A tiny church in northeast Iowa’s Chickasaw County, known around the globe for being a wedding spot, is marking its 150th anniversary. The Little Brown Church in the Vale has been the setting for more than 72,000 weddings, with 60,000 tourists visiting the Nashua landmark each year. Reverend Linda Myren says she’s expecting many couples to return this weekend (Aug 6-7) as part of the church’s marriage reunion. Couples will renew their wedding vows. Usually couples who’ve been married 50 years or more can sit inside the church in the air conditioning but they ran out of room last year. This year, those married at least 55 years can sit inside. Myren says they’re looking for small photos of any couple married at the church. They’re creating a big collage and so far have gotten pictures from as far back as 1917 and as recently as last week. Myren says the number of weddings performed each year at the church has dropped off somewhat. Myren says people from all over the world still come to Nashua to get married at the Little Brown Church. She says a couple coming in soon is from California. The bride’s grandparents were married in the church 65 years ago and they’ll be attending the wedding — and ringing the bell afterwards as they did back in 1940. She’s had couples fly in from as far away as Germany and Australia too. The church was made famous by the song “The Church in the Wildwood” by William Pitts. The Weatherwax Brothers made the song popular in the early 1900s. The tiny church still has many of its original features, including pews made of pine and walnut, brass lamps that once burned oil and an organ with a worn-out pedal. For more information, surf to “www.littlebrownchurch.org” or call 641-435-2027.
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