The Historic Pella Trust, established in 1994, is a non-profit preservation group who helps to preserve Pella’s architectural resources so that future generations will continue to be enriched by the historic legacy of Pella’s Dutch heritage and culture. We serve in a counseling and advisory capacity regarding historically correct architecture and disseminate information regarding restoration and reconstruction of facilities.

Our Mission Statement is to protect and promote buildings, landscapes, and sites important to the heritage of Pella, Iowa.

Our office is located in the oldest building in Pella, Iowa, The Thomas Tuttle Cabin was built in 1843. It is the homestead that included the center of town and was purchased by the Dutch leader, H.P. Scholte.  Tours can be arranged by email but limited do to Covid 19. Beside Tuttle Cabin you will find Tuttle Learning Walk that leads to Sunken Garden Park. 

The Trust interacts to rescue historically significant property in danger of demolition. Restoration of these properties and protection covenants are arranged by our organization.  We take an active approach towards historic preservation advocacy working with local, state and national government agencies to document and preserve.

Protect & Promote our Heritage

Historic Pella Trust celebrated their 25th Anniversary in October 2019

Contact Information

Historic Pella Trust, Inc.

Phone :641-780-9818

Email: office@historicpellatrust.org

Tuttle Log House address: 608 Lincoln Street

Mailing address: PO Box 1, Pella, Iowa 50219

Planning a visit? Please Email Historic Pella Trust  

Preserve Pella Newsletter Archives

Ribbon Cutting Celebration for the Collegiate Historic District being place on the National Register of Historic Places 2018

New: Donate Online!

In the News and Events

2021 Annual Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Graham Conference Center
812 University St, Pella, IA 

Special Presentation!

“Let’s Move a House! and Other Adventures in Historic Preservation” with Kent and Val Van Kooten

Thank you for helping to build Tuttle Learning Walkway!

We are excited to introduce the Tuttle Learning Walkway in partnership with the City of Pella!

This educational walkway is located between Tuttle Cabin and Sunken Garden Park. It creates an entertaining way for our children, adults and visitors to learn about Pella’s history and heritage through signage and plantings.
The educational signs along the path will create a lasting tribute to the devoutness; courage and industriousness of our Dutch ancestors. 

  Historic Pella Trust  provided 100% of the cost to build the Tuttle Learning Walk. 

Tuttle Learning Walk Information Page

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The Historic Pella Trust has received multiple inquiries regarding the process of preserving historic properties. There are a few ways this can be accomplished, but the most effective method is a Conservation Easement.A Conservation Easement has the advantage of remaining with a property, even after the current owner has relinquished ownership. It is a simple legal rider attached to the deed of the property, that is overseen by a third-party, non-profit entity, and controls what future changes - including demolition - can or cannot occur.The current owner can decide what architectural features are important to preserve, and can dictate if, and how, these features can be altered in the future. Conservation Easements are commonly applied to the exterior of a building, but they can apply to the interior as well, and can be written as specific, or general, as the owner wishes.Overly-restrictive Conservation Easements can adversely affect the sale price of a property, but a realistic easement can increase the value of both the existing property as well as surrounding properties. The peace-of-mind in knowing that a historic building is guaranteed to remain can be beneficial to both the property owner, as well as the community as a whole.The Historic Pella Trust has placed Conservation Easements on several properties that we have owned and sold as an organization. The Trust has also partnered with individuals in the community to place easements on their respective properties.Conservation Easements are inexpensive, normally costing only a few hundred dollars. For properties that meet the Trust’s mission statement of being “important to the heritage of Pella”, we will even pay the associated costs incurred with placing the easement. The Trust is also qualified to oversee the maintenance and enforcement of the Easement.If you, or someone you know, owns or wants to preserve a property that might qualify as a historic or vintage property in or around Pella, feel free to contact the Trust for additional information. You may message us directly through Facebook, or email us at: office@historicpellatrust.org.Thank you for your continued interest in, and preservation of, Pella's heritage and history! -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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Erected in 1908 by Frank and Isaac LeCocq, this familiar landmark still exists today. Located at 612 Franklin Street, it is currently the home of Franklin Street Clothing.The LeCocq brothers, as they were known, were second-generation harness makers in Pella. The original location, operated by their father, T. C. LeCocq, was located on the SW corner of Main and Franklin streets in the back of the Viersen building - which also contained Pella's post office at that time.By 1917 the LeCocqs had moved on to the automobile business, becoming partners in Star Auto, the forerunner of today's Ulrich Ford Lincoln. The Pella Motor Company, which sold Overland, Cadillac and Hudson automobiles, had taken over 612 Franklin. Pella Motor Company even installed a gasoline tank and pump underneath the front sidewalk. (I wonder if the tank is still buried there?)Sadly, the Pella Motor Company did not survive the Great Depression. By the late 1930s Van's Motor Service (later known as Van's Machine Shop), was operating in the building. Other businesses also operated in the building, including Harve's Welding.In 1970 it was announced that the building was being remodeled for a Gibson's Discount Store. Gibson's later became Pamida. Following Pamida's demise the building served as a video arcade, followed by use as a mini-mall, and ultimately as Franklin Street Clothing.The Historic Pella Trust believes that this building qualifies as a Pella landmark, and as such is part of Pella's heritage. Feel free to include your memories of the building in the comments below. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
Historic Pella Trust recently added more plants to the Tuttle Learning Walk. They will be watered by automatic sprinklers every other day from 4-9 pm for the next couple of weeks. This last planting helps to anchor in the new sign features and provide a low maintenance garden setting along the walk for years to come. We appreciate your patience while we water to give it a good start. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
These photos of Mel's Coop gas station were on display today during Two Rivers Co-op's 101st anniversary celebration. This gas station was located on Franklin Street where the Vermeer Windmill and entrance to the museum are now. Mel Toom and his family knew almost everyone in Pella! It was a full service station, your car would be filled with gas and the windows washed by the service attendant. It made me smile because they were always happy to see you and when the car was full I could ask him to please charge it to my dad on the family account. Maybe some of you remember going to this station for various reasons. ... See MoreSee Less
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3 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
The Historic Pella Trust receives numerous requests for information and we try to answer them whenever possible. This post is a little off topic, since it doesn't technically fall within our mission statement to "protect and promote buildings, landscapes, and sites important to the heritage of Pella, Iowa". However, I suspect that people will be interested in this story nonetheless.99 years ago, on October 13, 1922, Pella's semi-pro baseball team, the Meteors, played two games at Perry, Iowa. As luck would have it, Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel had just finished playing in the World Series (losing in five games to their rivals, the crosstown N. Y. Giants) and were beginning a barnstorming tour across the country. Somehow, their first stop was in Perry, Iowa. It was decided to play an exhibition game between the Pella Meteors and Perry's team, with Meusel playing for Pella, and Babe Ruth playing for Perry.As luck would have it, Pella loaded the bases with none out in the first inning. Meusel came to bat and hit a grand-slam home run! This turned out to be the only runs that Pella scored in a 10-4 defeat. However, many lifelong memories were made that day. See the accompanying articles for further information on the game. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
Historic Pella Trust invested in the preservation of the historic rock house and put it into the good hands of the Douglas family. They continued the restoration and updates and now it is a new Pella destination and contributing towards the local economy. It is protected to remain historic by a conservation easement through Historic Pella Trust. I can’t wait to see it on the Christmas tour of homes! Your financial support of Historic Pella Trust is an investment in keeping Pella’s unique landmarks and historic homes for future generations to enjoy. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
A Window to the Past, week 2: This is Main Street on the east side of the square in downtown Pella, 1971. Noon time on a mid-summer's day. The familiar landscape of Pella.The building outlines remain the same, but most of the businesses have changed. Businesses, in order, from right to left: Stravers Hardware; In't Veld Meat Market; Van Berkum Appliance; Steenhoek Auto Supply; Vander Linden Rexall; Thrift Loan Co.; Jerry and Hunter's Tavern; Wormhoudt Furniture; and across Washington Street to the north, Star Gulf where the gas price appears to be 35.9 cents/gallon.Feel free to leave memories that you have of these businesses. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Historic Pella Trust
A window to the past: This is Franklin Street on the south side of the square in downtown Pella, Christmas time, 1972. The stores and streets are decorated for the holidays. The building outlines remain the same, but most of the businesses have changed. Businesses, in order, from right to left: Cook & Son Insurance Agency; Jaarsma Bakery; De Jong’s Flowers and Gifts; Mode Huis; Central Park Cafe; Ulrich’s Meat Market; Ver Dught Insurance Agency; Vander Ploeg Bakery; Pella Bootery; Bob’s Clothing; Kroes Barber Shop; Van Sittert’s Fabric Shop. The next block east of Main Street: Ideal Pharmacy; Pella Belle; Lee’s Variety & Department Store; Menninga Insurance Agency; Nederlander Restaurant; The Grill; Hoogenakker Decorating Shop; Bakker & Rus; Hotel Pella (and Greyhound Bus Agency); Ruth’s Beauty Nook; Gambles; Town Crier; Iowa Electric Light and Power; Kingma Motors.Out of 26 businesses, only three are still in business in the same location.Feel free to leave memories that you have of these businesses. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

Historic Pella Trust
Historic Pella Trust invites you to stroll down the new Tuttle Learning Walk and read the signs! You may discover something about our heritage you didn't know. Bring your friends! (Just a few details to complete on the project yet such as; QR codes on each sign and more landscaping.) Bring a friend to enjoy the history, native plants and fresh air! 1. The Land Before the Dutch2. Why the Dutch Left Their Homeland3. A Nod to the Baptists4. The Early Years5. Pella and the Civil War6. Tulip Time and Sunken Garden7. Dutch Influence on Today's Pella ... See MoreSee Less
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