Preserving the heritage and culture of the Illinois Amish.
The IAHC preserves two historic Amish houses including the oldest Amish house in Illinois, the 1865 Moses Yoder house. Future plans include an Amish living history farm and a 10,000 square foot museum center that includes state-of-the-art museum exhibits on Illinois Amish heritage and culture. The mission of the IAHC is to enhance the preservation, understanding, and appreciation of all aspects of the culture and heritage of the Amish people in Illinois from 1865 to the present.
The 1865 Moses Yoder House is the oldest Amish House in Illinois. It and the Schrock House had been in storage behind Yoder's Kitchen for over 15 years. On September 20, 2016, both the Yoder and Schrock houses were moved to the new location just west of Chesterville. The Yoder house was moved a short distance by a team of eight Amish Horses.
The Daniel Schrock house was built in 1882. It has unusual two-story porches typical of Somerset County in Pennsylvania where Schrock immigrated from. Above, the Schrock house is shown arriving at the new Amish Heritage Site on September 20, 2016. The Schrock house is currently under restoration and will be open for tours at the Steam Threshing event on July 21-22.
The Illinois Amish Heritage Center will be a five acre facility centered around the Moses Yoder living historical farm and a 14,000 square foot museum facility that features state-of-the-art exhibits on Illinois Amish heritage and culture.
2nd Annual steam threshing show
The threshing process will be done using antique farming equipment, including a 1924 steam tractor and threshing machine made by the Keck-Gonnerman Company of Mt. Vernon,
Indiana. Other antique and vintage agricultural equipment will also be on display, including a 1954 Massey Harris model 44 tractor owned by Sam Miller, a 1931 John Deere D owned by
George Kauffman, and many other antique tractors. Farm equipment demonstrations will feature a John Deere stationary hay baler, old engines and steam engines, a grist mill, field
demonstrations of plowing and disking, with Belgian horses and the old methods of threshing grain by hand with flails and a fanning mill. Blacksmithing will also be demonstrated, as well as goat milking and butter churning. All demonstrations will be “learn abouts” as they will be
accompanied by explanations of the processes.
Left is a video of binding wheat at the Illinois Amish Heritage Center held on June 21, 2017 in preparation for the Steam Threshing Show. The antique binder bundles the wheat into sheaves that are tied with binder twine. Eleven sheaves are then stacked into a shock that is allowed to dry in the field for about 10 days.