Pella Journals

Going Dutch in Pella, Iowa

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An October 2004 trip to Pella by btwood2

·Drawbridge, Pella Store, Vermeer Windmill Photo, Pella, Iowa More Photos
Quote: Though a far cry from visiting the Netherlands, Tulip Time in May and Sinterklaas festivities in December solidly ground Pella in Dutch (hollands) heritage. Architecture, canals, windmills, klokkenspel, and Dutch surnames on shops that sell imported Dutch items reinforce the Dutch theme.

Going Dutch in Pella, Iowa

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Overview

·Drawbridge, Pella Store, Vermeer Windmill Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
I first heard of Pella while still in high school (in California) from a friend, also of Dutch descent, who had relatives there. Many years later, I was surprised to learn it was practically next door to my husband’s hometown, Oskaloosa. Finally this year (2004) I got to visit Pella. Dutch gables and facades: All of downtown Pella sports Dutch architectural style. Come to think of it, it’s not just limited to downtown. The McDonald’s we passed as we entered Pella looked so Dutch that we had to turn around to get a shot. Later I discovered that all new business buildings and additions to existing ones in Pella are subject to a clearly spelled out design review that requires strict adher...Read More

Windmill Café

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Restaurant

Windmill Café Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
"We’re looking for a restaurant with Dutch food," I told the elderly gentleman at the Windmill Information Center. It was almost time for lunch, but I was hoping to find a place that was still serving breakfast, yearning for an uitsmijter, an open-faced ham and egg sandwich, one of my dad’s favorites. In case that wouldn’t fly, I thought a brootje ("little bread" that is anything but little, piled full with delectable coldcuts) with a bowl of snert (Dutch pea soup) would go down pretty well too. I was brought back down to earth by the answer, "Pella doesn’t have any Dutch restaurants anymore, the only one we had closed." I couldn’t believe it! How could the town tha...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 14, 2004

Windmill Café
709 Franklin
Pella, Iowa
(641) 620-0007

Klokkenspel: History of Pella

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Story/Tip

·Klokkenspel, sunny south side Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
Klokkenspel: Anticipation mounted in our small group of onlookers in front of the brick facade and decorated neck gables of the Pella klokkenspel. Some had seen it before and assured those who hadn’t that the figures would first emerge from behind the curtained glass on the north side. Sure enough, at 1pm sharp, the Dominee (pronounced DOE-muh-nay) Scholte (the sch pronounced with one of those impossible Dutch guttural G’s that sound like you’re clearing you’re throat), Separatist founder of Pella, reverent in glasses and wisp of a smile, baptizes an infant in a long trailing Christening gown. Act two in the window to the right: dark-haired Dominee’s wi...Read More

From Moingona River to Lake Red Rock

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Story/Tip

·Lake Red Rock Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
Lake Red Rock is less than 4 miles west of Pella. This close to Pella, we were interested in viewing Iowa’s largest lake, even though it is manmade. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1969 as a flood-control project, it permanently flooded the small towns of Cordova and Red Rock, so named after the nearby red sandstone hills. In this highly agricultural state in which less than 1% of the land is in public ownership, Lake Red Rock area contains Iowa’s largest contiguous public land base (about 50,000 acres). It’s a popular recreation and camping area administered by the Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Marion County Conservation Board. Our drive along Road G2...Read More

Pella Delights

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Story/Tip

·	Ulrich’s Meat Market, Franklin Street Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
Bakers, butchers, and Delft blue: Truth be told, I’m not a big shopper and neither is my husband Bob. But in the day and a half we spent in Pella, there simply wasn’t time to do justice to all the delightful opportunities for browsing and buying that presented themselves to us. While Bob became fascinated with the old pictures, antique butchering tools, and mouth-watering cuts of meat, plus famous Pella sausage at Ulrich’s Meat Market, I wandered over to De Pelikaan. This gift and imports store contains display after display of Delft blue, traditional and modern styles; walls of wooden shoes, plain and painted; and downstairs, imported Dutch and Indonesian foods and s...Read More

Dining at Strawtown Inn

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Story/Tip

·Straw Town Inn Restaurant Photo, Pella, Iowa
Quote:
A few days after our somewhat disappointing lunch in Pella (see dining review: Windmill Café), Bob’s sister-in-law Marilyn encouraged us to return to Pella with the express intent of sampling Dutch food at Strawtown Inn. Now this was more like it! For one thing, the atmosphere of the charming old inn is Dutch through and through, from the Delft blue decorating every room to the exceedingly steep stairs up to the Vogel Nest attic bar or down to the Kelder café and pub in the basement. Memories flashed of my Opa’s home in Dordrecht, Holland, where steeply angled, narrow stairs were more like ladde...Read More

About the Writer

btwood2

btwood2
Rodeo, New Mexico