Sunday, August 21, 2016

Garden House or " Gardeheisel"

Each large garden in communal Amana  had a small, one room building called a "Gardeheisel" in German. It served as a storage shed for many handmade garden tools, a shady resting spot for the dreary garden workers and a break room for mid morning and afternoon snacks often the way in old Amana. There were many of these in the villages where there were community kitchens and large kitchen gardens. They were approximately 6 feet by 8 feet in size. Some still exist as historical structures, even if not in great condition.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Amana Lily Lake

One of most beautiful sites in the Amana Colonies is the Lily Lake especially in late July and early August when the American lotus is in full bloom covering the 170 acre half marsh, half lake area. It is located between Middle and Amana, drawing tourists for many years for site seeing, fishing, and recreation. It is about 2-3 feet deep. The lowland filled with water from thr Mill Race after a break in the 1870 levee.  The lilies may have been planted by the original settlers, the Mesqwakie, who harvested and ate the tubers and roasted the lily seeds.  In and around the lake are over 200 native plants and 7-8 kinds of animals call it their habiat.  The lake also served as a source of ice for Middle refrigerastion business before electricity and stored water to power turbines at the dam. Water was also stored for daily needs. Friend photos.