Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Heading West

We decided to take a route across northern Iowa, mostly because we wanted to stop in Forest City at the Winnebago factory.  But on the way we made a couple of stops.

In Clermont we stopped at the Montauk estate.  The Italianate mansion was built in 1874 by William Larrabee who became Iowa's 12th governor in 1886.

The tour was free.  FREE!  And really very interesting.  The interior and beautiful furnishings are still as they were when the Larrabee family live there.

This was my favorite thing - a copy machine.  Something about dampening and pressing the original inked document with onion skin paper.  I could see how some of the ink would come off on the copy, but wouldn't it be backwards?

After our stop, we moved on to another wonderful Iowa city/county park in Nashua, home of the Little Brown Church in the Vale.

Built in 1860-64, the setting for the church was the inspiration for the song of the same name.  The song has been preformed by many singers, including Andy Griffith, Rosemary Clooney, and the Statler Brothers.

Funny story.  In 1857, Dr. William S. Pitts was passing through town and stopped to admire the wooded lot where the church now stands.  He went home and was inspired to write the song.  In 1862, he moved to the area.  Imagine his surprise when he saw a little brown church being built in the very spot he had envisioned it.  He dug out his song and sang it at the church dedication in 1864.


  1. Great story about the Little Brown Church. Always liked that song. As you head west we are headed east. Safe travels guys.

  2. How cool didnt know there was a church that belonged to the song!

  3. If I'm not mistaken little Rhonda sang that song on "Big Love". That's the only time I've ever heard it, must be my Canadian Catholic upbringing. ;)