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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Food and Lodging in the Amana Colonies

Rose's Place B&B
Where did I start my visit? Every adventure has a beginning and for the Amana Colonies, it's the movie at the Amana Heritage Center in downtown Amana. To fully appreciate the communities, it's important to understand the culture and heritage of this unique American experience. Check out my previous post at

I visited the old woolen mill and was amazed that equipment and designs from the 1800s are still used in the weaving process. Today the mill manufactures both wool and cotton products. Originally they only made wool products from the sheep they raised on their farms. I also visited the old general store in High Amana and loved that trip to yesteryear. I brought home some canned goods and we are still sampling them. I tasted the horseradish jelly, and had to buy some. It didn't sound good but I really like the combination of horseradish and sweet.

My room
I spent only one night but it whetted my appetite for a return visit. I stayed at a charming B&B, Rose's Place (, in Middle Amana. Owner Monys Hagen is as delightful as her accommodations. A retired history professor, she moved to Amana after several visits to do research for a book.

The four rooms of the B&B are on the second floor of this former schoolhouse. The inn is filled with antique furniture and books, including a German bible from the 1870s. (Be sure and ask Monys about baseball in the Amana Colonies.)

To enter, you walk past Monys' vegetable and flower garden. By the time I reached the door, I'd already succumbed to the property's charm. Monys was outside watering and her warm greeting made me feel welcome. She showed me to my room and I lagged behind glancing at all the antiques. She kept up a running commentary about the house and its furnishings. Each room is unique in its furniture and decorations.
Ox Yoke Inn

I left for a delicious dinner at the Ox Yoke Inn ( The experience met my every expectation. The meal, served family style, included dishes like my mother fixed. I ordered the fried chicken and enjoyed a moist breast along with corn, green beans, fried potatoes and several other delicious offerings. Of course, no meal can be complete without dessert and when our server brought out the dessert tray, I gave in to the chocolate pie. I met Bill Leichsenring Jr,, the owner, and discovered he is carrying on the family tradition, running the restaurant his parents opened in 1940.
Dessert Tray

When I returned to Rose's Place, Monys offered me a evening cordial, from an Amana winery. After a good night's sleep in a cozy bed, I was more than ready for the scrumptious Huevos Rancheros that Monys served. Over breakfast, she shared her story and her love of her new home. Time slipped away as I enjoyed the conversation and I found myself sorry to leave. I knew I wanted to return and learn more.

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