Inside An Iowa Amish Home (19 Photos)

This is an interesting Amish home. The outside looks like the home of a family in a plain or plain-ish community — but the inside suggests otherwise. The place is Bonaparte, Iowa (Van Buren County), a settlement of two church districts.

The exterior design of the home is a very simple boxy architectural look, which would coincide with plainer churches. Not too many design frills and details. Contrast this with the design of this Kentucky Amish home we looked at previously.

One note on the photo above: you can see on the left that the electricity meter is missing from the box on the telephone pole. This is a tell-tale sign of an Amish family living in a property that was once English.

However the home looks like it was built in an Amish style. Perhaps the property originally had a different home on it, which was then demolished to build something larger.

Going inside, the mud room when you enter looks rather plain. I’m not sure what the white appliance thing on the wall is. Some type of lantern hangs from the ceiling.

Further inside, the place reveals a simple but more “modern”, at least for the Amish, look. Here’s a view of the dining table and kitchen.

What do you think about this kitchen, especially compared to others we’ve seen recently? Pretty modern look, particularly the counter, sink fixture, and cabinets.

Nice view out the kitchen sink window of the barn. We’ll return to that in a minute.

Wall-mounted china cabinet.

Children’s play area.

This sitting room does have a classic item seen in the plainest homes – the hickory rocker.

But the room also has an upholstered chair, which would not be found in homes like the very plain Seymour, MO home or this Amish home in New York. The second rocker looks to be of a more sophisticated design as well.

Staircase.

Next, a bedroom with crib. Looks pretty cozy. The home has an unfinished look in places though, as you can see by the window here. This home was built in 2015, but listed less than two years later, so they might have never gotten around to the final touches.

Another angle in the same room, we can see the edge of what is probably an LED-type lamp with classic glass shade in a wolf motif. This home has four bedrooms. Is that another we see through the door?

Let’s take a look at the basement before heading outside. Here we can see benches in the basement for church. Also notice the retractable laundry lines.

I would guess the family timed the realtor photos to coincide with when their home would be looking its best — in other words following the traditional big cleaning before hosting church.

The clock on the wall will give the preachers a sense of timing as they progress through the typically three-hour Sunday service. Looks like an antler mount next to it.

Now outside for a look around. Here’s the porch, with a diesel engine to generate power. Easy access right outside the door. Though you probably wouldn’t want to plop down and try to relax next to it while it’s running.

This appears to be the entrance to the mud room we saw earlier. I’m guessing those are solar-powered lights on either side of the walkway.

Looking at the barn, we can just barely catch a glimpse of the buggy tucked away inside. Looks like an Indiana-style buggy.

And a flat wagon in the background of a small garden.

And here’s a small flower or herb garden and some sort of shed.

The listing says that this home was sold for $130,000 in 2018.

Looking at these photos of Amish homes, we can make some educated guesses about the people who live(d) in them. But of course we don’t get the whole story.

Why did this family decide to sell a freshly-built home? They couldn’t have outgrown it so quickly. What was their reason to move? A touch of mystery lingers around these listings.

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    13 Comments

    1. Inside An Iowa Amish Home.

      Possibly family problems are one reason why a family might move so soon after building a new to them home.

      I know a Mennonite family who were from Penna. who told me they moved to upstate New York owing to the mother-in-law causing problems in the family.

      The family finally decided they just couldn’t handle the mother-in-law any longer, and upped, and moved to upstate New York from near Lancaster, Penna.

      Again, this is Mennonites, but I could see the same event happening with Amish.

      1. Good point and I guess that sort of problem could happen in just about any family, Plain or not. Though it might surprise some to learn that Amish family members don’t all necessarily get along, that goes a bit against the idealized picture of the Amish.

      2. Moving

        They also move if they dont fit into the community. In laws interference also.In Old Order Amish EVERYONE is under the microscope, especially if you try to bend the rules.This came from a OO that is breaking away to “ENGLISH “

    2. C Dale Bannon

      White Appliance - Mud Room

      This appliance appears to be a two burner kerosene kitchen stove. Each burner is a self contained burner with fuel tank. The structure itself is designed to hold these two burners so that a “top of the stove” is created for easy cooking. I believe this stove was an “early on” fixture in the kitchen but has now been relegated to the mud room because it has been replaced by something “more modern,” such as propane.

      1. Thanks for the sharp-eyed answer on that and your suggestion on the possibly history of this device. This might be used for canning in that case.

    3. C Dale Bannon

      Front Porch

      Note that the siding of the building has been “framed out” in anticipation of a much larger front porch to be attached to the building. The current front porch is just a temporary thing allowing for only entry and egress.

      1. I see it now that you pointed it out. They might have been waiting for the budget space to finish it up. This reminded me of young Amish families who might live in a “shop house” before the main home gets built, literally the workshop or some other storage structure which serves as a temporary home.

    4. C Dale Bannon

      Fuel Oil Tank?

      Where the mud room joins the main building, a “cubby hole” was created and where a tank of sorts has been established. My guess is that tank may be for fuel oil for a furnace.

      1. That’s funny, I didn’t notice that either until you pointed it out. It looks to be a milk tank. Converted to another use? I’ve never seen one outdoors like that.

        1. C Dale Bannon

          Fuel Oil Tank?

          I modify my comment. This milk tank is more likely serving as part of the water supply system to the house. Photos taken in the basement show drain pipes and possibly water feed lines from and to the first floor.

    5. Maryann Sullivan

      Iowa Amish home

      What a beautiful home!

    6. Iowa Amish Home

      I am very surprised that there aren’t any railings or banisters at the stairs.

      1. C Dale Bannon

        Stair Railings/Bannisters

        I have noticed that “young folk” don’t think about such things. They are still invincible. They still have perfect balance. They take the steps two at a time. Railings and bannisters will come later.