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[graphic header] The Amana Colonies: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary of a unique historic communal society in eastern Iowa

[graphic] South Amana School
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[Photo]
South Amana School, now an apartment building
Photograph by Shannon Bell

The schools in the Amana Colonies were similar to churches and 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 attended school from the ages of seven to 14. At 14, the girls received a kitchen assignment while the boys were assigned to the farm, a shop, or a mill.

[Historic Photo]
South Amana School and surrounding gardens in 1975
Photograph by Blanche H. Schroer, from the National Historic Landmarks Collection

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. In the days before the Great Change, education was compulsory, and from seven to 14 every child attended school the entire year. The school hours were from 8 am until noon while the afternoons were spent teaching various kinds of manual training. German and English were taught an hour each, but the everyday conversation of the school was in the German language.

The South Amana School is located at 505 R St., in South Amana. It is now used as an apartment building, and is not open to the public.

 

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