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Check back here regularly for copies of our monthly newsletter and newsworthy items.

2023 Summer Newsletter 

Friends Of Abbie Gardner Cabin Historical Site  

A lot of things will be happening in the upcoming months on the Abbie campus site. Negotiations are underway with a major announcement soon to follow. 

Dr. Kevin Mason entertained a large audience in the Lauridson Theater at the end of April, with stories of Inkpaduta.  This event was a joint venture between the Dickinson County Museum and our Friends group.  

On June 28, Professor Dr. John Doershuk, State of Iowa Archaeologist, will be giving a presentation at 4:30 pm at the Pavilion on the Arnolds Park campus. He will be telling us of the findings from last summer's archaeological dig as well as sharing information with us about the current dig site. We really hope you can engage in that activity.  

Our local DAR organization was given the State’s permission to clean Abbie, her son’s graves as well as, the family Cairn recently.  We wish to publicly thank them for their endeavors.  If you have not visited the site lately, be sure to do so this summer. Once again, we are working with the State, encouraging them to complete the repair of the cabin roof and replace several logs and ticking. The steel frame will probably remain in place until repairs begin.  Please let us know if there are any questions, we can answer for you. 

May your summer be filled with much sunshine and laughter! 

Anita Bomgaars 

President of the Friends of the Abbie Gardner Cabin Historic Site 

January/February/March 2023 Newsletter

Hello Friends!


The last several months have been event- filled, even though we anticipated winter was going to be a slow time for our group.  As we listened to the multitude of acorns drop in the Abbie Cabin neighborhood, we tuned into the “science” and decided it was going to be a heavy snow season.  Alas, the protective tent went up, surrounding the cabin, the day before our first major snowfall.  Many thanks to all the individuals, construction companies and volunteers that came together to make that happen! 

Our group was given a meeting date of January 12 in Des Moines to present our new proposed site plan to the State of Iowa.  Several of the Friends Board traveled to Des Moines and met with members of the Tourism Department, United States Representative Feenstra’s office, state Senator Dave Rowley and officials from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Director Chris Kramer, Susan Kloewer, Mike Plummer.  We also had an opportunity to visit with Senators Alons (Sioux City), Kraayenbrink (Fort Dodge), and Lieutenant Govenor Greg.  Receptivity was very strong, and we will move forward with more meetings and fine-tuning our plan, once the state has made a couple of decisions on our land needs. 

We anticipate that March 8, (166 commemoration of the Spirit Lake Massacre), will be a momentous time for some Abbie news.  On March 11, 2023, from 1-3pm, an Abbie Gardner Celebration will be held at the Dickinson County Museum displaying recently rediscovered Abbie Gardner Artifacts.  We also hope to have an announcement ready to go about moving forward with our campus site plan.  Please plan on attending if in the Spirit Lake area! 

We appreciate all your support and are excited about the upcoming Spring and Summer Seasons at the Cabin.  We already have strong interest emerging from area schools regarding visitation of the site and museum! 


Stay safe and warm, 


Anita Bomgaars 

President of the Friends of the Abbie Gardner Cabin Historic Site 

November/December 2022 Newsletter

Hello Friends! 


It is time to embrace the holidays and winter as the leaves cover the sacred site of the Abbie Cabin Campus. We have just come through a highly active time of site evaluations and analysis of the future for the campus. Due to the generosity of various donors and local construction crews, we have purchased, and will soon be erecting, a tent surrounding the historic cabin to preserve it for major upcoming repairs next spring. Over the winter months, our Executive Board will be reviewing the completed evaluations of the buildings, monuments, and properties. We will also be presented with a plan guiding future interpretive center work.  


Our group continues to promote the account of Abbie and of the conflict that erupted between two colliding cultures in the middle 1800’s in a variety of ways. We sense that the conflict story is gaining new-found interest as this generation is ready to process its entirety. Plans are being formalized for another early spring Lakes presentation containing new information. Publishing of our Facebook page and work on local oral narratives relating to Abbie are ongoing. We anticipate the State of Iowa Archaeologist, Dr. John Doershuk, will continue his excavation next summer. The Friends look forward to summer re-roofing of the cabin and for monument clean-up to begin as movement is made toward a more unified Campus. 


Please consider our tax deductible “Friends” group in your end of the year planning. The past year used mostly funds provided by our group to accomplish the evaluations. Next summer we anticipate the State of Iowa to provide most of the funding to repair the cabin roof and clean the monuments. Your active interest and continued support will be appreciated.  



With much gratitude, 

Anita Bomgaars 

Executive Chairperson of the Friends of Abbie Gardner Cabin Historical Site 

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