Power for Amana's Mills

Power for Amana's Mills (HMWJQ)

Location: Amana, IA 52203 Iowa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 47.782', W 91° 51.907'

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Six and one-half miles in length, the Amana Millrace was built in 1865 - 1869 to provide waterpower for the community's mills in Middle Amana and Amana. Here at Amana the millrace powered the woolen mill, calico factory, flour mill and sawmill.Water-powered turbines drove a system of gears and line shafts to transfer power to the factory machinery. Steam engines were used to supplement the water power.

In the 1920s some of the line shaft system was replaced with electric generators and motors. The present hydroelectric plant was constructed in 1954 and has a capacity of approximately 150 kilowatts - enough electricity to power about 25 homes.

In 1993 Iowa River flooding severely damaged the millrace levees so that electricity generation was impossible. However, through a continuing effort to preserve and maintain the Millrace led by the Amana Colonies Historical Sites Foundation and assisted by grants from the Save America's Treasurers program and State Historical Society of Iowa, the levees have been repaired and "the Hydro" is once again producing clean, renewable power. This green energy is sold to the local electric company.

A view of the Amana mills and tailrace ca. 1915. A disastrous fire in 1923 destroyed the flour mill (left) and part of the woolen mill. Photo courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society.

Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 12:41am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 594288 N 4627789
Decimal Degrees41.79636667, -91.86511667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 47.782', W 91° 51.907'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 47' 46.92" N, 91° 51' 54.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)319
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 24 48th Ave, Amana IA 52203, US
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