Discover our unique history
Amana Heritage Society’s Museum
To discover the unique past of the Amana Colonies your first stop must be the Amana Heritage Society’s Museum. Make their 20-minute video the first thing you do followed by a trip through the museum to get a better idea of what life in a communal society was like. The staff is happy to answer your questions and to direct you to the next stop which is the only surviving intact communal kitchen 2 miles away in Middle Amana.
One interesting feature of the communal era is that the homes had no kitchen. To be more efficient the community set up a series of communal kitchens that would cook for about 10 families and then would be eaten together in the dining hall. A trip here is a look into the lives of the communal members. If your timing is correct you can take part in a meal that features the recipes from that kitchen.
High Amana General Store
Continuing on, travel to High Amana and step back 100 years in time by entering the General Store. Looking just as it did in 1918, the only things that have changed are the products they sell and the clerk. The tin ceiling, wood shelves, and coal oil pump are all still there.
About a ten-minute drive takes you to Homestead and the Church Museum. This was the church for the village of Homestead, each of the seven villages had their own building for worship, and it too has changed little over the years. A guide will meet you as you enter and will explain the difference between the Amana Church Society and other Protestant religions. They will point out how the Amana church customs have changed over the years and how some remain the same.
Your visit to the Amana Colonies is not complete unless you learn a little about our history. It will make everything else much more interesting.