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Amana in Iowa County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Water Power for Amana's Mills

 
 
Water Power for Amana's Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
1. Water Power for Amana's Mills Marker
Inscription. Six and one-half miles in length, the Amana Millrace was built in 1865 - 1869 to provide waterpower for the community's mills in Middle Amana and Amana. Here at Amana the millrace powered the woolen mill, calico factory, flour mill and sawmill.Water-powered turbines drove a system of gears and line shafts to transfer power to the factory machinery. Steam engines were used to supplement the water power.

In the 1920s some of the line shaft system was replaced with electric generators and motors. The present hydroelectric plant was constructed in 1954 and has a capacity of approximately 150 kilowatts - enough electricity to power about 25 homes.

In 1993 Iowa River flooding severely damaged the millrace levees so that electricity generation was impossible. However, through a continuing effort to preserve and maintain the Millrace led by the Amana Colonies Historical Sites Foundation and assisted by grants from the Save America's Treasurers program and State Historical Society of Iowa, the levees have been repaired and "the Hydro" is once again producing clean, renewable power. This green energy is sold to the local electric company.

Photo
A view of the Amana mills and tailrace ca. 1915. A disastrous fire in 1923 destroyed the flour mill (left) and part of the woolen mill. Photo courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society.
 
Location.

Amana's Millrace image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
2. Amana's Millrace
41° 47.782′ N, 91° 51.907′ W. Marker is in Amana, Iowa, in Iowa County. Marker is on 48th Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Amana IA 52203, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dredging Amana's Millrace (a few steps from this marker); Amana Woolen Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Amana History (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wohn Haus (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ackermann Residence (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wash House and Woodshed (approx. 0.4 miles away); Amana General Store (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Wickery (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amana.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Water Power for Amana's Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 10, 2015
3. Water Power for Amana's Mills Marker
View showing marker's location next to the bridge
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 449 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3. submitted on November 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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