This summer, I had the opportunity (quite by accident) to visit the Little Brown Church in the Vale. This church was made famous by the song on the "Church in the Wildwood." I happened to drive by it on my way back from a trip home with the family to West Virginia. We decided to take the kids to the St. Louis Gateway Arch and driving through rural Iowa was the shortest route from St. Louis to North Dakota.
The Little Brown Church in the Vale showed up on the map as a landmark of interest. Being the church nut that I am, I had to stop and see the church since it was only a couple of miles off of the highway. This Congregational church sits just outside of Nashua, Iowa, and dates to the 1860s. It is easily accessible from US Highway 218. While not an imposing structure like some of the churches in the Czech Republic that I've posted on this site, it was nonetheless pretty cool to see a historic country church. The church is still in use, and hosts many weddings on an annualized basis. The church also holds baptism on Sunday afternoons. The church is memorialized by the song, and is a link to the pioneer days. Often, one of the earliest structures built in new towns was a church (or churches). Many of these churches no longer stand, but they were an important part of pioneer life. It's impossible to tell the story of American history (or the history of just about any nation) without mentioning the history of religion. In America, that religion is Christianity. The early settlers had beliefs that influenced the way that they lived. Below are photos of the the Little Brown Church in the Vale: