“As the Pacific ocean stretched out before the astonished gaze of Pizarro, or the grand Mississippi, robed in stately pride, before DeSoto, so Spirit Lake, sleeping beneath her pearly robes, first greeted our vision. Although not able to cope with her larger prototype, the ocean, in point of sublimity, this beautiful sheet of water possesses natural charms seldom equaled. Lying, as it does, surrounded by gently undulating hills and skirted with beautiful groves, to the approaching traveler it presents the appearance of a fleecy cloud floating in a somber sky, forming a picture on which the imagination loves to dwell and which might furnish an ample theme for a poet’s pen or painter’s pencil. ”
“This is Spirit Lake in winter. If she is capable of presenting so many attractions under unfavorable circumstances, what may be her charms when freed from the embrace of the ‘Ice King of the North’ by the balmy breath of the smiling liberator, Spring? When she shall have put on her beautiful garments, her skirts of living green embroidered with flowers of the prairies; when her bosom gently heaves when kissed by the loving south wind, and her blue eye reflects the dancing sunbeam? Then she will appear like a precious sapphire in an emerald setting. While Burns was immortalizing Bonnie Doon, Schiller the Rhine, and Pope the Thames, Spirit Lake echoed only the cry of the red man, and the foot of a Longfellow had not yet trodden our western wilds.”
Hoover, Harris. The Tragedy of Okoboji in Annals of Iowa. Vol. 5, No. 1. (April, 1901), 14-26.