Thursday, May 23, 2013


Prior Lake MN (Low 40 Sunny Warmer High 64)

Catching up on our recent stay in Kellogg Iowa when we went to Pella to visit friends and see the sights.

We blogged earlier on the Vermeer Mill which sits at the corner of the Historical Village.

The Historical Village Complex is the restoration project of the Pella Historical Society. Twenty-four buildings surround a courtyard with red brick walkways, blossoming trees, and beautiful tulip gardens (some of our tulip photos came from the Historical Village). Some of the buildings have been on the site for more than 150 years; others were moved in and restored.

We tried to cram everything in Pella into one afternoon which meant we missed some things and those we saw we rushed through. This did not do justice to the Historical Village since this was last on our list in Pella and we were there just before closing. Imagine 24 buildings set in a town like setting crammed with exhibits. Really needed a lot more time so we will visit again.

The main attraction for us was the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp.

Before our visit we didn't know that Pella was not only the home of Dominie Scholte and his band of Hollanders from our recent blog post on the Scholte House and Gardens, but also the home of the Nicholas Earp family and its most famous member—Wyatt. Here is the last photograph of Wyatt taken 2 weeks before his death.

The Earp family’s English and Scottish descendants immigrated to America in the early 1700′s. Like the Scholte band 150 years later, the Earps came to America for religious freedom. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, named for his father’s neighbor and commanding officer in the Mexican War, was born in Monmouth, Illinois, on March 19, 1848. When Wyatt was two years old, his father Nicholas moved the family to Pella, Iowa. While living in Pella, Nicholas held the office of U.S. Provost Marshal of Marion County. Wyatt Earp, the famous gun-slinging western marshal, grew up as an ordinary Pella boy, spending most of his spare time working on his father’s farm.

Nicholas Earp’s experience as a captain in the Mexican War earned him the responsibility of training troops for the Union Army. Wyatt’s three older brothers enlisted in the Union Army while Wyatt stayed home and tended the farm. Finally, at the tender age of fifteen, the lure of the Civil War overwhelmed Wyatt. He ran away from home and enlisted in the army. As luck would have it, the first person Wyatt encountered among the army ranks was his father, who promptly sent him home, back to the cornfields of Pella.

In 1864 Nicholas’ hitch in the army ran out. Although Nicholas was against secession, he disagreed with freeing the slaves. The elder Earp organized a wagon train of forty families with similar ideas against emancipation, and headed to California.

Here are more pictures of the Earp Home.

Here are more pictures of the Historical Village which we hustled through after our visit of the Earp home.

Much has been written about Wyatt after he left Pella but it was cool to find out that a boy who later became a famous U.S. Deputy Marshal, lived in Pella on the site of the Pella Historical Village.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

1 comment:

  1. Great place to visit. I love the story of Wyatt running away only to run into his father. What a hoot.