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Part of the Christmas Room - Picture of Amana Colonies National Historic Landmark

Among gently sloping farmland in east-central Iowa lies a distinctive community called the Amana Colonies. Comprised of seven villages on 26, acres, the villages were built and settled by German Pietists who were persecuted in their homeland and sought refuge in the United States in Today, their buildings and businesses still stand as a testament to those religious refugees, open to tourists who want an authentic German meal at one of the restaurants, or to sample craft goods, antiques or meats and cheeses from the various shops.

One such person is Production Specialist Rick Raue, who has worked there for 26 years. His wife also works there as an inspector. Raue has experienced the evolution of the plant over the years. We have robots now where we used to do things manually, and we have other machines that have added more automation to the process. A love for the work he does and the people has kept him there.

Inspirationists attended worship services 11 times a week; their quiet worship punctuating the days. Over 50 communal kitchens provided three daily meals; as well as a midmorning and mid-afternoon snack to all Colonists. These kitchens were operated by the women of the Colony and well supplied by the village smokehouse, bakery, ice house and dairy, and by huge gardens, orchards and vineyards maintained by the villagers.

Children attended school, six days a week, year-round until the age of Boys were assigned jobs on the farm or in the craft shops, while girls were assigned to a communal kitchen or garden. A few boys were sent to college for training as teachers, doctors and dentists.

The Amana People: The History of a Religious Community by Peter Hoehnle

A ruinous farm market and changes in the rural economy contributed, but what finally propelled the change was a strong desire on the part of residents to maintain their community. By , the communal way of life was seen as a barrier to achieving individual goals, so rather than leave or watch their children leave, they changed. They established the Amana Society, Inc. Private enterprise was encouraged.

The Amana Church was maintained.


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Declared a National Historic Landmark in , the Amana Colonies attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually all of whom come to see and enjoy a place where the past is cherished and where hospitality is a way of life. Evocative of another age, the streets of the Amana Colonies with their historic brick, stone and clapboard homes, their flower and vegetable gardens, their lanterns and walkways recall Amana yesterday.

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But a vibrant community, celebrating both its past and its future, is here today for you to experience. The residents of the Colonies live a contemporary lifestyle — you will not see horse-drawn buggies. Both groups sought isolated, sparsely populated areas with adequate economic opportunities, to preserve and develop their respective separatist communities. Men and women were assigned jobs by their village council of brethren. No one received a wage. No one needed one.

Farming and the production of wool and calico supported the community, but village enterprises, everything from clock making to brewing, were vital; and well-crafted products became a hallmark of the Amanas.

Religions in Iowa

Craftsmen took special pride in their work as a testament of both their faith and their community spirit. Up before dawn, called to work by the gentle tolling of the bell in the village tower, the unhurried routine of life in old Amana was paced very differently than today. Amana churches, located in the center of each village, built of brick or stone, have no stained glass windows, no steeple or spire, and reflect the ethos of simplicity and humility.

Inspirationists attended worship services 11 times a week; their quiet worship punctuating the days. Over 50 communal kitchens provided three daily meals; as well as a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to all Colonists.


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These kitchens were operated by the women of the Colony. They were well supplied by the village smokehouse, bakery, ice house and dairy, by huge gardens, orchards and vineyards maintained by the villagers.

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Children attended school, six days a week, year-round until the age of Boys were assigned jobs on the farm or in the craft shops, while girls were assigned to a communal kitchen or garden. A few boys were sent to college for training as teachers, doctors and dentists.

Amana Colonies 1932-1945

A ruinous farm market and changes in the rural economy contributed, but what finally propelled the change was a strong desire on the part of residents to maintain their community. By , the communal way of life was seen as a barrier to achieving individual goals, so rather than leave or watch their children leave, they changed.

They established the Amana Society, Inc.

siofennamonra.ml Private enterprise was encouraged. The Amana Church was maintained. Declared a National Historic Landmark in , the Amana Colonies attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually all of whom come to see and enjoy a place where the past is cherished and where hospitality is a way of life.

Evocative of another age, the streets of the Amana Colonies with their historic brick, stone and clapboard homes, their flower and vegetable gardens, their lanterns and walkways recall an Amana of yesterday. But a vibrant community, celebrating both its past and its future, is here today for you to experience. The residents of the Colonies live a contemporary lifestyle — you will not see horse-drawn buggies. Both groups sought isolated, sparsely populated areas with adequate economic opportunities, to preserve and develop their respective separatist communities.