Water Power for Amana’s Mills - Amana, IA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member wildernessmama
N 41° 47.782 W 091° 51.907
15T E 594288 N 4627789
This historical marker is between the Amana Millrace and the Woolen Mill.
Waymark Code: WMN0PR
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 12/03/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 4

This historical marker is between the Amana Millrace and the Woolen Mill. The text reads:

Six and one-half miles in length, the Amana Millrace was built in 1865 - 1869 to provide waterpower for the community's mills in Middle Amana and Amana. Here at Amana the millrace powered the woolen mill, calico factory, flour mill and sawmill.Water-powered turbines drove a system of gears and line shafts to transfer power to the factory machinery. Steam engines were used to supplement the water power.

In the 1920s some of the line shaft system was replaced with electric generators and motors. The present hydroelectric plant was constructed in 1954 and has a capacity of approximately 150 kilowatts - enough electricity to power about 25 homes.

In 1993 Iowa River flooding severely damaged the millrace levees so that electricity generation was impossible. However, through a continuing effort to preserve and maintain the Millrace led by the Amana Colonies Historical Sites Foundation and assisted by grants from the Save America's Treasurers program and State Historical Society of Iowa, the levees have been repaired and "the Hydro" is once again producing clean, renewable power. This green energy is sold to the local electric company.

The Millrace is owned and managed by the Amana Colonies Historical Sites Foundation. This sign provided for by a grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.

A photo shows
“A view of the Amana mills and tailrace ca. 1915. A disastrous fire in 1923 destroyed the flour mill (left) and part of the woolen mill. Photo courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society.”

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Markerman62 visited Water Power for Amana’s Mills - Amana, IA 05/13/2016 Markerman62 visited it