Historic Amana Colonies

Historic Amana Colonies (HMM9R)

Location: Ladora, IA 52251 Iowa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 41.705', W 92° 13.809'

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Marker Front:
The Amana Colonies consist of about 1,500 people living in seven villages and owning 25,000 acres of Iowa land. Born of religious enthusiasm, this unique brotherhood was founded in Germany in 1714 as the Community of True Inspiration in protest against the arbitrary rule of church and state. Oppressive governments forced them to seek a new home in America.
Led by Christian Metz, the Inspirationists crossed the Atlantic in 1842 and established six small villages on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York, which they called Ebenezer. The rapid expansion of Buffalo threatened the isolation they sought, and in 1854 a committee visited the West and selected a home in the Iowa River Valley.
Metz laid out the first village in the new purchase in 1855 and called it "Amana," signifying "Remain True" or "Believe Faithfully." Five more villages were established within six miles of Amana — West Amana, South Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, and East Amana. A seventh village, Homestead, was purchased to provide access to the railroad.
Marker Reverse:
The Inspirationists incorporated in Iowa as the Amana Society in 1859, adopting a constitution that went into effect in 1860. The constitution declared God should "remain forever" the foundation of "our civil organization" and that all acquired should remain the property of the Amana Society. Agriculture and "some manufactures" should defray the Society's expenses, and any surplus should be used for building and maintaining churches and schools and for the support and care of old and infirm members.
The constitution remained the law of the Society for nearly a century. The advent of the automobile and paved road made isolation no longer possible. Spiritual enthusiasm flagged, memories of the founders dimmed and the old ideal waned. In 1932 the Society reorganized as a joint stock company wherein the stockholders became both owners and employees.
Although church and state are now separated, the cooperative capitalism retains elements of the old Amana, which is still regarded as one of the most successful experiments in communal living in American history.
HM NumberHMM9R
Series This marker is part of the Iowa: State Historical Society of Iowa series
Year Placed1967
Placed ByState Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa State Highway Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 4:58pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 564060 N 4616208
Decimal Degrees41.69508333, -92.23015000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 41.705', W 92° 13.809'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 41' 42.30" N, 92° 13' 48.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)319
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 230-262 Unnamed Road, Ladora IA 52251, US
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