South Amana School

A Kinderschule in the Amana Colonies
A Kinderschule in the Amana Colonies

Photo courtesy of Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau

Quick Facts

Location:
505 R Street, South Amana IA
Significance:
Communal-era schooling
Designation:
National Historic Landmark
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
No

The schools in the Amana Colonies were generally built of brick. Schools were sometimes centrally located or, as the case with this former school in South Amana, on the village fringe. Almost always, schools were located near an orchard which the school children tended. The schoolmaster usually lived in a residence that was part of the school building. Children were required to attend school year-round from the ages of seven to 14. Schools were in session from 8am until noon, and afternoons were spent learning trades. Both English and German were taught, but everyday conversation was held in German. At 14, the girls received a kitchen assignment while the boys were assigned to the farm, a shop, or a mill.

 

Each Amana village had a Kinderschule for children from the ages of two to seven. All mothers returned to their village assignments when their children reached the age of two. The Kinderschule was generally a small frame building with a pitched roof and - like other Amana Colony buildings - it was simple and unadorned.