If you’re not from Iowa, you might read the word “Pella” and think of the window manufacturer. Well, you’re not far off — the company is based in Pella, Iowa, a small town about 45 minutes south east of Des Moines.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Pella to complete a needs assessment for a lovely artifact that I hope to feature in the future. After my consultation, I wandered down the street to the Pella Historical Society.
Pella is, simply put, ridiculously adorable. It’s full of Dutch history and culture, and there are windmills and tulips everywhere (especially during their annual Tulip Time festival, which I have yet to attend.) So, it seems fitting that the Pella Historical Society would have a working reproduction of a typical 1850s Dutch grain mill.
After spending the morning wearing my consultant hat down the street, it was fun to tour the mill as a tourist. There were only three of us on the tour, so we were able to poke around and ask questions at our leisure. Our tour guide, whose name I promised myself I wouldn’t forget (Do’h!), was wonderful–he was very knowledgeable and the kind of guy that made you want to learn more.
A view from the top
When I set out that morning, I never expected to find myself on the deck of a windmill, learning how to readjust the blades to accommodate weather changes, or how simple machines such as pulleys made windmills less labor intensive. Who knew a trip to a historical society could provide such a wonderful science lesson?