The Illinois Amish Heritage Center is enhancing the preservation, understanding, and appreciation of all aspects of the culture and heritage of the Amish people in Illinois from 1865 to the present. As of mid-2020, a capital campaign is underway to complete development of our 5-acre site east of Arthur, IL, which will include a museum/interpretive center, multiple restored Amish houses and barns, and an event space.
First created in 1994 as the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center located in Arthur, Illinois, the Center offered an introductory film to Amish life, exhibits on Amish heritage and culture, a gift shop, and Amish Country Tours of Amish homes, farms, businesses and meals in Amish homes.
In 2010, the Center was moved to Rockome Gardens and renamed The Illinois Amish Museum. The museum remained open at Rockome through 2014 when Rockome went up for sale. Rockome was purchased later that year and the new owner began implementation of a wildlife park. The Amish Museum was subsequently put into storage and the search for a new facility began.
In the year 2000, two historic Amish houses were saved from destruction and moved to a location behind Yoder's Kitchen in Arthur, Illinois. In 2014, plans had been made to move the houses to Rockome Gardens, $102,000 was raised, and a state tourism grant was written. The pending sale of Rockome and state budget problems put a hold on these plans.
In 2016, the IAHC secured five acres of land one mile west of Chesterville and three miles east of Arthur, Illinois to construct a museum building and Amish living history farm. The stored houses - known as the Yoder and Schrock Houses, were moved to this new ground. Restoration on the Schrock house is nearly complete, and the Yoder home is undergoing restoration.
Our development plan lays out a four year time table for the completion of this site, and we continue to engage the community and visitors with regular events and updates.