A Weekend In The Amana Colonies

Let me tell you about my weekend.

I spent last weekend in the Amana Colonies with some friends from the Red Hat group I belonged to in Illinois.

asign

 We had a great time.

Shopping/eating/relaxing/eating/talking/eating….. did I mention eating?

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We had some wonderful meals.

There are many lovely restaurants and most meals are offered family style.  No one leaves hungry.  The desserts are wonderful and there is a bakery and chocolate shop as well as an ice cream parlor if you want to indulge.


a pcake

a food

  The Amana Colonies in Iowa were founded in 1855 by a group  of people who came from Germany to escape religious persecution.  They voted to pool their resources and live communally so that all the members of their church could afford to come to America.  They continued the communal way of life for over 70 years.

 Not to be confused with Amish (as many people do) the Amana’s did have ‘modern’ convienences such as telephones and electricity when they became available.  Housing, food, and basic needs and an allowance were  provided to everyone in exchange for a days work.  The church elders decided what work you would do and there was farming, furniture making, blacksmithing, and a woolen mill.  They did do business with the ‘outside’ world.  Later they became known for the Amana appliances.

a woolen mill

One of the looms in the woolen mill.

I love that women did not have to marry to be ‘taken care of’ since they too received an allowance and all their basic needs. They could be elders in the church as well.  Women mostly worked in the kitchens and kitchen gardens.  Five communal meals were served each day.

  Work, food and church services filled their time, everyone knew their role in life and it seems a happy and stress free life.

We took a Historic tour and spoke with direct descendants of the original Amana settlers.

 Talk about ‘living history’!

 Many of the original houses and buildings are still standing.

a building

The setting  of the 7 villages nestled in the beautiful  Iowa countryside is beautiful,  especially this time of year.

afall

Everyone we met was very friendly and there were many shops and boutiques filled with lovely items.

a store

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I got this adorable egg holder for half off! Doesn’t it look lovely on my cabinet?

There are several wineries where you can sample the wares.

a wine tasting

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Since I am always going on about edible weeds, I thought I would get some in ‘drinkable’ form as well!

There are two playhouses, The Old Creamery Theatre, and The Iowa Theatre Artists Company where we took in a cute play in a small 99 seat playhouse.

theare

Megan, one of the owners, is so enthusiastic about the work they have done building the playhouse and bringing small theatre groups to Amana.  She greeted us warmly and showed us around before appearing in the evenings show.

It was such a lovely and stress free time and I hated to see the weekend end.

(Except for being happy to get home to my chickens of course)

DSCN0049

Here is a link to the Amana Colonies:

http://amanacolonies.com/

 Midwest Living magazine did an article on things to do in the Amanas:

http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/iowa/amana-colonies/things-to-do-iowas-amana-colonies/

If you are interested in the History of the Amana Colonies:

http://amanacolonies.com/pages/about-amana-colonies/history.php

Did you have a fun weekend?  I hope you got out and enjoyed some lovely fall weather. 

Leave a comment and tell me about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. slcriger
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 13:30:14

    very cool….the food looks great….interesting

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 13:28:41

    very interesting….I love it….especially the food

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Barbara Faust
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 12:52:04

    Thanks Ruth for the virtual tour of the Amana colony. I especially enjoyed all the snapshots that interrupted your dialog. I had never heard about these early settlers or perhaps, was daydreaming in school when it was discussed. Their ideas could work for many in todays 21 century to provide low cost, decent living conditions for those homeless who are willing to work for their keep.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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