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[graphic header] The Amana Colonies: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary of a unique historic communal society in eastern Iowa

[graphic] High Amana Store
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[photo]
Stone exterior of the High Amana Store
Photograph by Shannon Bell

Everything from tires to Amana beverage coolers to souvenirs has been sold at the High Amana Store. It gained importance in the 1920s as the manager, William Foerstner, expanded the merchandise to include tires, bicycles, radios, and other popular items. Now called the High Amana General Store, the building has remained essentially unchanged as the merchandise and the store's role in the community have changed. The pressed metal ceiling, long sales counter and other fixtures date to the 19th century. There are antique display cases in which gifts and Amana Colony made crafts are displayed, a hand pump, original patterned ceilings and other traditional decorations and furnishings. There is a kerosene pump inside for lamps and stoves. This pump is one of the oldest functional antiques in the store.

[photos]
Historic images of the exterior of the High Amana Store, c.1920s, and an interior revealing the pressed tin ceiling, date unknown
Photographs courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society

The founder of Amana Refrigeration, George Foerstner, worked with his father at this store until he started making Amana beverage coolers in 1934. George Foerstner's business career, which began in this store assisting his father, eventually led to being President and founder of Amana Refrigeration, Inc. The High Amana Store remains today in the Foerstner family.

The High Amana Store is located at 1308 G Street. The store, now operated by the Amana Heritage Society, is open April-October, Monday-Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Sunday 12:00pm to 5:00pm. From November-March the store is only open Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Please call 319-622-3232 for further information.

 

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