Carter Lake Iowa

Written by Patricia Skinner
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History of Carter Lake Iowa

Carter Lake Iowa sits on the West side of the Missouri River. It is the only part of the entire State of Iowa to have this distinction, as the rest of Iowa lies firmly between the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers. This is how that happened:

The town was originally founded in 1853 by a man named Edmond Jefferies. In 1877 Lake Cutoff was formed by flooding in the area caused by ice blocking a part of the river known as Saratoga Bend. This meant that Carter Lake was essentially, Iowa land backing onto the Missouri River and surrounded on all three remaining sides by the State of Nebraska, and most particularly Omaha. Later it was renamed Lake Nakomis, and stayed that way for a while.

The Result

Naturally Iowa residents objected to being part of Nebraska, but Nebraska thought that this should surely be part of their state! Extensive litigation by the states of Nebraska and Iowa finally resulted in Carter Lake becoming Carter Lake Iowa when the courts decided in favor of Iowa's claim in 1892. It was finally named Carter lake after a Mrs. Selina Carter around the turn of the century.

Although Carter Lake is a small community, it is thriving. Its beautiful surroundings, ringed by parks as it is, belie the fact that it is so near to amenities such as Omaha airport and downtown Omaha. This is really a great place to live if you want to work in Omaha yet have the great advantages of living in a small town.


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