Place:Carter Lake, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States


NameCarter Lake
Coordinates41.293°N 95.914°W
Located inPottawattamie, Iowa, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Carter Lake is a city in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. The population was 3,785 at the 2010 census.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Carter Lake is the only city in Iowa located west of the Missouri River. This is due to a flood that occurred in March 1877, which redirected the course of the river 1.25 mi (2 km) to the southeast. The remnants of the old river course, called Saratoga Bend, became an oxbow lake, Carter Lake, for which the town is named today.

Soon after the formation of the lake, the site became a flourishing recreational area. It included, "a boathouse at the foot of Locust street, hotels and club houses were numerous and the lake was the scene of many a pleasant rowing and fishing party."

After extensive litigation between Iowa and Nebraska, in 1892 the Supreme Court of the United States finally ruled that Carter Lake belonged to Iowa in Nebraska v. Iowa, 143 U.S. 359 (1891). Although the general rule is that state boundaries follow gradual changes in the course of a river, the Court ruled that an exception exists when a river avulses one of its bends. In 1972, the Supreme Court made another ruling on the circumstances of Carter Lake when it ruled on a boundary dispute between the two states in Nebraska v. Iowa, 406 U.S. 117 (1972).

Although Carter Lake was legally considered part of Council Bluffs, residents lacked the basic city services enjoyed by residents east of the Missouri but were still subject to city taxes. The community successfully seceded from Council Bluffs in the 1920s, intending to become part of Omaha, Nebraska but that city did not want to pay to extend sewers or water lines either. In 1930, Carter Lake was incorporated as its own municipality.

During the late 1930s and 1940s, the Chez Paree nightclub and casino operated openly in Carter Lake because casinos were legal in Iowa even though illegal in Nebraska. Consequently, Carter Lake gained the reputation as the biggest gambling spot between Chicago and Reno.

A mistaken belief that a defendant corporation located in Carter Lake was a legal resident of Nebraska resulted in another U.S. Supreme Court case, Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365 (1978). This case clarified the law regarding ancillary jurisdiction, which allows claims based on state law to be heard in a federal court when related to a claim based on federal law.

Carter Lake creates a geographic oddity for travelers going to Eppley Airfield, which it surrounds on the south and west. Consequently, travelers going to Eppley Airfield from anywhere except North Omaha will be going through Carter Lake, Iowa. It has caused great confusion when travelers not used to the area go through and see a "Welcome to Iowa" sign on their way to and from the airport.

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