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ROAD TRIPPIN': Kalona Historic Village

This train depot was the first building to be placed at the Kalona Historic Village. Photo: Joe Huisinga (CBS2/FOX28)

The Kalona Historic Village got its start in the late 1960’s as the rail road was tearing up their unused track through town.

“They also owned all of the depots within each town and so of course they were going to tear down the depot that was located down on A Avenue,” says Nancy Roth, Managing Director for the Historic Village.

However, a local women's group didn't want to see the building scrapped so they bought it for a dollar and moved it to some donated property.

“It just seems like once the depot got relocated other little buildings started appearing,” says Roth.

There are more than a dozen buildings that have been moved to the site that range from one room cabins to a beautiful church; they all preserve a piece of Iowa’s past.

A beautiful Victorian home stands as the first hotel in the area used for people traveling by stage coach.

“It actually was the halfway point between Oskaloosa and Iowa City,” says Roth.

Each building is loaded with history and many have audio messages you can that will teach you more at the push of a button.

As you explore the buildings you can also explore the history of a religious culture at the Iowa Mennonite Museum and Archives that shares the grounds.

“They wanted to preserve the story of how the Mennonites and Amish settled in the area and is just to preserve some of their family history,” says Mary Lou Farmer, Co-director of the Iowa Mennonite Museum.

The exhibits inside give a unique look at home, work and religious life that helped define the area’s history.

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