Monday, September 27, 2010
Pella, Iowa calls itself a “touch of Holland” and Anneke has wanted to visit for some time. So we made it a point to stop here on our way east. We stayed at one of the Army Corps of Engineers Lake Red Rock campgrounds. Lake Red Rock is the largest in the state and part of the largest public land area in Iowa.
All of the sites are very large and it is an easy walk to the dam. We enjoyed a large group of migrating white pelicans that made their arrival during our stay.
I also noted what I think may be a major shift in the power structure of our little traveling group. Our first morning there, I was offered a piece of local spice bread for breakfast, while Halley, the dog, was made a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs. I’m thinking I am losing what little control I might have had. I am pretty sure, though, that I am too big for the kennel.
The town of Pella was settled by Dutch immigrants seeking to establish a safe haven for their religious beliefs. The original group of 800 was led to Iowa by Reverend Scholte in the mid 1800’s and numerous more followed later.
The town prospered and continues to do so today, with two fortune 500 companies in the area-one of course, being Pella windows. It also has a large tourist portion to its economy and has established strong rules on the design of new structures to reflect a traditional Dutch feeling.
We toured a Dutch heritage Center, which surprisingly contains the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp, along with the history of the town and its Holland touch.
You can also tour Reverend Scholte’s home, which was used by his descendants until 1987. His family history was explained in some detail, but to give you just a glimpse of the full story-let me tell you that the minister’s second wife’s second husband married his deceased wife’s (and his by marriage) step granddaughter. Got it? It took me awhile and is quite interesting, if you are into genealogy.
It is an interesting place to visit, and if you like good bakery items; they have two excellent Dutch bakeries. We made several stops to these.