Homestead is unlike the other Amana villages (established from 1856 to 1862) because settlers had arrived there prior to it being purchased by the Inspirationists. In 1860, knowing that plans called for the Rock Island Railroad to pass through Homestead, the Amana Society purchased the town of Homestead in order to gain access for shipping the many goods produced by the community. The railroad became instrumental in the economic life of the Amana Colonies, and especially for importing wool and exporting textiles.
One building that existed at the time of the Homestead purchase now makes up part of Die Heimat Country Inn. In later years, this building served as a communal kitchen house, run first by the Zscherny family and later as a dwelling by the Layer family. Local tradition suggests that prior to its use as a kitchen house, it was used as a hotel for early travelers.
The Die Heimat Country Inn is located at 4430 V St., in Homestead. Today, it still serves the Colonies' visitors as a quaint bed and breakfast, Die Heimat Country Inn. Call 319-622-3937 for further information.