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.

Protect & Promote our Heritage

Our office is located in the oldest building in Pella, Iowa, The Thomas Tuttle Cabin Build in 1843.  We do provide tours of this historic landmark.

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.

Members receive our newsletter “Preserve Pella”.  Our annual meeting is in November, by tradition we honor several Pella homeowners with a  Historic Landmark plaque and award during this meeting.

Historic Pella Trust celebrates their 25th Anniversary October 2019

Contact Information

Historic Pella Trust, Inc.

Phone :641-628-2935


Tuttle Log House address: 608 Lincoln Street

Mailing address: PO Box 1, Pella, Iowa 50219

Planning a visit? Please Email Historic Pella Trust  

New: Donate Online!

In the News and Events

Tuttle Learning Walk

Please Contribute towards the Learning Walk Project scheduled to begin by March 2020

Your financial Support is needed to build the Tuttle Learning Walkway!

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

Historic Pella Trust has partnered with the City of Pella to build an educational walkway between Tuttle Cabin and Sunken Garden Park. This project will create an entertaining way for our children, adults and visitors to learn about Pella’s history and heritage through signage and plantings. It will provide a lasting tribute to the devoutness; courage and industriousness of our Dutch ancestors. We anticipate that it will become a high-interest tourist attraction! 

Visitors will learn about the 1843 homestead of Thomas and Nancy Tuttle and the role Rev. Moses J. Post had in helping the Dutch to acquire local the homesteads in 1847. They will gain insight on what motivated the Dutch to leave the Netherlands under the leadership of H. P. Scholte and why that still has an impact on our present-day culture.   As the walkway nears Sunken Garden Park, the signage will share about the cooling pond for Pella’s first electric plant and  the location for the first tulip festival. The signs will include QR codes to scan for more history and photos. The City of Pella parks department will maintain the walk that will feature a variety of heritage perennials wildflowers, native grasses and bushes along with several limestone outcroppings representing the literal foundations of our town.

  Historic Pella Trust has agreed to provide 100% of the cost of Tuttle Learning Walk through local fundraising. We are close to our last quarter of the goal of raising $195,000. We need your help to achieve this vision.

Historic Pella Trust has committed to raise 100% of the funds needed for the project so that no tax dollars will be involved.

Historic Pella Trust receives $15,000 Grant from Pella Corp. Rolscreen Foundation to help fund Tuttle Learning Walk

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Please join our mailing list to receive updates and news reports from Historic Pella Trust. Our newsletter, Preserve Pella is an annual publication that is distributed to our members.

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Historic Pella Trust on Facebook

The Mission Statement of the Historic Pella Trust is: "To Protect and Promote Buildings, Landscapes, and Sites
Important to the Heritage of Pella, Iowa."

The Trust would like to promote a site that qualifies as "Important to the Heritage of Pella, Iowa".

In 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, every able-bodied Central College male (all 123 students and professors, along with Miss E. Mitchell, a teacher who left as a nurse) "quit their classes, marched down the campus amid shouts, tears and music of their friends and fellow students” and enlisted in the war.

Captain Albert Hobbs was the first of 23 Central College student to lose their lives during the Civil War. Hobbs was from Melcher, Iowa and was 26 years old when he was mortally wounded at Shiloh, TN. Two days later he died and was buried there.

Fifty years later, on June 30, 1911, a statue was unveiled in Pella's Central Park by "The ladies G. A. R. Circle No. 57", also known as "the auxiliary of the Albert Hobbs G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic) post No 404".

Central College's Lieut. Hobbs may be gone, but thanks to this statue, his memory can still be recalled by anyone that strolls through the park. -BB
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Former Pella Tulip Queen Turns 100 ... See MoreSee Less

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Hello Historic Pella Trust fans! While many of us are cooped up hoping to avoid COVID-19, here is a rare photograph to get your historic juices flowing. I'm betting this photo, which dates to around 1869, will not be easy to place - even though this was a common scene around Pella at that time. Notice the cow lounging between the dirt street and the boardwalk. Would you believe this photo was taken in downtown Pella? Watch for further details this weekend regarding this photo. (Need a hint? Nothing in this photo exists today.) 😉 -BB ... See MoreSee Less

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Historic Pella Trust wants to thank all the emergency personnel; thank you for the light up event; prayers for your health and safety as we face COVID 19. ... See MoreSee Less

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The train was an important part of Pella's history! I thought you would enjoy this interview with John Rietveld, if you missed it when it was posted on the This is Iowa page. John is the son of Ron Rietveld; HPT board member. His model trains travel through the sights of Pella, Iowa. ... See MoreSee Less

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Recently the hose tower of Pella’s original fire station has been under discussion as it is in need of major repair. The story of the hose tower and original fire station have a significant place in Pella’s history.

For 35 years, until the early 1880s, most of Pella's downtown buildings were constructed of wood. Wood-clad buildings could be quickly, easily and inexpensively erected. Two main drawbacks were that the buildings tended to deteriorate rather quickly - thus requiring significant maintenance - and were vulnerable to fire.

Pella’s first major downtown fire occurred on a cold Sunday evening in January 1872. Eight business buildings were destroyed: everything on the north side of Franklin Street from the current Jansen’s Decorating & Kitchen’s building west to Marion County Bank. In February 1880 another half block burned on the west side of Main Street: from the alley north to the building now housing the Quilted Windmill at the corner of Main and Franklin streets. The final straw came in April 1882 when a third half-block burned on the east side of Main Street: from today’s Marion County Bank north to the alley.

That same year the Pella City Council voted to organize a fire department, purchase equipment for them and erect a fire station. In addition an ordinance was passed requiring all new downtown buildings be constructed of brick. In September 1882 the city purchased a lot for $500 on which to build “a good substantial two story brick building”. The first floor was to house Pella’s new fire equipment and prisoner cells, the second story to accommodate the mayor’s office, city hall and other offices. A Button #2 hand-drawn/operated fire engine, a hook and ladder “truck”, a hose cart and 600 feet of hose at a total cost of $2,360 were acquired.

Water was supplied to the hand-operated pump through a half-dozen wells and cisterns located throughout downtown Pella. In 1891 one last major fire destroyed another half-block of downtown Pella, this time on the southwest corner of Broadway and Washington streets, claiming at least seven (and as many as 14) business buildings and homes.

In 1895 the city began installing its first municipal water system that included a deep well and water tower in today’s West Market Park. This system became operational in 1897, but was not without its faults. The water mains only covered the center section of town, and the water it produced was highly mineralized, considered undrinkable, and infamously termed “that brown liquid” by an early Pella newspaper. But the main purpose of the water system was to fight fires, and to do this, it required a new set of hoses - ones that could handle the pressure from the water tower as opposed to sucking water out of wells and cisterns.

The city fire department switched to cotton hoses to handle the new water system. However, these hoses were difficult to drain and dry after fighting a fire, and in May 1897 the city council entertained a request to construct a hose tower for that purpose; but the matter was referred to “the chief engineer” and no further action was taken in that regard. In April 1904 it was reported that the mayor “favored the recent recommendation of the chief of the fire department for disposing of the present fire engine and purchasing a first-class, up-to-date chemical fire engine and the erection of a hose tower, where the fire hose could be hung up to dry and thus prevent its becoming rotten and worthless just at a time, perhaps, when worst needed.” Thus, that December, Tone Reerink, who was the successful bidder, began construction on the hose tower.

In 1911 the city began an enormous modernization program. A bond vote allowed Pella to begin installing its first municipal electric plant; extend and replace the 15-year-old water supply equipment and its location; install Pella's first sanitary sewer system; and begin paving streets. The last improvement made it much easier to pull the fire engine (by horse or man-power) when the weather was bad. It was to be another decade before the city considered purchasing its first motorized fire truck. In 1922 Pella's first self-propelled fire truck allowed the fire department to downsize from its paid force of 62 members to around 12-15 volunteer firefighters. That savings alone paid for the new truck.

In the early 1930s nylon fire hoses replaced the old cotton ones and the hose tower became obsolete. Due to deterioration and obsolescence it was removed sometime prior to 1935. In 1954 Pella’s original fire station was replaced with a new facility that was constructed on an adjacent lot to the north.

In 1983 local philanthropist and Rolscreen Company Chair Joan Kuyper Farver saw to it that the necessary funds were donated to renovate the original fire station and reconstruct its hose tower. 37 years later, the hose tower is again in need of repairs. -BB
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Because of the Coronavirus all Dutch classes are cancelled. Carol sends her regrets and wants you all to take measures to stay safe and prays for your health during this national emergency. ... See MoreSee Less

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Tulip Time 2020 is cancelled. So much planning and work has gone into Tulip Time already, we know how hard this decision was but it was to keep everyone safe... ... See MoreSee Less

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Plans are to start building in April 2020! ... See MoreSee Less

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