Little Brown Church LbNA # 43618 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Sep 27 2008|
UPDATE: I'm afraid this box is gone for good. Thanks to the letterboxer who let me know that (depressingly) the giant willow tree has been cut down. I'm not in the state of Iowa anymore, so can't find a new hiding place. But I do really encourage you to check out the Little Brown Church. It's just a lovely spot!
The Little Brown Church in the Vale is one of the most wonderful places I've ever been. Walking through the church doors is like stepping through a portal in time and returning to days gone by. It is a quintessential example of a simple country church. But I'm not the only one who thinks this is a neat spot. Thousands of visitors pay their respects to this historic site each year, and especially interesting, there are hundreds of weddings performed there annually. There have been over 72,000 weddings performed at the Little Brown Church since it was built in the 1880's. Perhaps the most endearing part of this place is not a tangible thing at all, but the famous hymn that describes it, which was written completely independently from the church's creation. This is an amazing story. Go the church's website to find out more....
Bring your own ink.
Level of terrain difficulty: super easy
Time required after parking: 5-10 minutes (not including time to explore)
Take Highway 346 east out of Nashua. Go past the fairgrounds and the junkyard. Just around a dramatic curve, you'll see the brown church on the left side of the road. There is parking across the road, as well as on the north side of the church.
The church is left unlocked during daylight hours. Pass through the vestibule and back in time to have a seat in the congregation. Look up the hymn #367, and enjoy the historic words that describe the scenic place where you are.
In most hymnals that include this great anthem, there are usually just four verses. However, over the years, the song has been sung, performed, and recorded with a variety of other additional verses from time to time. Charlie Pride, famed country music star of the last 30-40 years, recorded one such verse. To listen, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R3LDJc7O8Q. Pride's extra verse speaks of "one that I love so well. She sleeps, sweetly sleeps 'neath the willow". This buried loved one is simply an artistic invention in his recording of the song, but the tree itself is actually real. You can see it yourself!
Venture back outside and find this sacred spot. Exiting the sanctuary, turn left and find the graceful willow north/northwest of the church between the woods and the parking area. The letterbox is perched in the crook of its arms.