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Nashua, Iowa: Little Brown Church in the Vale

Location inspired the religious hymn "Church in the Wildwood," which mentions a "Little brown church in the vale." Small replica of church. Souvenirs for sale.

2730 Cheyenne Ave., Nashua, IA
About 2.5 hours south of St. Paul. One mile east of Nashua on State Hwy 346. Many navigation systems will misdirect you onto a gravel road south of the church. The church is located directly on State Hwy 346, not on a gravel road.
Dawn to sundown. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Little Brown Church in the Vale

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Little Brown Church in the Vale

You can go inside the Little Brown Church in the Vale and ring the bell.

[Beckie and Jeremy, 07/29/2022]
Little Brown Church in the Vale

There are weddings there most days of the week, so don't be surprised to find plenty of activity at the church if you visit.

[Jason Rude, 08/16/2017]

Little Brown Church on the Vale.

Little Brown Church in the Vale

The church is in a wooded area and sits on a county highway. The location inspired the hymn "Church in the Wildwood," which references a "Little Brown Church in the Vale." When the song was written, the church wasn't built, and only by coincidence did the church that inspired the song actually get painted brown. There are several smaller models of the church inside, along with history of the area from the period it was built (1860-1864).

The church still has an active congregation. There is parking directly in front, and restrooms available for visitors. Across the county highway, you can find more parking, a shelter house, and a small replica of the church. The doors and windows don't open, which greatly disappointed my young son, but there's a nice ledge for more photographic opportunities.

The Little Brown Church isn't above capitalism, as there is a whole section of items with the church on them for sale.

[Melinda Bryan, 04/01/2011]
Little Brown Church in the Vale

This small quaint church located about 15 minutes outside of Charles City, Iowa, is on the site that inspired William S. Pitts to write his famous hymn, "The Little Brown Church in the Vale." Located in a marvelous clearing in the woods of Northern Iowa, this church is a popular place for weddings. Nashua, Iowa is about an hour south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

[Timothy Rodriguez, 02/08/2004]

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