Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 23, 1965):
Incorporated in 1859, the Amana Society was by far the most successful of utopian communities founded in America during the 19th century. An outgrowth of the pietist movement begun in Germany in 1714, this religious community originally settled in upstate New York and Canada during the 1840s and called itself the Ebenezer Society. In the 1850s, the Ebenezer Society relocated to Iowa, establishing seven villages on 26,000 acres purchased here. Under the original organization, land and industries were owned in common and were managed by the elders of the church; in 1932, by vote of all members, secular and religious matters were separated. The villages contain buildings from the 1850s-1870s; a number of the shops and factories are in use.