Amana, Iowa — like the Fridge??

Driving through eastern South Dakota into Iowa is gorgeous but limited to just about 2 things: corn fields and soybean fields. Mile after mile after mile..with an occasional river thrown in.

So, we were trying to both find a place that looked interesting (since we’d done mile after mile after mile of corn!) and had an RV park somewhat close to the highway. Zoe was checking online, her atlas & who knows what else and found..Amana Colonies.

About 150 years ago, a group of German immigrants founded the Colonies (actually 7 small towns) and lived and worked communually within a religious setting. You might be thinking Amish or Mennonite but..not quite. Everyone contributed (in the fields, in the kitchens, etc) and there wasn’t any private ownership of anything.

Then, in the 1930’s…the Colonies became capitalists! They broke up the communal living aspects and townspeople started owning their own home, cooking their own dinners & the like. At the same time, they started a business named after the towns, Amana Refrigeration! Within a relatively short time, they realized the business was beyond their scope and brought in investors’s still the largest employer in the area with over 2,000 employees.

The Colonies continues to tell their story — and offers tours through the gently rolling hills. There are a number of small businesses built on the 150 years of history including breweries, wineries (yes, in Iowa!), old style butchers, restaurants.

Great RV park and…along with corn & soybeans, they raise cattle. All of the electrical power need for the Colonies is generated from methane via cow manure!

General Store

General Store

Millstream Brewery

Millstream Brewery

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