"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Monday, July 10, 2017

Amana Colonies, Iowa

We hit the road again this past Friday.  Made our way to Washington, Missouri by Saturday afternoon, and the home of some good friends from Casita land.  We parked in their driveway for the night, and had a wonderful evening out with them.  We started at a winery with lively entertainment while we shared a couple of bottles of wine.  From there it was on to a beverage deck overlooking the Missouri River.  That was climaxed by a wonderful late dinner in an old hotel just a block from the river.

Sunday morning we said our goodbye’s and headed North once again.  We planned to visit the Amana Colonies for a couple of days.  The Amana history goes back almost 300 years.  Arriving in America from Germany in 1842, they set out to secure a place to live and worship as they wanted.  Communal living was the backbone of their way of life.  Seven villages, all within a few miles of each other, were where the people lived, worked, and worshipped.  They owned something like 26000 acres of prime farmland, and were a self sufficient population with grain and woolen mills, and every trade required at the time.  Everyone lived communally, sharing in the wealth or hardship.

All that came to an end in 1932, when Amana abandoned the communal system due to economic and social pressures.  They became the Amana Society, which encouranged their members to work for wages, own homes, and take advantage of other opportunities.

I took some pictures, but nothing orderly.  These include the meeting house where they worshiped, a communal kitchen, barns, etc.

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Found it interesting that each headstone gave the date of death, and age.

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One of the most fascinating things I stumbled upon was the Barn Museum in South Amana. An old barn houses a collection of miniature buildings beyond belief.  Built accurately to a scale of 1 inch=1 foot one man recreated villages, homes, farmsteads, etc. 

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Even a souther mansion, Belle-Helene plantation.

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The interior details are there, also. Notice the posts and beams inside the barn?

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The simple tool he used to build it all.

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Amazing crafsmanship.  Check out his story at www.barnmuseum.com….jc


  1. Thanks for the show and tell. I got their info a few weeks ago. We are wanting to go in the fall.

    Tell me how was their camp ground?

  2. What a magnificent display of craftsmanship at the Barn Museum...The detail is unreal. Thanks for sharing...hope its not as hot there as here in south Texas...safe travels and more "history lessons"...please. Horst sends

  3. The Barn Museum is amazing. The craftsmanship and attention to the intricate details is stunning. Thanks for sharing and for the interesting information about the Amana Colonies.


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