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Little Brown Church in the Vale

2730 Cheyenne Ave (Highway 346), Nashua, IA 50658
Little Brown Church in the Vale
Annual Wedding Reunion

Open Daily - Dawn to Dusk, all year long.
This little building can fit a whole lot of love. More than 73,000 couples have tied the knot in this historic church!
Charming and picturesque, the Little Brown Church was built in 1860 at a time when Iowa was the wild frontier. The town located here was named Bradford and had trading stores, a post office, grist mills furniture manufacturers and a saw mill that ran both night and day to keep up with the demand for lumber. Community members met in many places to worship (the local school, Thomas' Store, private homes and even a sheep shed) until Joseph Bird offered to give some of his land lots for the building of a church.  The limestone was quarried nearby and timber was used that lay damaged from a recent cyclone. Construction began in 1860 but took four years because of the Civil War.

In 1857, three years prior to the building of the Little Brown Church, music teacher William Pitts visited the town of Bradford. Enamored with the Cedar Valley, and especially struck by the prairie and woodland of Joseph Bird's land, Pitts was moved to write a song. Published in the winter of 1963-64 and dedicated to a church that Pitts had never seen, nor imagined would actually be built, the song was titled "The Church in the Wildwood." It became the signature song for the Little Brown Church and is still played today, a musical reminder that this place in the valley has always held a special slant of light and vibrant joy of spirit. 

Visit to read more about the church history, resident minister and marriage renewal ceremony. Everyone is welcome to attend the Sunday worship service held at 10:30am. Tours of the church are offered to individual groups and Motor Coach Tours. 

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