On The Perfect Side Of The Road

Sarah Walker Gorrell
2 min readAug 29, 2022

Sat the Historic and often-visited old church

The Little Brown Church in the Vale, Nashua, Iowa — Photo by Author

Mike (my Significant Other) likes to go for rides and “see the country.” I’m one of those who would rather drive than ride, so we’re often a perfect combination.

We had gone to an early church service in his little town of Readlyn, Iowa, so it was a perfect Sunday to take off on another unplanned adventure. There wasn’t much of a breeze, but just enough to have the tall corn wave to us as we drove along the not-too-busy highway. Off in the distance, we could see the blades of a few wind farms slowly rotating and creating power.

We had chosen to head north on Highway 63. Zipping by us were cars with Minnesota license plates, and we were only about 100 miles from Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

We had no location in mind. We were just out for a Sunday drive to escape the boredom of another Sunday as “couch potatoes” or glued to our iPads or computers.

Mike saw the sign for Nashua, Iowa, and the historic “Little Brown Church,” and even though we’d seen it several times, this just seemed like the perfect spot. Driver and car are both accustomed to his quick decisions, so turn, we did!

He was also scanning the Atlas in his lap to see where our next stop might be!

We drove through the rolling countryside with cornfields on one side and bean fields on the other, past beautifully kept lawns.

The road sign for Nashua appeared, and as we rounded the curve, there it sat, and the quote on the front steps so perfectly stated, “let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man” by Sam Fosse.

The Little Brown Church, built in 1860–1864, is still used today with Sunday services. It is also available for weddings; over 75,000 couples have said their vows in the beautiful old church.

The hymn “The Church in the Wildwood” was written by Dr. William Pitts in 1856 and is used in many Protestant churches today.

The yards and gardens around the church are manicured and well-kept. In a side yard of the church stands an old tree stump that has begun to see the hands of time. The Praying Hands, created at the top by a talented carver, remind visitors of what the Little Brown Church stands for.

As we sat in the car after our visit, we knew a greater power than us had decided where our journey had led us on this day.

Sarah Walker Gorrell

A Freelance writer, blogger, and author who writes about anything and everything — news articles, family, cemeteries, or the antics of two Pomeranians!