donations appreciated.

For more information or to schedule a group tour, use the contact information below.


Dickinson County Conservation Board
2279 170th St.
Okoboji, IA 51355
712.332.7248 (during open hours)

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