Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pleasant Valley Christian Church Est. 1884

On our recent travel through Iowa we spent a night with my brother in law, Jim Cole near Thayer Iowa. A couple miles from his house out in the country is this old church. I have driven by it many times in the past 15 years when I have visited with Jim but never stopped.

Sunday rolled around and this time we were determined to attend church services. We were welcomed by about 25 people in this amazing little church. After services we stayed to visit and learn a little about the history. The church was actually organized in 1875 and services were held in a country school prior to building the church. Named Pleasant Valley because it was near a river noted for scenic beauty, they celebrated 100 years in 1984.

Church member Don Bowman put together a little history called Fragments of the Past in their centennial booklet. Things I found interesting to read included: the cost of insurance in 1901 was $5.40 and they took a collection to raise the money; in 1938 they hired a pastor for the coming year. His salary was$10 from the Sunday School treasury, $20 from the Ladies Aid treasury and this is the good part; each family would donate what eggs they gathered on Easter Sunday to the pastor’s salary and each family was asked to donate one hen for the same purpose. In 1948 the church got electricity and in 1954 the pastor’s salary was raised from $56.50 per month to $75 per month.

Pleasant Valley holds Sunday service at 9:30 and visitors are always welcome there. From I-35 exit at Osceola Iowa and go west to Thayer then go south on the county blacktop past the rock quarry and watch for the sign on the west side of the road for the Pleasant Valley Church. And those are Iowa directions, folks!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Frontier Village in Adrian Missouri

Frontier Village, in Adrian, Missouri, is owned and operated by the Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association. This park is host to tractor and machinery shows and boasts attendance from more than 20 different states.

We traveled there in late June to attend a Keller et al family reunion, our first time to meet this branch of the family tree. We found this little village a week before their next scheduled tractor event and visited briefly with some tractor enthusiasts who were starting to prepare for their next big event.

A drive down the dirt lane was like a trip back in time with old fashioned businesses and buildings on each side of the road. The old church was modernized with a ramp to accommodate handicapped visitors.

Our reunion was held in a very nice modern community building that was air conditioned, a good thing in Missouri summer humidity!

According the web site I found when I got back home, “The village was a result of interest in preserving history and old agricultural ways and produced its first gas engine show in 1982. The growth continued with the first building, a school, in 1983, a red barn in 1984, and now a total of 20 buildings with 2 more under construction. In addition, there are three county bridges donated to the Village from Bates County. On a state level, the Village has the largest steam engine, the largest separator, and the oldest portable running steam engine in Missouri.”

Adrian is right on US 71 in Missouri, the park complex has some really nice shade trees and would be a welcome rest spot on a trip from either direction. See their chamber web site for monthly events listings