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

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In the News and Events

If you click on the on the page link above, we have also posted the annual meeting as 4 videos. This links you to Current Projects: Annual Meeting and Heritage Celebration.

On this page, we separated the long  video program into 4 shorter topic videos; the business meeting, the Tuttle Learning Walk; The Strawtown Cottage; The Rock House. 

Historic Pella Trust’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting is featured completely on the 52 Minute video below.

Thank you for watching our program and business review! 

Tuttle Learning Walk

Your financial Support is needed to finish the 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 has agreed to provide 100% of the cost of Tuttle Learning Walk through  fundraising. We need your help to finish paying for the six signs featured along this beautiful walk.

Tuttle Learning Walk Information Page

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2019 Heritage Impact Award

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This building probably doesn't seem too familiar, but if you look at the rear, one-story portion of the building to the extreme right of the photo, you may recognize it as the existing back part of the In't Veld Meat Market building on the east side of the square.Born in Germany in 1843, Frederick Brinkhoff immigrated to Pella in 1860 and began working at a general store in South Pella. By the end of the Civil War, Brinkhoff had become a partner in a dry goods store in downtown Pella. He had also married a local Dutch lady (Johanna Grelinger) and had become a naturalized U. S. citizen. In 1874 Brinkhoff became a partner in a drug store, which he later took over as sole proprietor.That is the Brinkhoff Drug Store pictured below, as it appeared in 1894. Brinkhoff remained a prominent Pella businessman and civic leader for many years. In 1902, Brinkhoff moved to Chicago where his son lived, and then eventually moved to London for several years to be near his daughter. He continued to own the drug store building (as well as multiple other buildings in downtown Pella). In 1912, having moved back to Chicago, Brinkhoff had the front 55 feet of the building replaced, keeping the older rear, one-story portion of the structure. That new front section of the building is still there today. If you look at the top of the current building you can see the words: "Brinkhoff Block 1912".After Brinkhoff sold his business (but not the building), the building continued to house drug stores, known first as the Allen & Stubenrach Drug Store, followed by the Ideal Pharmacy after Martin Paardekooper took over ownership in 1917.In 1941 the Ver Meer Brothers took over the meat market of the Schipper Brothers in this location. Here they operated a grocery store and at the same time they took Klaas In't Veld aboard to operate his own meat market in the building. From then on the In't Veld name was associated with the building.Much more can and should be written about the interesting life and legacy of F. W. Brinkhoff, but that history will have to wait for a later date. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
This week’s post focuses on Pella Airways and Central College’s 1941 involvement with pilot training.A mid-January 1941 Pella Chronicle article mentioned that the Elbert Van Maanen farm had some unusual goings on: a grader was being pulled "over the level field in which tomatoes had grown the past season, cutting the vines away and leveling the soil. The reason for this unusual work at this time of year was surprising. They were preparing the field for an airport…. The field has been tentatively selected for use as a training field for students of Central College who desire to fly, part of a great program being carried on by colleges all over America.”Those tomato fields, today located just a mile south of the Pella Christian High School, would be worthy of another post. Those tomatoes were destined for the Pella Canning Factory, another long-term Pella firm.By March 1941 the Pella Airways airport had been officially inspected and approval was given for a "Flying School". Central College’s training school was “already in full swing at the field.” A large hangar and an office building had been erected on site.In May 1941 a large ad appeared in the Pella Chronicle advertising flight lessons at the Pella Airways. “You can learn to fly quickly and at low cost, in a Piper Cub Trainer” the ad proclaimed. It went on to state that: “You can buy a new Piper airplane with a Down Payment as low as $333. Easy monthly installments…. Same tandem seating as in Army and Navy Trainers.”Although America was not yet involved in World War II, it was *plain* to see where this was leading: the world, minus America, was already at war. Eleven Central College students enrolled in the first training class of 1941. 19 more enrolled in the summer course and 12 in the fall session. The Central College Ray wrote that: “Central College is co-operating with the government in sponsoring the Civilian Pilot Training program. The complete program consists of four courses: Primary, Secondary, Cross Country, and Instructors. At present Central offers the Primary; but it is planned to have the Secondary course in the Spring. The Primary course consists of thirty-five hours of flying, of which five are Cross Country Flying, and a Ground School Course of seventy-two hours. The subjects in the Ground School include Civil Air Regulations, Navigation, Meteorology, and Aircraft Operation.”Illustrating how times have changed, that same month (May) a Pella woman wrote to Central College’s president Irwin Lubbers, complaining of airplanes flying over Pella on a Sunday: “I am sure if many a father or mother would know these boys were spending the Lord’s day in such a way it would make them feel sorry. So you as head of this college ought to press on them that there are six days in the week, the 7th is not ours.”President Lubbers replied: “I do not know of any students who would want to fly on the Lord’s day, but even if they wish to the college will not permit them to do so. Our arrangement with the airport is that they will give instruction to our boys during the week and that is the only responsibility that we have and the only control that we have over the airport. You may count on me to help you in every way that I can to discourage flying over the city of Pella on Sunday.” That being said, on Sunday, July 6, Danny Fowlie of Minneapolis, “thrilled a big crowd of aviation fans at the Pella Airways airport Sunday by putting his Piper stunting plane through all kinds of unorthodox maneuvers.”On July 24 the Pella Chronicle reported: “Further proof of the permanence and stability of Pella Airways as a business enterprise is the building at the port of a new hangar to house C. L. Rutherford’s new Waco biplane. Mr. Rutherford is president of the National Coal Co. of Oskcaloosa and proposes to use the machine both for pleasure and business.”With the declaration of World War II in December 1941, the flying scenario changed. A January 8, 1942 Pella Chronicle article stated: “A "Reserve Pilot Training Corps," with a unit on the campus of Central College, Pella, will be organized nationally to prepare young men for enlistment in the Army and Navy Air Corps, if a proposal made by the fifth region in the National Association of College and Universities in CPT (civil pilot training) is accepted by the government.”With that the usage of Pella Airways changed. The college’s involvement with the “Reserve Pilot Training Corps” is material for another story.Pella Airways continued to operate after the war until at least the early 1950s. In 1959 a City of Pella-sponsored group was formed to study the possibility of a new Municipal Airport. The current Pella municipal airport was eventually built and was dedicated June 29, 1968. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
The Tuttle Learning Walk at 608 Lincoln Street is in the final stages of development. It is a beautiful walk and later this spring the interpretative signs will be installed along with two natural limestone benches. HPT appreciates financial support in building this new Pella destination, we are close to our goal. Donations can be made on our website, through Facebook, or the mail at Historic Pella Trust, Box 1, Pella, Iowa 50219 ... See MoreSee Less
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3 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
The Civil War Monument in Central Park tends to generate questions. People ask what is the purpose of the monument? What was the G.A.R.? Who was Albert Hobbs? A three-part question deserves a three-part answer.The monument is a memorial “Dedicated to the Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War, 1861-1865.” The city of Pella was only 14 years old when the Civil War broke out in April 1861. Over 260 volunteers came from Pella and the surrounding Lake Prairie township. In fact so many volunteered that there was never a need to draft local men into service. Central College alone had every eligible male student volunteer - sending over 120 students and one of their three college instructors. 23 of those students did not live through the war. On the 50th-year anniversary of the start of the war this monument to the civil war veterans was dedicated.The veterans of the Civil War had an organization called the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). This organization was similar to today’s American Legion, of which Pella's post is named the Van Veen-Van Hemert Post 89, after the first two local soldiers to give their lives in WWI. Likewise, Pella's G.A.R. post was named the Albert Hobbs Post 404, after the first local soldier to give his life in the Civil War.The G.A.R. had a women’s auxiliary group with the lengthy name of Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Albert Hobbs Circle, No. 57. They supported local civil war veterans and their families. The Pella branch of the Ladies of G.A.R. was formed in 1907. One of their first projects was a two-year fundraiser to purchase and erect this monument. The statue and its base were bought from an Oskaloosa firm for $650. It was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1911. The soldier depicted by the statue is not Albert Hobbs. It is simply an average civil war soldier. The same statue can be found in other parks around the upper midwest.Albert Hobbs was a junior at Central University of Iowa (today known as Central College) when the war broke out. He was in the first group of students to volunteer. For a time those that had "pledged to enlist" began drilling around the college campus. One-half of the third floor of Old Central was set up as a drill room. Along with several other enlisted men, Hobbs was ordered to join Company B, 3d Iowa Infantry in Knoxville on May 21, 1861. They then marched to Keokuk where they proceeded to duty in North Missouri. On September 17, 1861 Hobbs was severely wounded in his right shoulder while fighting at Blue Mills Landing in Missouri.Hobbs recovered, and his rank was upgraded to Captain on February 14, 1862. On April 6, 1862 he was engaged in heavy fighting at Shiloh, Tennessee. Hobbs’ classmate and fellow soldier John Kellenberger wrote a letter describing the scene: "Company B went into this battle with fifty-two men and came out with twenty-six left for duty. Twenty were wounded and six killed. Among the dead was our brave and noble Captain Hobbs. He was wounded about sundown, while we were run­ning the gauntlet, that is, getting out of the circle in which the rebs had enclosed us, and in which General Prentiss and his men were forced to surrender. Hobbs was first wounded in the arm, then in the thigh, then was shot through the chest, and we had to leave him on the field. He lingered till Tuesday morning, and died pierced by five balls.”Another classmate, Warren Olney, wrote the following letter to Albert’s brother: "Mr. Hobbs: Sir— It becomes my painful duty to inform you of your brother's death. He fell mortally wounded in the battle at this place on Sunday, the 6th instant, and died the Tuesday following. He had remained unhurt during the day, but towards evening the regiment became nearly surrounded by the enemy, and in the retreat that followed fell pierced by five wounds. He remained in the enemy's hands during the night, but when they were driven back in the morning he remained on the field. Yesterday morning we buried him with the usual military honors. His grave is near our camp, and has a board at its head with his name and the date of his death. The enemy plundered him of his watch, sword, revolver and money, sixteen dollars of which belonged to the company.”Two civil war cannons were originally placed in front of the memorial. Over the years the cannonballs were slowly pilfered, and the cannons themselves were given up during a World War II scrap drive when steel was desperately needed. The current cannon in the southwest part of the park was given after WWII in appreciation for the donated civil war cannons.The 160th anniversary of the start of the Civil War will soon be here (April 12). The 110th anniversary of the dedication of Pella’s Civil War monument will shortly follow that (May 30). If you are in the park please take a moment to remember those that are represented by this monument. Pella, and especially Central College, paid a very steep price to win the war. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Historic Pella Trust
Pella’s Opera House is a landmark in downtown Pella. It was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Last week we saw that Pella’s original opera house burned in 1884. Its loss was keenly felt since there were no public auditoriums in the community, including the college, other than churches.Local newspapers soon began urging the construction of a new opera house. By 1891 the Pella Weekly Herald ran a five-part series on why Pella needed an opera house. After several rumors and false reportings of a new building, the current building was finally started in June 1900. Local architect Henry De Gooyer designed the facility and Herman Rietveld and H. J. Van Vliet were the primary backers of the project. Rietveld even supplied the brick, manufactured locally by his company, Pella Brick and Drain Tile.The unfinished Opera House opened on November 16, 1900 with the play “What Happened to Jones?”. The Pella Advertiser newspaper noted that: “The building could not be properly heated owing to the fact that permanent floors were not yet put in, and that fact detracted from the enjoyment of the play.”The building was designed with several functions in mind. The ground floor was intended for local businesses purposes: “offices, an [agricultural] implement room, and a heating plant for the entire building.” The auditorium was on the second floor with a balcony on the third. “On the fourth floor, will be fitted up one of the finest lodge rooms in Iowa. It will be carpeted with Brussels and will be provided with reception and banquet room and will be a fitting home for several strong orders already here.” Indeed, within a few months four civic societies were meeting regularly on the top floor: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows; the Improved Order of Red Men; the Knights of Pythias; and the Rathbone Sisters.For the next several years plays, concerts, orations, political meetings, and yes, even an occasional opera, were presented on the stage. Herman Rietveld had an office on the ground floor, as did attorney and state representative James Warren. After five years the building was sold to a man from Omaha for a reported $24,000. Performance acts continued to appear, but they were becoming fewer and farther between. The building changed hands regularly. In 1909 it was reported to have been sold to a man from New York for $5,407.17.In 1906 a soda pop factory was installed in the basement of the building. That same year a Des Moines man, who had purchased Pella’s electric power plant was also managing the Opera House entertainment. By 1907 Rietveld was manufacturing “Cement Building Stone” in the building, “Factory in Opera House”. In 1910 the Reid & McGinnis mattress company was manufacturing mattresses in the building. At this time a lunch room/cafe was also operating on the first floor.In 1915 the Women’s Federated Club took over the operation of the building. They announced that the building would be called the “Federated Club Building” from then on. They continued to bring in sporadic entertainment to the stage.Finally in 1927 some stability came to the building. The Farmer's Union Cooperative purchased the building and for the next thirty years operated a grocery store and meat locker from the building. In 1958 John Geurts had the building remodeled into a bowling alley named the “Tulip Bowl”. The bowling lanes continued to operate for nearly a decade. In 1968 the bowling alley was removed and a Gambles store, managed by Jerry and Louise Byers, opened in the building.In 1970 a Teen Center was opened on the second floor, which operated until 1975. After that the second floor was rented as an apartment. Sometime in the 1950s, or earlier, most if not all of the 4th floor was removed (see the later photos below). When the building was restored in the late 1980s it was necessary to add fifteen feet back on to the front of the building to return it to its original construction.When Gambles closed in 1986 a local organization was formed, called the Opera House Commission, whose purpose was to preserve and restore the building to its original grandeur and purpose. In the summer of 1990 the fully renovated building was dedicated to the public.This building surely has a long and winding history behind it; a small book could probably be written about its uses and owners. But its value to the community is undeniable and the Historic Pella Trust is glad that this icon from our past still remains. Enjoy the photos. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Historic Pella Trust
Pella’s First Opera House.I would like to start focusing on some of the existing Pella buildings that are important to the heritage of the city. Last week we looked at the Scholte House and next week I would like to feature Pella’s magnificent Opera House. In the meantime, some will be surprised to learn that our current opera house was not the first one in town. From the mid-1870s until it burned down in the summer of 1884, Pella had an earlier Opera House. That building had an interesting history: it started life as a church building, commonly known as the “Pink Church” due to the color of the brick used in its construction. It was located on the southeast corner of Union and West First streets. As chronicled by Pella historian Kommer Van Stigt in his 1897 book "History of Pella, Iowa and Vicinity", construction of the building was begun by the Baptist Church of Pella congregation in 1857. Further research shows that the church borrowed $448 from Dominie Scholte to finance the building and lot, using the property as collateral.In 1858 the Baptist church endured a split that saw the congregation cut in two and the spin-off of the Second Baptist Church of Pella. No longer needing, or being able to afford, a large church building (Van Stigt termed the building “colossal for the time”) the partially constructed church was sold to the recently formed First Protestant Dutch Reformed Church congregation, now formally known as First Reformed Church. The mortgage for this building was purchased from Scholte for $555.For some 15 years the First Reformed Church continued to use the "Pink Church" building until it completed construction of a much larger church diagonally across the street at the corner of Union and Broadway. The new building was finished in 1872, just in time for the city of Pella’s 25th anniversary. Sometime after this, the Pink Church began being used as an opera house. The earliest mention I can find of its use as an opera house came from the April 11, 1876 Pella Blade newspaper (prior editions of the paper are no longer in existence). It reads: “Col. J. P. Sanford, the celebrated traveler, gave “Old Times and New” at the Opera House on Tuesday evening, and “Paris in War Times” on Wednesday. The Col. was greeted by fine audiences on both occasions. To say that he pleases would be faint praise. These lectures make five delivered by Col. Sanford, in Pella, and the general opinion is that they are the most instructive, amusing and interesting ones ever delivered in our city.”From that time on, the opera house was mentioned regularly in Pella’s newspapers. Since this was a time before movies, radio or TV, entertainment had to be performed live. The opera house featured both local and traveling speakers, orators, lecturers, elocutionists, plays, concerts, musical performances and graduations. In between events the original Opera House even served as a roller skating rink.In December 1877 the Tennessee Jubilee Singers were performing at the Pella Opera House and were repeatedly interrupted by “two young bloods who seemed to have much better mouths for whisky than ears for music. We are led to this conclusion from the number of trips they made down stairs and outside the Opera House in order that they might, unobserved, make themselves more disgusting by drinking from bottles carried in their pockets. They not only molested the audience, but insulted the troupe as well, and were severely reprimanded by the leader.”J. Murray Cox’s Light Infantry Band was a frequent performer at the Opera House. This band had its foundation in the civil war. Cox later produced a play, “All That Glitters is Not Gold”, that was performed at the Opera House on Christmas night 1880. Sadly, the end of Pella’s Opera House came in August 1884 when a fire consumed the building. A home was later erected on the site, one that still stands today. The owner has told me that she occasionally finds shards of brick – little reminders of the Pink Church - in the yard.Sixteen years passed before Pella had another Opera House. Next week we will cover that building. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Historic Pella Trust
The Scholte Home is the first, and oldest, structure to be constructed by the Hollanders upon their arrival at Pella. Dominie Henry Scholte was the spiritual and administrative leader of the Dutch immigrants who arrived at the site of Pella in late summer 1847. Initially, Scholte took up residence in an existing log cabin which was located near the middle of Central Park. He had purchased it and some of the surrounding land from pioneers Thomas and Nancy Tuttle.Scholte initially had nine blocks of the town surveyed and platted in a 3 x 3 grid, with Central park (and his log cabin) in the center. This platting allowed him to determine the location for his new home and to promptly begin construction on it. Since there were no sawmills yet operating in the area, construction materials for this home were hauled by horse and wagon, much of it from as far away as Keokuk. This home was completed in March 1848 and Scholte and his family promptly moved in.The large, elegant home was built to fulfill a promise to his wife, Maria. Scholte had to entice her to leave both Holland and big city life behind, and move to the wild frontier of Iowa. Recall that less than five years before this area was still the domain of Native Americans. Settlers were not allowed prior to April 1843.The attached photos show the home and its surroundings over the years. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today the home is the property of the Pella Historical Society.This seems like an appropriate place to mention the distinction between the Historic Pella Trust and the Pella Historical Society. With two very similar names it gets confusing. We are two distinct non-profit organizations with two similar, but distinct, purposes. We operate independently and are funded independently, but we fully love, affirm and support each other.The Pella Historical Society was formed in 1935 when the first Tulip Time was held. It functions primarily as a museum and promotes Pella’s history through its wonderful collection of historical artifacts and select buildings. Tulip Time, the historical village and museum, and the Scholte House are their primary methods of preserving and promoting Pella’s rich history.Alternatively, the Historic Pella Trust (unfortunately named so similar to the Pella Historical Society) was founded in 1995. It exists more broadly to preserve and promote buildings and sites throughout Pella that are important to our community’s heritage. While the Historical Society focuses on acquiring and maintaining important items and histories of Pella’s past, the Trust focuses more broadly on the preservation of community-wide valuable and historic buildings of Pella. We seek to encourage and assist owners to maintain, preserve and protect Pella's properties that are irreplaceable.We appreciate and encourage your support. Until next week! -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

Historic Pella Trust
Today’s topic is Pella’s first High School/Junior High/Community Center building. Over the past several weeks the Trust has featured Pella school buildings that no longer exist. Today we want to feature one that DOES still exist, although no longer in use as a school.This historic two-story Gothic-themed brick building, located at the northeast corner of Broadway and Union streets, was completed in 1916. It was erected as Pella’s first purpose-built high school building. If you recall, the original Webster school building, located exactly two blocks south, housed Pella's first public high school classes. Due to Webster’s overcrowding, the original Lincoln school was constructed in 1904, but it was soon recognized that a new high school building would also be required.A city bond issue was approved in 1914 and an architect from Estherville, Iowa was hired to design a truly modern high school facility that took full use of Pella’s recently constructed municipal electric light plant, sewer system and updated water works facilities. This was the first Pella school building that did not rely on outhouses or a water well. In addition, it contained the school system’s first gym and auditorium.The school opened in the fall of 1916. The streets surrounding the school were still dirt, but within a few years those were paved. The school building operated as designed until 1936 when overcrowding forced a large addition to be made to the north and east sides of the building. This addition expanded the gym to allow basketball to be played on a regulation-sized floor. It also added a library/study hall, a shop and additional classrooms.In 1954 a second story was added onto the 1936 one-story east-side addition that provided an additional three classrooms. In 1959 a $1,000,000 bond issue vote was held to construct a replacement high school building as well as a large addition to the original Lincoln school and a grade-school building for Leighton. Out of 2,400 total votes cast, the issue narrowly passed with a 40-vote margin.In 1962 the new high school building opened on the east edge of Pella. Photos at the time show the building surrounded by farm fields. The former high school building was converted for use as a junior high that was later updated to a middle school that included 6th grade. This continued until 1978 when Pella opened a new purpose-built middle school building in east Pella.The original high school building’s future was then in doubt. It was even scheduled for demolition, when Stu Kuyper, president of Rolscreen (now Pella Corp.) and his sister Joan, who were both Pella High alumni, began donating funds to renovate and upgrade the building for use as a community center. Over a ten-year period the Rolscreen Foundation, thanks to Stu, Joan and their parents Pete and Lucille Kuyper, provided nearly $1 Million to upgrade and convert the building into a Community Center.A large portion of these funds were used to renovate the auditorium - named after Joan and which now houses the Union Street Players - as well as many other community functions. About the same time Crossroads was formed and utilized a portion of the building. The Pella Art Center began utilizing rooms. A senior center was opened, the Iowa Department of Transportation began using the building for driver’s license examinations, community meals were served there, and the City of Pella’s Recreation Commission’s offices were located there. Pella’s PTV-12 public access cable channel also located there. A community open gym was utilized by the public, home-schooled students, and many basketball tournaments.Today, thanks to its central location and multi-purpose facilities, the building continues to be used for numerous community purposes. However, the building itself is in need of updates and repairs. In 2018 a non-profit organization entitled Friends of the Pella Community Center was formed to help promote the building and to assist in acquiring the necessary funds to allow it to continue serving the public for many more years.The city of Pella its currently considering a bond issue that would fund renovations and improvements to the building. An addition to the west side of the building is also under consideration. The Friends of the Pella Community Center www.facebook.com/Friendsofthepellacommunitycenter/ have helped raise the importance of this building to Pella’s heritage and have promoted its continued usefulness to the community. The building has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and an architect familiar with renovating historic buildings has been engaged to assist with appropriate building improvements.Should the bond issue come before the community the Historic Pella Trust requests your vote, and your assistance, in preserving this valuable resource. This building has provided over a century of utility to the community. Its usefulness is not yet completed. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

Historic Pella Trust
The second Lincoln School is the subject of part ten of the Trust’s series on Pella school buildings that no longer exist. Seven years after the new Webster School was completed, space was again at a premium for Pella’s schools. In 1959 plans were being drawn up for an addition to the original 1905 building. Unlike other additions made to local schools, this one was to be totally separate from the original school. It was a one-story brick building facing Broadway street. It would be located west of the original school and connected only by an open-air walkway.In December 1959 a three-part $900,000 city bond issue was approved for the construction of a new high school, the addition to Lincoln school, and a new elementary school in Leighton. The Lincoln addition featured eight rooms plus office space: six of the eight rooms were classrooms; one was a large multi-function room which doubled as a gym, auditorium and lunch room; and the last room was a kitchen to prepare and serve hot lunches. The addition opened August 30, 1961 and approximately 800 curious taxpayers turned out for its open house a month later.The kitchen and lunchroom meant that Lincoln School students no longer had to be bussed to Webster school each day for hot lunch. The gym allowed many programs to spring up. In addition to indoor physical education classes, the gym was busy on Saturdays and during the summer supporting open gym, city basketball programs, immunization clinics, and “charm school” for the girls. In 1962 a girl’s drill team was organized by Merlin Vander Leest.With its addition, Lincoln school became the largest facility in the Pella school system. In 1961 466 students attended Lincoln, Webster school had 325 pupils (including grade school and junior high students) and 402 were in high school.Before the Lincoln addition was four years old, plans were being made to add six more classrooms to the north end of the building. Three of the rooms were to be put into use in 1966 and the other three in 1967. Additions were to become commonplace at Lincoln: additional classrooms were added in 1979, 1983 and 1988. After the last addition, "New Lincoln” as the complex was known, was comprised of 16 classrooms, while Old Lincoln contained 10 classrooms. A total of 515 students now attended the two Lincolns.In 1992 usage of the original Lincoln school was discontinued when Jefferson Elementary School opened. The fate of the original building was debated for a few years, and the Historic Pella Trust was founded in an attempt to save the venerable building. Ultimately, it was decided to demolish the old building and it was taken down in 1995.In 2013 the Pella school board began discussing building a new Lincoln school. In 2014 construction was started on the current building, which was first utilized on February 22, 2016. Two months later the old “New Lincoln" was demolished.The Historic Pella Trust encourages you to contribute your memories and/or photographs and to share our posts with those who may be interested. -BB ... See MoreSee Less
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