Looking north from Carter Lake, Iowa, toward Omaha, Nebraska. The borderline lies between the parking lot and the strip of green grass, with Nebraska on the left and Iowa on the right. The parking lot is on the property of VFW Post 9661 of Carter Lake.
Most of the borderline between Nebraska and Iowa is set by the Missouri River. However, a flood in 1877 altered the path of the river, separating the land now claimed by Carter Lake from the rest of Iowa.
Legal battles pitted the two states against each other for years over who claimed the property. In 1892, fifteen years after the flood, the United States Supreme Court decided the land still belonged to Iowa.
However, it wouldn’t be until 1930 that the community would incorporate itself as Carter Lake. It is the only municipality in Iowa located west of the Missouri River, the only place where you can walk from Nebraska to Iowa and not get your feet wet.
You can learn much more about Carter Lake and its unusual boundary by going to Carter Lake: A River Runs Through It.
(Google Maps, Bing Maps, U.S. Geological Survey Map)