Address: NE Iowa County, Middle Amana, Iowa. County/parish: Iowa.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.
Also known as:
The Amana Colonies are seven villages on 26,000 acres (11,000 ha) located in Iowa County in east-central Iowa, United States: Amana (or Main Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, and Homestead. The villages were built and settled by German Pietists, who were persecuted in their homeland by the German state government and the Lutheran Church. Calling themselves the True Inspiration Congregations (German: Wahre Inspirations Gemeinden), they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the town of West Seneca. However, seeking more isolated surroundings, they moved to Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1856. They lived a communal life until 1932.
For eighty years, the Amana Colony maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the industrializing American economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe. Craftsmen passed their skills and techniques on from one generation to the next. They used hand, horse, wind, and water power, and made their own furniture, clothes, and other goods. The community voted to form a for-profit organization during the Great Depression, the Amana Society, which included the Amana Corporation.
Today, the Seven Villages of Amana are a tourist attraction known for its restaurants and craft shops. The colony was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
As of the 2010 Census the population of the seven villages in order of population was as follows:
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/66000336