Pella, Iowa

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Pella is a city in Marion County, Iowa, United States. The population was 9,832 at the 2000 census. Pella is the home of Central College as well as several manufacturing companies, including Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company.


History and culture

Pella was founded in 1847 when eight hundred Dutch immigrants led by Dominee (Minister) Hendrik (Henry) P. Scholte settled the area. The name "Pella" is a reference to Pella in the Perea, where the Christians of Jerusalem had found refuge during the Roman-Jewish war of 70;[1] the name was selected because Dominee and the rest were also seeking religious freedom. It was the childhood home of Wyatt Earp whose father Nicholas Porter Earp had settled on a farm near Pella. His brothers Warren and Morgan were born in Pella.

Today it features a number of local events and architectural sights. The Vermeer Mill is a fully functional 1850s-style windmill, reaching 134 feet (41 m) high. The Vermeer Mill grinds wheat into flour using only wind power and is the tallest working windmill in the United States.

The Pella Opera House, built in 1900, was renovated in 1990 and is now a popular entertainment destination, featuring stained glass windows and ornate tin ceilings. A canal winds through nearby Molengracht Plaza, home to a number of shops, restaurants, lodging, a movie theatre, and a full-size working drawbridge.

The annual Tulip Time Festival is a celebration of Pella's Dutch heritage. It features tulip gardens, performances, crafters, music, food, Dutch costumes, and daily parades. The festival is held for three days (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) during the first weekend in May.

A few miles to the west is Iowa's largest reservoir[2], Lake Red Rock (Des Moines River), a popular destination for biking, hiking, boating, and fishing.


Pella is located at 41°24′26″N 92°55′2″W / 41.40722°N 92.91722°W / 41.40722; -92.91722 (41.407311, -92.917352)[3].

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