Pella Chronicle

May 6, 2013

Have You Seen It – New exhibit at Pella’s Historical Village

The Chronicle

Pella —

A new exhibit can now be found in the Heritage Hall in the Historical Village. 
After countless hours of research involving sleuthing through old documents, old photos and newspaper ads that go back to the earliest publications in Pella, Elaine Jaarsma and Sallie DeReus have put together an exhibit that gives a look back at the historic old businesses on Main Street. This is the second exhibit they have created of businesses in Pella. 
The first exhibit was The Businesses on Franklin Street. Putting together exhibits of this nature is like constructing a 1,000 piece puzzle. Nothing fits until you have gone to numerous sources of information to weed out the misinformation and verify what is fact. Along the way you find surprises that got lost in time. For instance, the numbering system along Main Street now starts with the 100 block at the very south end of Main Street where Pella Corporation is today. 
In the early days of Pella the 100 block started at Main and Franklin Streets and became North Main and South Main. The east side of the city square was the 100 block of North Main. The block on the south side of Franklin Street was the 100 block of South Main. As is the case today, businesses moved quite frequently which made it a nightmare at times to trace their movement.
A side benefit of the research involved in creating these exhibits has been the building of a computer data base that can be used in the future by scholars wanting to know more about early Pella businesses and their owners.
'When you have time, come and see the exhibit "Main Street Businesses". The historic old photos provide a fascinating look back at Pella history. Besides, your interest may provide the motivation for Elaine and Sallie to take on an exhibit of early Washington and Broadway Streets.