Saturday, June 06, 2009

Traveling back in time...

After seeing the Bridges of Madison County we drove a looong and very BAD in shape road - it was actually I-92 - to Kalona, Iowa, hoping to see some Amish there.

A very picturesque Main Street in Kalona was greeting us

History of Kalona
Unofficially named "Bulltown" in 1879 for a local successful shorthorn breeding service, the town originated as a train station of the English river Township railroad system. Built in the middle of the prairie and without any roads for a year, "Kalona," as it became officially known, was the name of the service's famous registered sire! It was a typically quiet country town until the mid-1950's when Highway 1 was paved, streamlining the way to and from Iowa City for commuters and visitors. Kalona has grown rapidly over the past 35 years and is today the second largest town in Washington County

Pretty flower decorations all over town

Bakery in Kalona
The Kalona Bakery, located in downtown Kalona, has been serving Kalona for the past 26 years. We offer a wide variety of pastries made fresh daily featuring our made from scratch Grandma’s Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls. We also offer a variety of breads, dinner rolls, cookies and Amish made pies. We also specialize in made from scratch Angel Food Cakes and Old Fashioned Amish Country Egg Noodles. If your in town for lunch stop in and enjoy one of our fresh made sandwiches with a bowl of home made soup or Grandma’s home made potato salad. Sandwiches are available all day. We’re open M-F 6 am to 5:30 pm, Sat 6 am to 5:00 pm and Closed Sundays.

"The Tuscan Moon" - a very good and inviting restaurant with life music in the garden

Hand painted mail boxes in front of the little post office of Kalona

Kalona Antique Company
An 1890's church houses the Kalona Antique Co. 19 dealer antique mall, Plus Antique Furniture Warehouse. Specializing in oak, pine, walnut, and mahogany furniture, quilts, glassware, primitive, and collectibles.
We are open Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Major Holidays and Sunday's. Dealers welcome. Eve 319-656-5157. Offer a large selection of quality antiques. Step back in time with us!!
Web Site:

Today, the Kalona area is home to the largest Amish Mennonite settlement west of the Mississippi River, something that began when three Old Order Amish families established homesteads near Deer Creek the year Iowa became a state.

About the Amish
Since first arriving in the area in 1846, the Amish have changed very little in their beliefs and lifestyle. The Old Order Amish have no telephones, electricity, cars, or other modern conveniences. On driving through the gently sloping countryside, one might see an Amish farmer and his young son plowing or harvesting with a two or four horse team. Even along Highway 1, horse-drawn wagons hauling hay, corn, hogs, and logs are a common sight. The New Order Amish permit rubber tires on their buggies and farm vehicles, while the "Beachy" use electricity and telephones, drive cars, and own modern conveniences including farm equipment.

Diesel power against horse power :)

It was for the first time in my life to see these people with their horses and buggies on the road! It felt for me like I was traveling back in time :)

RAM Charger versus one horse power

Today, the Kalona area is home to the largest Amish Mennonite settlement west of the Mississippi River, something that began when three Old Order Amish families established homesteads near Deer Creek the year Iowa became a state.

A pioneer spirit still thrives today in the progressive business community with its one-of-a-kind downtown and countryside shops and cottage industries. Thanks to a home grown, cutting-edge medical instruments company, Kalona is even known in the international high-tech marketplace.

A 25-acre city park with its municipal swimming pool, playground, and wooden shelters is ideal for reunions and social gatherings. The Kalona Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center offers facilities for numerous occasions, from catered receptions to professional seminars. Motel facilities, bed & breakfasts, campsites with fishing privileges, and RV hook-ups are available for overnight stays. For golfers, an award-winning 9-hole course south of town is playable for green fees.

Kalona welcomes you to refresh yourself in the simple pleasures and appreciation of the area's rich heritage and living history. You'll understand why enthusiastic visitors from all over the world describe the town's atmosphere as "wonderfully authentic."

The visionary local telephone cooperative plans to install a digital fiber optics network rivaling any proposed in the state or country. Yet, while Kalona will be in touch with what's happening everywhere on the planet on a minute-by-minute basis, the cooperative won't be connecting Amish farms and homes into the network.

Hi my friends,

thank you so much - again - for all your nice comments and compliments to the last post of the covered bridges in Madison County.

It was raining here last night and we decided to stay another day here in "Amish country" to relax for another day on this very nice campground in Kalona. Tomorrow probably we will be heading towards Amana, another big Amish Community with a lot of shops and good food! I'm sure I will do again two or three photos to show it to you on my blog. ;)

Stay tuned and see you there...!
Susanne and David


tricia said...

Very interesting post Susanne. Great photos as always. The flowers are very pretty. I've never seen that many hand painted mailboxes. See you next time. :)

krizcpec said...

hi! always a pleasure to travel along visually. Thanks for sharing

GMG said...

Hi Sue,
Wonderful post! Lovely pictures! It's always a bit surprising to meet the Amish communities; it brings back my 1983 memories in Pennsylvania. Amazing...
Enjoy your Sunday!

Gran said...

Wonderful photos and text!

The Messenger of Nemesis said...

these are really very nice pics. Good job I must say!
BTW which camera would u suggest to capture pics from very near of the subject?
these days me too trying my hands in photography...but still just a button pusher :)
I will be very glad if u plz comment on my pics and suggest some way to improve my skill. here is the link

Anna said...

Susanne a definitely nice place to stay one more night, btw those hand painted mail boxes are cool, what a nice touch. Anna :)


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