Monday, September 19, 2011

The Amana Colonies

Originally published August 13, 1984

The people of the Amanas, rebels from the ritual worship and intellectual theology of the Lutheran Church in eighteenth century Germany, settled first around Buffalo, NY. But they soon needed more room, and so in 1854 they looked westward. Here, along the Iowa River, they found the rich soil, the timber, the sandstone, limestone and brick clay necessary for building a new community. The first village, Amana, was laid out in 1855. Subsequently, six more were built in the medieval manner, with houses clustered together and enveloped by farmland.

These were a farming people, growing the wheat that they baked into breads, in hickory-stacked ovens, raising hogs that would be turned into sausages and fine smoky hams, growing fruits and vegetables and herbs.

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