PELLA — Pella residents were able to briefly go back in time by stepping into the Tuttle’s old home.

The Historic Pella Trust held a ribbon cutting for the Tuttle Learning Walk Dedication and Gifting Ceremony, which took place in front of the Tuttle Log Home.

The small, wooden house was named after the first pioneers who settled in northern Marion County, Thomas and Nancy Tuttle. Pella historians believe the Tuttle Log Home is the oldest remaining structure in Marion County.

Outside, people gathered in front of the cabin to listen to the guest speakers and learn about the city’s effort to preserve the historical landmark.

During the ceremony, members of the Historic Pella Trust shared how they raised $200,000 to pay for development, which included work on the walkway, garden, and new signs.

Historic Preservation Commission member Bruce Boertje said coming up with the topics was easy, but phrasing the language for the signs was a challenge. The signs are arranged roughly in chronological order as a visitor walks from South to North.

“Our goal really was just to have some easy-to-read little snippets to catch people's attention. We want to make the signs enjoyable and interesting,” Boertje said. “The challenge really was to distill Pella’s history down from 175 years into about 400 words per sign.”

Walking inside the cabin, the average visitor may have to hunch down while entering through the front door. Looking at the interior, one can immediately spot a fireplace, a shelf filled with knick-knacks, and wooden, brown chairs.

Going up the narrow stairs, the Tuttle's bedroom contains a small bed with a blue-and-white checkered blanket, old clothes hanging on a door, and a photo of the couple.

Ann Summitt, who represented the Pella Garden Club, said the club has a long history of donating to support civic beautification projects.

For the cabin, Summit said the club has donated $15,00 to this project, which included preparing the soil and purchasing plants.

“People have enjoyed watching butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other insects enjoying what has already been planted,” Summit said. “Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this possible. Residents and visitors alike are in for a real Dutch treat as they travel through this new attraction to Pella.”

Tours for the Tuttle Cabin are available per appointment. Anyone who is interested can contact the Historic Pella Trust at

Sarah Stortz can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sarah__stortz.

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