What’s New at HPT?

Tuttle Walkway News Featured in the Pella Chronicle!

The Historic Pella Trust was awarded a $5,000 grant Monday which will be used toward the Tuttle Cabin Learning Walk.

The Tuttle Cabin Learning Walk will link the Tuttle Cabin to Sunken Gardens with an educational walkway. The project will include learning stations, or educational signs, taking people through a self-guided tour of Pella’s history. The walkway will also be landscaped.

The grant was presented by Lynn Branderhorst with the Marion County Community Foundation.

Only in its beginning phases, the project still needs council approval. Supporting efforts that will lead to the construction of the project includes the historic trust and the city of Pella. The historic trust is funding the project.

While the cost of the project is up in the air until a bid is approved, the historic trust is planning on $200,000, said HPT executive director Jennifer Van Kooten. Including the Marion County Community Foundation’s grant, the historic trust has fundraised $25,000 toward the walkway.

“There’s no limit to the demographic this covers. It’ll cover any age or financial ability because it’s open to the public,” Van Kooten said. “Seeing the Tuttle Cabin from the outside and taking a picture would be like going to take a photo at Plymouth Rock. It’s Pella’s beginning.”

The walkway will most likely be constructed in phases, Van Kooten said.

The idea for the Tuttle Cabin Learning Walk was first presented to city council during its budgeting work sessions toward the beginning of the year.

HPT check

Lynn Branderhorst, representing the Marion County Community Foundation, gives Jennifer Van Kooten, executive director of the Historic Pella Trust, a $5,000 grant Monday, June 18.


2017 Historic Preservation Awards


Fourth of July Fun!


We had so much fun in Pella’s Fourth of July parade this year! This wagon may have been manufactured by Beurkens Wagon Factory, or perhaps it was by a competitor – but it was definitely made in Pella! Want to be a part of saving the story of historic Pella? Become a member of the Historic Pella Trust!

Tuttles at Tulip Time 2017


Remember when Thomas and Nancy Tuttle stopped by the Log House this past year at Tulip Time? They entertained guests from all over the world. What fun! We are already looking forward to next year’s Tulip Festival! Even though Thomas and Nancy aren’t here anymore, you can still visit the Tuttle Log House this summer.


Historic Pella Trust office is at Tuttle Log House

608 Lincoln Street


The Historic Pella Trust has a new location! We are now based out of the Tuttle Log House, located at 608 Lincoln Street. A calendar is in the works for new summer hours, and it will be posted here and on Facebook as soon as it is available. Pay us a visit! Please email office@historicpellatrust.org to set up a time.


Learn Dutch!



Come for a fun class with no homework or tests! Learn basic vocabulary and useful phrases. Open to all adults, and no prior knowledge of Dutch is needed. Please email for more information, office@historicpellatrust.org


Unique Artifact Given to HPT



This original hand-made floor tile was a part of the “Little Cellar” of the Tuttle Log House built by Thomas and Nancy Tuttle in May of 1843. These tiles were not all uniformly made. Some were thicker than others, but were mostly the same size square to fit together. The cellar was located on the eastern side of the Log House beneath the central portion of the east log wall of the house. The entrance was a wooden door which opened to a small staircase which descended into the small cool cellar. The “Little Cellar” was used as a cooling place for various items. It served as storage for foods and beverages, including wines, which were all grown or made by those who lived in the Log House.

On Loan-Gift by Dr. and Mrs. Ronald D. Rietveld


Intern Jessica Vos Discusses Summer at HPT




Click here to read about Jessica’s internship at KNIA KRLS.



Historic Pella Trust Announces Plans from the Dec. 3, 2015 Pella Chronicle


Historic Pella Trust Announces Plans pt. 2 2015-12-3.jpg Historic Pella Trust Announces Plans pt. 1 2015-12-3




 Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House purchased by HPT


Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Cabin-Photo by Lisa K. Morgan Photography

Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Cabin – Photo by Lisa K. Morgan Photography


The Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House, locally known as the “Tuttle Cabin,” is the oldest building in Pella. It served as the birthplace of the city of Pella, Iowa, in 1847, when Dutch colonists, under the leadership of Dominie Henry P. Scholte, chose Marion County as the location of their new home. Scholte, and his team negotiated – at the Tuttle Log House itself – the purchase of the Tuttle farm to be the site of their settlement-the city of Pella.

The Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House is a wood, 1.5 story “single-pen” (one room dwelling), originally constructed in 1843. The log house was built by Thomas F. Tuttle at the age of 36. Mr. Tuttle was born in 1807 in Canada and came to Iowa Territory in 1838 at the age of 31. He and his wife Nancy built the log house as a farmhouse for a homestead claim. H.P Scholte bought the log house and farm in July of 1847. Nearly two years before his death on August 25, 1868, Scholte finally sold the log house on November 14, 1866.

Tuttle had also built another log house located on Pella’s “Garden Square” (Central Park). This was claim pen cabin. The Scholte family lived in that log cabin from November of 1847 until April of the next year, while their new home was being constructed. This log cabin structure survived until after the Civil War.

The Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House walls are made of square hewn, walnut logs about 6 x 6 inches. The walnut timber was felled from a virgin forest situated in the 1840s just to the north of the property.

Log houses were intended typically as a first dwelling until a more substantial home could erected because they only provided basic shelter against the elements. In contrast, the Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House has provided domestic shelter in Pella for more than 170 years. The longest occupants, the Sneller family, occupied the property from 1912 to 1973. During this time residential development occurred all around the building. Had the frugal Sneller family not lived here, this modest house might well have been razed and the site redeveloped.

In 1973, Robert Van Vark of Pella, purchased the property at auction and his daughter, Gail Van Vark Kirby, inherited the property from him. The Historic Pella Trust was honored to be able to purchase the property in April of 2015.

Click here to read about the Tuttle Log House on KNIA KRLS.



 Historic Pella Trust is developing a data bank featuring historic homes and buildings in Pella. We also share information on social media that is of interest to the community.

We appreciate photos and histories of your home or business along with newspaper articles pertaining to historic Pella and scrapbooks of historic interest.  Please contact us when going through estate items or downsizing.



Historic Pella Trust, Inc.


Phone: 641-628-2935

Email: office@historicpellatrust.org

Tuttle Log House address: 608 Lincoln Street

Mailing address: PO Box 1, Pella, Iowa 50219


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