The History of Apple Haus
| Apple Haus Acres occupies part of a farmstead dating
back to the 1850s. Originally homesteaded by Fredrick W. Kroenlein
(1788-1875), a native of Saxony (Germany), the property passed to his daughter, Caroline (1831-1894), wife of
Jacob Kummer (1828-1908), who had immigrated from Switzerland. Thereafter, it descended in the Kummer
family (George, Sr., George, Jr., and Richard) who farmed and built several homes and buildings over a number of
generations. A family cemetery, where some of the Kroenleins and Kummers
are buried, is located on a hill about a quarter mile southeast of the
The farm originally ran north to the railroad tracks, but when US 6 was constructed, the Kummers traded land with the Amana Society and others so that all of their land would be on the south side of the highway. A current map clearly shows the cut-out of non-Amana land on the south side of the Amana Colonies where the original farm stood. Various parcels of the farm were sold over the years; the final 130 acres of the original Kroenlein-Kummer farm left the family in 2009.
The pegged-beam barn, built in the late 19th century, was torn down in 2010 by the new farm owners.
| A ten-acre parcel with the 1915 American four-square house
was separated from the farm in 1965 and sold to Tom and Marilyn Kessler.
The Kesslers raised four daughters here adding a large acreage barn in
1970. After their daughters left home, they opened a B&B
and began renting rooms in the main house. The Kesslers named the
establishment Bábi's (Czech for
grandmother) to honor Marilyn's ethnic heritage. They removed the original front
porch, built the current living room and expanded the original kitchen. About
1990, they converted the acreage barn into a guesthouse and began renting rooms
there as well. Marilyn died in 2000 and Tom continued to operate the
B&B until he sold the property to John and Ruth Kolp in 2002. The Kolps made improvements to the property including a remodeled kitchen and the installation of a beautiful brick patio and firepit at the rear of the property.
Ron and Allie Meyer purchased the bed & breakfast in November of 2013, renaming the business Apple Haus Bed & Breakfast and the property Apple Haus Acres. Ron's great grandmother Louise Leonhardt was born in Middle Amana on October 12, 1857. His great-great grandparents, Heinrich and Wilhelmine Leonhardt were born in Saxony, Germany. Heinrich and Wilhelmine are buried in the Middle Amana Cemetry.