Amana Colonies - A Tour Through Time

August 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Our first "primary" destination on this journey through the upper-midwest is Amana Colonies in Iowa.  Amana, which means "believe faithfully", was established by the religious group Community of True Inspiration, with origins in Germany.  The people of what wound up being seven towns, all led a communal life from its establishment around the mid 1800's til 1932. 

Of course, we loved the architecture, and this abandoned home in South Amana was one of the first things to catch Kathy's lens.  Hover over the photos for more information or click the photo to go to the Amana Gallery. 

South Amana, IA - Hidden House-2South Amana, IA - Hidden House-2A window in a house hidden by trees and foliage in South Amana, Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. South Amana, IA - Hidden House-3South Amana, IA - Hidden House-3 South Amana, IA - Hidden House-4South Amana, IA - Hidden House-4 South Amana, IA - Hidden House-5South Amana, IA - Hidden House-5This abandoned home in South Amana caught our eye and Kathy's lens. South Amana, IA - Hidden HouseSouth Amana, IA - Hidden House

The town of Homestead was purchased by the True Insprirationists of the Amana Colonies for it's access to the railroad. 

Homestead - BuildingHomestead - BuildingBuilding in Homestead, Iowa, part of Amana Colonies. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Homestead, IA - Henrys Village Market-2Homestead, IA - Henrys Village Market-2Henry's Village Market in Homestead still offers flavors of the colonies farmland. Homestead - Cider MillHomestead - Cider Mill Homestead, IA - Iowa Interstate RailroadHomestead, IA - Iowa Interstate Railroad

Oops, here's another of that abandoned home in South Amana

South Amana, IA -Hidden House-windowSouth Amana, IA -Hidden House-window

It's not all abandoned there though.

South Amana, IA - Gifts & Quilts StoreSouth Amana, IA - Gifts & Quilts StorePhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

West Amana had this cool tractor museum.  

West Amana, IA - Barn & Tractor MuseumWest Amana, IA - Barn & Tractor Museum

Kathy browsed the General Store in High Amana for quite a while

High Amana, IA - General StoreHigh Amana, IA - General StorePhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. High Amana, IA - General Store Interior-3High Amana, IA - General Store Interior-3General Store Interior in High Amana, Iowa, one of the villages of the Amana Colonies. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. High Amana, IA - General Store Interior - 2High Amana, IA - General Store Interior - 2General Store Interior in High Amana, Iowa, one of the villages of the Amana Colonies. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. High Amana, IA - General Store InteriorHigh Amana, IA - General Store InteriorGeneral Store Interior in High Amana, Iowa, one of the villages of the Amana Colonies. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The church in Middle Amana

Middle Amana, IA - ChurchMiddle Amana, IA - ChurchPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Barn in West Amana

West Amana, IA - BarnWest Amana, IA - BarnPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The mill race in Amana behind the historic Mill.

Amana - Mill RaceAmana - Mill RaceBuilt between 1865 and 1869, this mill race runs seven miles to the Iowa River, providing waterpower to the Amana Colonies mills. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The Amana Rail Depot near the mill. 

Amana, IA - Railroad DepotAmana, IA - Railroad DepotThe old railroad depot in Amana, Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The Heritage Museum is worth a stop to see the history in photos and more. 

Amana - Heritage MuseumAmana - Heritage MuseumThe Heritage Museum in Amana gives visitors a great history, photographs and displays of Amana Communal life. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The historic Woolen Mill in operation since 1855. 

Amana - Woolen MillAmana - Woolen MillThe Amana Woolen Mill has been in operation since 1855 and continues to operate today. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

A wash house behind the Heritage Museum in Amana

Amana - Heritage Museum Wash House - 2Amana - Heritage Museum Wash House - 2A Wash house outside the Heritage Museum in Amana Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Amana - Heritage Museum Wash HouseAmana - Heritage Museum Wash HouseA Wash house outside the Heritage Museum in Amana Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The Wash House has an Outhouse... inside the Wash House.

Amana, IA - Heritage Museum Wash house OuthouseAmana, IA - Heritage Museum Wash house OuthouseA Wash house outside the Heritage Museum also houses an outhouse... inside the wash house. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Lily Lake between Middle Amana and Amana was formed in a levee break in 1880.

Middle Amana - Lily LakeMiddle Amana - Lily LakeThe well-known Lily Lake between Amana and Middle Amana was formed about 1880 when a break in the Mill Race levee flooded a low slough area. The lake derives its name from the thousands of yellow American lotus lilies which bloom across the 170-acre lake in the summertime, for which it has become famous.

Yep, those Amana washers and dryers made right here in Middle Amana. 

Middle Amana - Whirlpool PlantMiddle Amana - Whirlpool PlantYep, those Amana washer and dryers from Whirlpool are built here.

Meanwhile, if you have a taste for the finer things in life, Amana is a great stop

Amana - Ackerman WineryAmana - Ackerman WineryAckerman Winery in Amana Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Oh, did we get enough barns?  No, let's make sure to get this one in East Amana

East Amana, IA - BarnsEast Amana, IA - BarnsPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Overall we had a great time in Amana, parking our travel trailer at the Amana RV Park just outside of town.  You can read more about the great history of how Amana Colonies came to be on our Travel Blog HERE.  We are heading into some pretty dry "data/internet" area's next (McGregor Iowa, Pikes Peak State Park), so our next update may be a few days.  Click on the photos above to go to our Amana Gallery. 


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