Danish in Iowa

I always here about how Iowa is a homogenous culture. This really isn’t true at all and the people who think that really haven’t looked closely at the culture. Iowa is actually made up a broad mix of immigrant groups from around the world. This is exemplified by the number of national museums dedicated to a particular immigrant group that we have in Iowa. One of these that I haven’t made it to yet is the Danish Immigrant Museum around Elkhorn, Iowa in the southwestern part of our state.

Famous Spots in Iowa

Growing up in Iowa as part of the community you hear about certain things. The Grotto in West Bend, the Little Brown Church, the Plow in Oak, and the definitely the Dutch windmill in Pella and the Danish windmill in Elkhorn. I’ve made it to about half of those I’ve just listed and I definitely plan on visiting them all.

Tribute to Hans Christian Anderson Character

One of my life goals is to get there and see the Little Mermaid Statue based on the story by Hans Christian Anderson. It’s an exact duplicate of the one in the Copenhagen harbor, I doubt I’ll ever see the original, but I’d love to see this one. It sits in a fountain (of course) in the town square in Kimballton, the twin town to Elkhorn.

What to See in Elkhorn

This video does a lovely job showing you everything there is to see around Elkhorn. The last two minutes discuss Danish food.

Surrounding Attractions

And if you should find yourself there, the other big things to see in the area (also not too far a drive off of I-80 – check distance first) are the town of antique stores in Walnut, Iowa and the giant Hereford bull Albert in Audubon, Iowa. Also, stop to see the library in Audubon and the tribute to the naturalist the town is named for in the town square.


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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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