Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Window To The Past

In our travels during this UPS thing (I've taken to calling it a "thing" around the truck), we went through Pella, Iowa, a place I've been wanting to visit for a while. Maybe it's because I'm familiar with Pella Windows, the company with the bright yellow logo, although that's kind of a lame reason, huh? I think it has something to do with the fact that it's a place that shares the name of a well-known product and when I heard it, just wanted to visit. Kinda like Corning, New York or Hershey, Pennsylvania. It's a little more interesting. Although Hershey does have chocolate.

So, we went. I wanted to see the famous
Vermeer Mill, an authentic working Dutch Mill. So we drove past the Pella Manufacturing Plant, through downtown Pella, in order to pass by the mill so I can snap a picture. It stands on the corner of Franklin and East First Street.
The Pella website says the windmill is 100% wind powered and the total height to the tip of the most upright blade is 124', giving the Vermeer Mill the distinction of being the tallest working windmill in the United States. It was built by Lucas Verbij from Hoogemade, Netherlands and assembled in Pella by two Dutch craftsman. It's an authentic, working grain mill (grinding wheat into flour) patterned after a similar 1850's grain mill in the province of Groningen, Netherlands. The stone ground flour the mill grinds is packaged and used by local bakeries and restaurants.

According to Wikipedia, Pella was founded in 1847 when eight hundred Dutch immigrants led by Dominee (a Dominee is a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church) Hendrik P. Scholte settled the area. The name Pella is a reference to "Pella in the Perea", where the Christians of Jerusalem had found refuge during the Roman-Jewish war of 70. The name was selected because Dominee Scholte and the rest were also seeking religious freedom. Pella is also the childhood home of Wyatt Earp, whose father Nicholas Porter Earp had settled on a farm near Pella. His brothers Warren and Morgan were born in Pella.

It's a pretty area, with a downtown that personifies what people think of when they hear the words "small town America". The streets of downtown converge around a main square, where
Tulip Time, the tulip festival, is held in May. The businesses that line the streets have names harkening to its Dutch heritage, like the Vander Ploeg Bakery. Next time, I'll definitely be stopping in for one of their famous Almond Logs!
I'd love to see the town in spring and summer, when the trees are full and the flowers are in bloom, or on a snowy winter night when all the Christmas lights are twinkling. It almost makes me want to live in a place like this.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: A Killer Rest Area
2 YEARS AGO: The Barn Man
3 YEARS AGO: Text Me
4 YEARS AGO: Eddie Gets Impatient Friday
5 YEARS AGO: If You Have A Note, Then It’s Perfectly Okay To Commit Credit Card Fraud
6 YEARS AGO: Limo Scene


Gil said...

Thanks for this great post! Now to tease my Dutch friend about how many Heinekens it will take for him to duplicate the windmill. His father did build a small working windmill behind his house. My friend's parents were here visiting the USA one Summer and the old guy was bored and built the windmill behind the back deck.

Pearson Airport Limo said...

i have never seen this wind mill in my real life. and now it has been replaced. thanks for sharing the pics

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HTI Consultants said...

beautiful wind mill. and thanks for the nice post.

Unknown said...

I would definitely visit this wind mill its looking marvellous
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