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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] Museum of Amana History
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Views of the Museum of Amana History buildings, including the front and rear of the Schoolhouse, the No House, and Washhouse
Photographs by Shannon Bell

The Museum of Amana History is comprised of three 19th-century buildings, consisting of the No House, the Schoolhouse and the Woodshed/Washhouse. The buildings are used to interpret communal life in the Amana Colonies. The Amana Society was one of many utopian communities founded in the United States during the 19th century. The No House, built in 1864 of locally produced brick, was originally a communal kitchen and later a doctor's residence. The original woodshed/washhouse still stands just to the south of the No House. The schoolhouse, built in 1870, operated as a school until 1954 after which it served as the Amana Post Office and a Sunday School. It has been part of the Museum of Amana History since 1976.

[Historic Photo]
No house, c.1890s, when it was a used as a kitchen
Photograph courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society

Exhibits in the No House trace the history and development of the Amana Colonies, depict a church interior, and display the varied crafts and industries of the Inspirationists. Temporary exhibits and special programs focus on particular aspects of Amana's culture. The Schoolhouse contains exhibits pertaining to Christmas in communal Amana, the Kinderschule, toys, handwork, carpet weaving, and a school display. An audio-visual presentation on Amana's history is shown regularly in the Schoolhouse. The woodshed/washhouse contains wine-making and gardening displays.

The Museum of Amana History is located at 4310 220th Trail, in Amana. The museum, operated by the Amama Heritage Society, offers a 20-minute, award-winning slide presentation shown regularly during museum hours. It is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Saturday; 12:00pm to 5:00pm Sunday, from April 1-October 31. Open Saturdays in February, March, November and December. There is an admission fee. Call 319-622-3567 for further information.


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