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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tiffin in Johnson County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Historic Amana Colonies

 
 
Historic Amana Colonies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
1. Historic Amana Colonies Marker
Inscription. Marker Front:
The Amana Colonies consist of about 1,500 people living in seven villages and owning 25,000 acres of Iowa land. Born of religious enthusiasm, this unique brotherhood was founded in Germany in 1714 as the Community of True Inspiration in protest against the arbitrary rule of church and state. Oppressive governments forced them to seek a new home in America.
Led by Christian Metz, the Inspirationists crossed the Atlantic in 1842 and established six small villages on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York, which they called Ebenezer. The rapid expansion of Buffalo threatened the isolation they sought, and in 1854 a committee visited the West and selected a home in the Iowa River Valley.
Metz laid out the first village in the new purchase in 1855 and called it “Amana,” signifying “Remain True” or “Believe Faithfully.” Five more villages were established within six miles of Amana –– West Amana, South Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, and East Amana. A seventh village, Homestead, was purchased to provide access to the railroad.
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Marker Reverse:
The Inspirationists incorporated in Iowa as the Amana Society in 1859, adopting a constitution that went into effect in 1860. The constitution declared God should “remain forever” the foundation
Wide view of the Historic Amana Colonies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
2. Wide view of the Historic Amana Colonies Marker
of “our civil organization” and that all acquired should remain the property of the Amana Society. Agriculture and “some manufactures” should defray the Society’s expenses, and any surplus should be used for building and maintaining churches and schools and for the support and care of old and infirm members.
The constitution remained the law of the Society for nearly a century. The advent of the automobile and paved road made isolation no longer possible. Spiritual enthusiasm flagged, memories of the founders dimmed and the old ideal waned. In 1932 the Society reorganized as a joint stock company wherein the stockholders became both owners and employees.
Although church and state are now separated, the cooperative capitalism retains elements of the old Amana, which is still regarded as one of the most successful experiments in communal living in American history.
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Erected 1967 by State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa State Highway Commission.
 
Location. 41° 41.707′ N, 91° 40.866′ W. Marker is near Tiffin, Iowa, in Johnson County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 80 at milepost 237, ¾ mile west of Ireland Road SW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is located at Rest
A view of the main street (220th Trail) of the village of Amana, the largest of the seven villages image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
3. A view of the main street (220th Trail) of the village of Amana, the largest of the seven villages
Area 10 Westbound, .2 miles west of Exit 237 on Interstate 80. Marker is in this post office area: Tiffin IA 52340, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Iowa City / Mormon Handcart Trail - 1856 (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hoover Historic Site / Hoover’s West Branch (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mormon Handcart Brigade Camp (approx. 5.1 miles away); Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (approx. 5.9 miles away); Water Power for Amana's Mills (approx. 11.8 miles away); Dredging Amana's Millrace (approx. 11.8 miles away); Amana Woolen Mill (approx. 11.8 miles away); Amana History (approx. 12.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tiffin.
 
Also see . . .  Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies have been a landmark on the Iowa prairie for over 150 years - reminding us of a simpler time. (Submitted on July 21, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Settlements & Settlers
 
The 19th century Market Barn and the 20th century water tower in the village of Amana image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
4. The 19th century Market Barn and the 20th century water tower in the village of Amana
The Festhalle Barn in the village of Amana image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
5. The Festhalle Barn in the village of Amana
The Amana Church in the village of Amana image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, July 10, 2010
6. The Amana Church in the village of Amana
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 21, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,715 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 21, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.
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