The George Kraus House
The George Kraus house, built about 1864, was presented to the historical society in 1969 by John Kraus Sr., the son of the colony’s shoemaker George Kraus, and his two sons John Jr. and George Kraus.
This typical colony home, constructed in the board and batten style from wood cut at the saw mill, was lived in by members of the Kraus family from 1879 to the mid 1960’s. When it was donated to the historical society the house was moved two blocks to the museum complex and dedicated to the Kraus family.
Strong evidence suggests that members of the Giesy family lived in this house during the 1860’s and 1870’s. George Kraus’ wife Elizabeth was the daughter of John Giesy, an astute administrator of colony business relationships with non-members. While it is not known for certain, oral tradition also says that Emma Wagner Giesy also lived in the house for some time. The house is furnished entirely with artifacts from the Aurora Colony, the vast majority having been donated by the Kraus family.