On our recent trip through southeast Iowa we had to drop by the Dutchman’s Store in Cantril, Iowa. Not much is going on in Cantril that is not owned by the Zimmerman Brothers. One owns the Dutchman’s Store and another owns the local truck repair facility down the road.
On the drive down there were few cars on the road but, as is the case so many times with these out of the way destinations, the parking lot in front of the Dutchman’s Store was full and the store was even more packed. Where did all those people come from? This store takes up a nearly an entire side of the block comprising the main drag through town. The north end of the store offers a staggering selection of fabrics, (especially quilting fabrics,) toys, work clothes and boots, Amish-style hats and suspenders, housewares, and religious books and Bibles. It reminded me a bit of Wall Drug in South Dakota, though not quite as big and without the tourist niknaks and Wall Drug stickers.
We were a bit disappointed to find that not much is really locally produced. According to an old gent who sits watching from across the street most of the so-called Amish products were from Ohio or Pennsylvania. The owner isn’t Amish either but Mennonite, a difference lost on a lot of people. The clothing was not cheap and the prices on the food were not especially low, as you might expect from bulk purchasing. We were a bit put off by the threatening hand-written signs all over the place warning shoplifters: “If you steal, you steal from God. It is cheaper to pay our price than His.” Although another blog I found on the site talked about not taking any photos for fear of stealing their souls or something, I found the place to be replete with surveillance cameras, so I seriously doubt that they have any problem with me taking photos.
So, if you are curious about what the place has to offer, here are some photos.
17260 260th Street
Cantril, IA 52542-8008