Foundations of the city

In 1853, Edmond Jefferies filed a claim on thirty acres using his squatters rights. Through the next fourteen years his land increased to seventy-eight acres and then to two thousand acres. In 1877, an ice gorge and unusually large spring runoff flooded the river thus creating Cut-Off Lake. In 1906, Cut-Off Lake became Lake Nakoma, after Peter A. Sarpy's Native American wife. The lake changed its name for the final time in 1908 to Carter Lake after Selina Carter-Cornish had donated some of land owned by her late husband, Levi Carter. From 1892 to 1912 Courtland Beach was a resort on the lake used by many wealthy Omahans. The resort included a pavilion, ballroom, and the boating club. World War I hero, Eddie Richenbacher won at the race track in Carter Lake averaging over 91.7 miles per hour. Eddie later went on to own the Indianapolis 500.

Courtland Beach
Courtland Beach rollercoaster
Undated postcards show the Courtland Beach resort in what is now known as the "Club" area
of Carter Lake, Iowa. Provided by Mayor Russ Kramer