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Nearby History

Melpine Country School
If you are one of the lucky ones who has attended or taught
at a one room rural  school or are just interested in schools, visit Melpine Country School.  It is in Wild Cat Den State Park just a few feet from Pine Creek Mill.  Iowa state law required that a country school be built within two miles of each student, thus each county was dotted with these small one room schools. All the grades were taught together by a single teacher in one room. 

Melpine School was moved from its original location and completely restored to its 1920ís appearance by the Friends of Melpine School.  Inside you will find the desks, books and teaching aids just as they were in the past.  Lots of pictures of rural Muscatine County students and teachers and books containing school records, teacher contracts and souvenir booklets and much more. One can also ring the big school bell. 

Park staff opens Melpine School occasionally during the summer.  Check the millís Facebook page for dates and times. To make it more special, pack a picnic lunch and bring the grandchildren. Present them with your special history lesson of the good old days when life was slower.

Old Stone Church
ís Old Stone Church is a fully restored historic
church built by the Countyís early settlers. In 1867 a group of pioneers of German heritage needed a place of worship for their Methodist Episcopal congregation. Their faith was such that they hand quarried the stone near Pine Creek and built the church themselves. 

Today the Old Stone Church is fully restored and is available for weddings, meetings and family events. The church is non-denominational and is owned by the Friends of the Old Stone Church a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

It is open for visitors and personal worship on Sunday mornings from 10AM to 12 noon during the summer if not booked for a wedding.

For more information contact:
Mr. John Scott, President
Phone: 563-299-8205
Email: jscott@machlink.com
Web Page: www.oldstonechurch.us


Log cabin
A short walk from the parking lot will take you to another bit of local history. A few years ago a neighbor tore down an out building and found a log cabin hidden under the siding. He protected it and donated it to Friends of the Mill. The neighbor adjacent to Wildcat Den donated land for the cabin. Tree ring analysis found that the cabin was built in the middle 1850s.  Volunteers have completed moving and rebuilding the cabin. 
The cabin contains many items that give visitors an idea of what the inside of a cabin might have looked like in the 1850ís.  It is now a unique part of our interpretation program. 

Pine Creek Bridge
The 1878 bridge is one of the most visited spots in the park. 
Itís the place to come if you enjoy a beautiful view, the sound
of rippling water, or just the quiet of nature. The mill and the bridge are both on the National Register of Historic Places.   

Itís more than a rusty old bridge on a quiet stream.  Prior to the construction of the bridge residents had to ford Pine Creek
near the mill or travel far to the north to cross the creek.  The lack of a bridge not only hindered travel for the residents of
the township, it also badly hindered access to the mill.   

The residents and mill owner Hermann Huchendorf petitioned the Muscatine County Supervisors requesting that a bridge be built over Pine Creek at the mill.  A bridge could ordered right of the supplierís catalog.  The bridge would be delivered by rail and simply bolted together at the site.


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Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill
Wildcat Den State Park
1884 Wildcat Den Road
Muscatine, Iowa 52761-9479