We are located in Homestead, one of the seven villages of the Amana Colonies, an historic German settlement with religious roots – originally named the Community of True Inspiration.
The village of Homestead was not included in the original purchase by the Amana settlers who came from New York State in the 1855. The railroad came through Homestead and the Amana settlers very quickly – and wisely – realized that this was a strategic spot. They needed to have full access to it in order to be able to ship their goods, such as the woolen fabrics, back east.
They contacted the church elders, still back east in New York, to request their permission to purchase the village of Homestead.
Communication being as slow as it was back then, by the time word came back saying, “No, we don’t think you should make the purchase,” the Iowa settlers had already done so!
This building, that is now Die Heimat Country Inn, was erected in 1856. It was a stagecoach stop first. Later it was a communal kitchen; one of more than 60 throughout the 7 villages, where food was served to 35-40 people three times daily, plus a morning and an afternoon break. Later the building was a private residence.
In the early 1960’s, the building was purchased by two men who turned it into a place of lodging that continues to this day. These gentlemen spent a great deal of time and effort redesigning the place. When they were finished, the inn had nineteen guest rooms and quarters for the innkeeper. It is difficult to make a direct translation for the name “Die Heimat.” It means “the home place” but it goes deeper than that; it means “the place of my roots” or “our homeland.” It was called a “motor inn” in the early days; coffee and donuts were served in the morning, a precursor to the full breakfast being served today.
Since then there have been several owners, one of whom was Jim Lloyd, a radio broadcaster for WMT radio in Cedar Rapids. His cooking program was broadcast from the inn. Over the years owners have upgraded the facility, removing many of the 1960s fittings. They have worked steadily at this project, striving to improve the overall appearance and at the same time maintain the simple Amana style of decor as much as possible.
Current owners, Marc and June Hershberger, purchased Die Heimat in the summer of 2014. They have upgraded the building and created a simple, yet beautiful and comfortable space for their guests. Marc and June welcome you to visit and become part of the rich history of Die Heimat Country Inn.