Elk Horn Iowa holds a treasure chest of Danish history and the French Scent hounds took in some of it. We had to exit the highway to see this windmill that is advertised along the highway for miles. Little did we know there is even more to see there! Because we had a schedule, we were only able to stop at one place. Next time we are in the area we plan to see more of what this town has to offer.
Elk Horn and Kimballton are home to the largest rural Danish settlement in the USA. These two Danish towns have around a thousand people with Danish heritage, many dating back to the settlers in the early 1900’s.
We found this adorable Danish tiny church. It is really just the right size for me and Olivia. This little chapel was built in 1951 by real Danish people and is now located at the Elk Horn Welcome Center. We like how our reflections show up in the glass that covers the entry.
Are your paws are tired from exploring all the Danish stuff? Feel free to have a seat on the Danish flag bench. Isn’t it a cool idea for painting a bench?
We found this house with a grass roof near the windmill. It isn’t exactly Danish, but it is Scandinavian. It’s name is, VikingHjem, which means a Viking house. It sure doesn’t look very fancy to us, and the grass roof seems kind of silly. I wonder if our lawn boy would mow our roof if it was grass? This house is actually a home for middle to upper class Vikings with servants. We think it would barely be large enough for a dog house! Times change things I guess.
Finally, we have the jewel of Elk Horn Iowa, the windmill. Isn’t it beautiful? This windmill was actually built in 1848. For the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, the Danes shipped it to Elk Horn. At the time it was falling apart and it took a long time to get it put back together in working order. This is the last windmill ever shipped to the US. The Danish people now have a law against shipping windmills out of Denmark. It is now the only real, working Danish windmill in the USA.
This sign has some interesting information on windmill history in the US. If you are passing by the Elk Horn exit on a road trip one day, you should stop and have a look at this windmill and take in some Danish history.
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