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 :641-780-9818

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  

New: Donate Online!

In the News and Events

Tuttle Learning Walk

Phase one of the Tuttle Learning Walk is in progress! The walk has been divided into 3 phases; construction, signage, and landscaping.

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!

Historic Pella Trust has partnered with the City of Pella to build an educational walkway between Tuttle Cabin and Sunken Garden Park. This project  creates 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. 

https://historicpellatrust.org/learning-walkway/

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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Our Facebook news feed is available to our viewers even if you are not a member of Facebook; you can view the post below by clicking on the white lettering or white photo word and it will open on your browser. Please enjoy looking at our social media posts...

Historic Pella Trust on Facebook

Today the HPT features some South Pella history. The mission statement of the Historic Pella Trust calls us to promote sites important to the heritage of Pella. This is one of those important, long-gone sites. The Thomassen Store was located on the current site of Jimmy John's and State Farm Insurance at 606 The Thomassen Store was located on Oskaloosa Street, north of Pella Corp. and the old RR Depot. The original Thomassen's Store burned on February 13, 1930. It was a general/grocery store that also sold Diamond gasoline - perhaps a forerunner of modern day convenience stores. It was quickly rebuilt and the new, modern brick store reopened in July of that same year. The store went on to be used as a restaurant and later a bar, before being demolished around the turn of the last century. The current building was erected in 2002.

The Thomassen name was a prominent one that was often associated with flourishing businesses around Pella for many decades. -BB
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Jennifer's birthday fundraiser is over halfway towards the goal! Your contributions are appreciated very much to help preserve historic Pella. 100% of your contribution will go to HPT, Facebook does not take any from a non-profit. As mentioned below; do you recognize this historic Pella home? ... See MoreSee Less

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With colder weather just around the corner it seems an appropriate time to post this 1936 photo of Main Street. By then the automobile was the overwhelming method of transportation, but when snow got deep the horse and sleigh still had its place.

The top photo shows the east side of Main Street where the Molengracht (same location, lower photo) now stands. To the left is the home of Leonard Popma, who owned a mercantile business immediately to the left of his home. The large two-story building in the center of the photo was the blacksmith shop of Henry Gezel, and the White Way Auto Garage can be seen to the far right in the photo.

When Gezel passed away later that year, the Pella Chronicle said: "Henry Gezel, local blacksmith, whose death occurred a week ago, was a concrete example of devotion to work. For more than 65 years he shod horses, repaired plows and other farm implements, and when power machinery came into use he repaired that, made wagon and truck beds and did a general repair business. And he was always there unless sickness prevented it. He was old enough to retire several years ago. However, he preferred work to leisure. If he went away for a visit with some of the children, he was sure to be back at work the next morning. On the human side, he was one of the landmarks of Pella and he will be greatly missed from his place of business."

Tragically, Henry's daughter Gertrude was one of three Central College women who drowned at a YWCA outing at Lake Geneva in 1913, but that is entirely another story.

This post is made in honor of Henry Gezel, Leonard Popma and all those who made Pella what it is today. -BB
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1960 was a great year to be born, not much fun celebrating with social distancing in 2020...It has been a rough year fund raising for nonprofits, please help me celebrate by supporting Historic Pella Trust. ... See MoreSee Less

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The first phase of heritage plants are being planted along the Tuttle Learning Walk. The Pella Garden Club has provided funding for these plants along with planning some signs to place among the plantings to identify them. ... See MoreSee Less

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Open House Tonight from 5-6:30! This adorable historic home sits on the edge of Caldwell park and was built by the Pella Brick and Tile factory.
Historic Pella Trust owns this property and we are looking for a buyer who will appreciate this historic landmark and is willing to join us in seeing it restored into a lovely home or business adventure.
It has a spacious new addition and a very large garage in back. So much potential for the right buyer!
The Trust has identified some needed repairs and will work with the buyer to see that they are made as part of the purchase. Please come look at this cozy Pella home.
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There is a lot of history in this photo. Most of these Pella landmarks are gone, but their significance is well worth noting.

The bath house in the background was built in conjunction with Pella's first municipal swimming pool. This was located in what is now Caldwell Park. Work was begun on the pool itself in January 1936 when 36 men dug the entire pool by hand (during winter!) using picks, shovels and wheel barrows as part of a Public Works Association (PWA) project during the Great Depression.

The pool opened in July 1937 and was located on 11 acres of land that had originally been home to the Pella Drain Tile factory. In fact the pond, shown here, was built as a source of water for the tile and brick factory, which closed in 1919.

The main entrance to the pool was in the center building with the double overhead doors. The mechanical portion of the pool was located in the left-most portion of the facility. The extreme right portion was originally a shelter house, but later sold candy as a small snack bar. The women's dressing rooms/showers were in the left-center part of the buildings, and the men's were located in the right-center portion.

The windmill was one of two that were constructed by local wood-working guru Georg Heeren. These two windmills were placed at the east and west entrances to Pella on Highway 163 in the early 1930s, shortly after the first Tulip Time was held. The one on the eastern edge of Pella was later moved to this location near the swimming pool. A replica of the windmill on the west edge of Pella still stands in Brinkhoff Park.

The berm to the left lies across what is now University Street. Today that berm is gone and tennis courts occupy this spot. Pella's second high school was constructed to the north of that berm in 1962.

In 1964 the swimming pool was doubled in size replacing a children's pool which was then relocated between the bath house and the pond. In 2004 Pella's outdoor aquatic center was opened which spelled the end of the first municipal swimming pool. It was demolished and the pool filled in. Today it is nothing but a flat space of grass. Not a hint remains of the two-thirds of a century of enjoyment this swimming pool provided to the community. -BB
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Historic Pella Trust welcomes Shawn Thomas as the new owner of the Historic Blacksmith Shop at 914 Franklin Street! The building will be their collectable racecar studio. Shawn enjoys every aspect of car collecting from restoration to display in several museums. He agreed to a story in the near future...right now he is preparing to list their historic home that overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge...he said it was one of the few homes that survived, I think it was the 1906 Earthquake? Wow! Shawn shared his passion for historic preservation and I am looking forward to meeting him in person! His wife and son are currently working on their Pella studio project and home close by. If you were like me, you were curious about the new owners plans also...It just so happens I belong to several blacksmithing groups and ran across his post! JVK ... See MoreSee Less

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