Dutch Heritage

The Dutch came to Pella in 1847 led by Dominie Scholte.  This group of 800 Dutch immigrants were fleeing famine and religious persecution in the Netherlands.  The group decided to make their settlement between the Skunk and Des Moines RIvers in Marion County, Iowa.  They purchased 18,000 acres.  Soon, a town sprung up with churches, schools and stores.  

Today, you can learn about the history at the Scholte House Museum and Pella Historical Village.  Many Pella families can trace their roots back to those first 800 settlers.  Come be Dutch for a day in Pella!


The windmill is an icon of Holland. The Dutch have been building windmills for centuries. Today, in Pella you can even find a drive-up bank that is a windmill, not to mention a working windmill at the Pella Historical Village and the visitor information windmill in the downtown square. The tour of the Vermeer Mill, located inside the Pella Historical Village, is very interesting to see the workings up close and hear how the windmill was constructed.


In Holland, canals are used for travel and removal of water. The Molengracht Plaza in Pella provides a great place to stroll and showcases a draw bridge, which is a great photo opportunity. The Molengracht canal is located just west of the Vermeer Mill and the Royal Amserdam Hotel is located on the canal.


In the Spring, you will find tulips lining the streets into downtown Pella. In addition, several tulip beds are located around town at Scholte Gardens, Sunken Gardens, Central Park, Pella Historical Village and Fair Haven East Gardens. Each year the city plans thousands of new tulip bulbs of various varieties. Tulips come in many colors some feature blossoms that look more like a peony than a tulip while others have ruffled edges.


The Dutch have been wearing wooden shoes or klompen since medieval times. The wooden shoes were worn because they did not get as damp as leather shoes. Make sure to snap a shot of you wearing the big wooden shoes outside the downtown information center or at the Vermeer Mill.

Tulip Time

To get a Tulip Time brochure or purchase tickets, contact the Pella Historical Society at pellahistorical.org or 641.628.4311. They can answer all your questions about the Dutch in Pella as well as the year round Dutch events that take place in Pella.