Friday, December 31, 2010

Tallest "Working" Dutch Windmill outside of the Netherlands

Vermeer Mill, Pella Iowa

Built by these guys:
A Modern Dutch Classic Dutch Windmill engineering firm

According to Wikipedia, "Pella was founded in 1847 when eight hundred Dutch immigrants..." and they still cherish their heritage today. There are dutch bakeries, Holland inspired architecture, a little curvy canal, museums, gift shops with mugs declaring "It's hard to be humble when you are Dutch" and a town square devoted to an annual "tulip time" festival.

During the Tulip festival, the townsfolk wear 'authentic costumes' which are frozen in time from when the aforementioned immigrants departed the Netherlands.

One ritual is comprised of pouring water onto the street and scrubbing it with a broom.
I have never seen this in the Netherlands, or heard of it... It rains so much that pouring more water is a bit redundant, but perhaps, it is an old-timey thing from the 1800s.
I will have to do a bit more research in the New Year.

More pictures after the jump!

Miniature village with ladies riding bicycles with crocheted mud guards

Various Miss Pellas in Dutch hats
Childhood home of Wyatt Earp. He's not dutch but he lived in Pella.


  1. Re Rev. Scholte see here:

    Scholte was a stubborn Protestant minister (whose family had become rich in cane sugar refinery) who rather emigrated from Holland than accept supervision by the state. And he apparently had enough followers to join him. If you dig deeper into this material you will find that we have about 250 denominations in the Protestant sector alone which is a lot if you take into account that the majority of the Dutch are non-believers nowadays.

    Anyway, the "historical" costumes are fake - but innocent enough not to worry. The water and broom ritual is not; it dates back to the times that everybody cleaned his own "stoep". Just ask your neighbors in Leiden. If they are old enough they may remember.

  2. Thanks Frits! I'll ask around.

  3. Himself and I have been to Pella, and in some very strange ways it's trying to be more Dutch than the Dutch LOL!
    From lovely and very sincere people trying to speak Dutch (with extreme variations of success)to kitch marketing of klompen (clogs) and tulips.
    I'd say that there was everything even remotely "Dutch" in between too. It was well worth passing through and I just WISH I'd had a digital camera when we were there.
    I'd like to go back for a second visit and it would so so FUN to go when the festival is on.
    I HAVE heard about the water and booms thing, something my Oma said once. I wish I'd listened more closely at the time... and written it down. Better talk to some of my Aunts and Uncles about the older traditions.
    Great post! Thanks!!!