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Little Brown Church in the Vale

2730 Cheyenne Ave (Highway 346), Nashua, IA 50658
641.435.2027 | Visit Website | Email
Little Brown Church in the Vale
Annual Wedding Reunion

Open Daily - dawn to dusk, all year long.
Over 40,000 visitors come to the Little Brown Church each year, and over 400 weddings are performed annually. In October 2009, the 73,000 wedding was held at the church. Weekly services are held each Sunday at 10:30 AM, with sing-a-long starting at 10:15. The church is completely handicap accessible and air conditioned.

Church History - The first settlers came to the Bradford area in 1848 and by 1855 the first members of the Puritan-Congregational Church had begun holding meetings. In 1860 the foundation for the church was laid. The Civil War slowed the work and the building was finished, completed with bell in 1864. When it came time to paint the building, the cheapest paint was Ohio Mineral Paint, which would protect the wood but which was unhappily brown.

A young music teacher named William Pitts was traveling by stagecoach from Wisconsin to Iowa to visit his future wife. While waiting for the stagecoach horses to be changed, he walked down Cedar Street and saw the empty lot where the church now stands. Being a romantic young man, the thought came to him of what a charming setting the spot would make for a church. Returning home, he wrote the poem "Church in the Wildwood," and later set it to music. He put it away in a drawer and forgot it.

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