Lehm Books & Gifts opened for the first time in April 1994 behind the Amana General Store. Jim and Wendy Keiper took over the business in September 1996. In September 2001, the business moved to the main street location in Amana. The business name comes from the German word “lehm” which means good soil because the previous owners were farmers as well as the current owners.
The brick portion of the building which the store is in was built in 1856. The wood section attached to the back of the building was added later. The house attached to the west was built in 1860. It was once called the “brick house kitchen”. Then it was the residence of the George Rettig family. Tiny Tim’s Colony Christmas was located in the building until September 2001.
When you enter Lehm Books & Gifts, you will be greeted by a warm and friendly staff to help you with your shopping experience. Are you looking for an out-of-the ordinary place to go and spend a quiet afternoon, searching for unique gifts for all of the special people in your life? Take your time and explore our two floors of merchandise. The relaxed atmosphere within the store and throughout the Amana Colonies will make you want to come back again to enjoy a fun day with family and friends.
We have a wide selection of items from books to gifts, collectibles to scrapbooking and more. We have something for everyone for all different ages.
The Amana Colonies
The Amana Colonies is a German settlement consisting of seven villages. The Community of True Inspiration first settled in New York State near Buffalo but moved west to live out their beliefs in a more isolated area. They started their life along the Iowa River and rich farm soil in 1855. They lived a self-sufficient, communal life for eighty years until the mid 1930s. Today, Amana is a major tourist attraction known for their shops, restaurants and wineries. The Amana Colonies have been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1965.
Surrounding Areas to Visit
Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City are also located close to the Amana Colonies. These cities are less than a 20-minute drive away.
If you like to shop, take a weekend with the girls to visit TangerOutlets in Williamsburg, Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, and of course the unique setting of shops in the Amana Colonies.
Visit Kalona to the south of us with their Amish specialty shops and attractions. Kalona is less than an hour’s drive away.