11. School House/ Museum

The building that is now part of the Amana Heritage Museum Complex was built around 1870 and was the schoolhouse for children five through fourteen. It was used as a school until 1954 after which it served as the Amana Post Office and later as a Sunday School.

The school hours were from 8am until noon while the afternoons were spent teaching various kinds of manual training. In the Amana Colonies all children, boys and girls were taught traditional subjects along with, knitting, art, and some trades. The school children also tended the orchards and helped with some garden work. German and English were taught an hour each, but the everyday conversation of the school was in German. Those children selected to gone on to high school were sent to neighboring towns until the Amana High School was built in the 1930s. 

Schools in the Amanas were almost always located near an orchard that the school children tended. The schoolmaster usually lived on the second floor of the school building. At fourteen, girls received a kitchen assignment and boys were assigned to the farm, a shop, or a mill.

A few men were selected to go to college to study medicine with the understanding that they would return and practice without pay. Like other rural doctors of the period Amana physicians delivered babies, removed tonsils and fitted eyeglasses.

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Direction to the Next Stop: Walk east on the main street through Amana and turn left onto 45th Ave, proceed one block north.