Jens Jensen

Europe in the Midwest

Europe in the Midwest

Long-ago immigrants to the United States sought reminders of home and hopes for prosperity in New World landscapes. Within the Midwest are small towns with big pride in their ethnic heritage. These places, population 3,500 or fewer, flaunt and invest in their cultural roots, as others homogenize or disappear with the passage of time.

Here are some of those charming cultural islands:

Elk Horn, Iowa

Population 662

"Danmark pa Praerien" ("Denmark on the Prairie") is the name that Danish filmmakers gave their one-hour documentary on this village in 2013.

Next to cornfields at the outskirts of town is the Museum of...