Monday, December 29, 2014

Upper and Lower South Amana Hotels

Two young sisters from Ohio, Ms. Siegel and Ms. Zierold, were managers of the upper South Hotel when it was built in 1884. Later in 1887, Ms. Siegel managerd the lower South Amana Hotel. The young ladies were first maids and servers, then managers. This hotel, one that got to be 48 years old with 14 guest rooms, a kitchen, and a huge garden, was known for good German-like food with fresh vegetables grown in cellar dirt or sand boxes if not in fresh gardens. They rarely opened a can, all was fresh.  Spinach and beets were very popular there.The hotel was near the town bakery as well, that now is closed and baking taking place in Burlington, Iowa, with products sold in Amanas still.  Visitors and salesmen came from all over the world as the Amanas, which lay near railroads and newly paved highways, became more popular with tourists curious about communal life and activities at the University of Iowa.  There would be some 25 guests at the breakfast table in those days. Guests came from Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Marengo, Germany, England, Japan, as the towns lay on the C.R.I.P. railroad near where calico and woolen goods stores were bought. The guests were taxied between the upper and lower hotels by horse drawn carriages. In the 1950's, the Setzer and Ruff families each bought a side of the lower hotel from the Siegel sisters. The buildings still stand in Upper and Lower South Amana, one now for sale by the Amana Colonies Historical Sites Foundation as it was vacant for 20 years and needs lots of TLC, the one(lower) a home and apartments. Old Photos Amana Heritage Society


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