Monday, March 17, 2014

Livin' It Up In Orange City, Iowa

I am in Orange City, Iowa (population 6000) today where I am doing some work with the History Department at Northwestern College.  I don't think I have ever been to Iowa before, but so far I am enjoying the small town atmosphere here in the northwestern corner of the state--a region settled by Dutch immigrants in the 1870s.  This region is home to two colleges with Dutch-Reformed roots.  Northwestern is affiliated with the Reformed Church of America and nearby Dordt College is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church.

As I walk around campus here at Northwestern, and drive through the town of Orange City, I can't help but think that this is yet another manifestation of the "rural Enlightenment."  Northwestern is an excellent liberal arts college with an impressive history department.

I wish I had more time to explore Orange City.  It is definitely remote. (Although I realize that "remote" is a relative term).  I flew into Sioux Falls, South Dakota and drove about 90 minutes to town.  I am staying at the local Super 8, the only motel in Orange
City.  When I arrived at about 11:30CT last night the door to the hotel was locked and the key to my room was left under the mat!  This morning I had a good laugh about it with the owner of the hotel.  Welcome to northwest Iowa!

This morning before my first meeting I drove around town a bit.  So far my favorite site in town is the windmill-shaped building that serves as the town's chamber of commerce. 

I could get used to this place.