Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 29, 1969 The Amana Colonies, The Beautiful Prices, The Herbert Hoover Park, The Hall Walls and The Cherry Tree

Dear Mother & Daddy,                                            Sunday

"We went off on another jaunt yesterday so I didn't get this written. We left a little before 8:00 and it was almost 10 last night when we got back. It was a beautifully sunny day so we went to the Amana Colonies in Iowa. It's a long drive and was almost noon when we got there but we had all the time we wanted to look around.

The people are of German stock and came here to escape religious persecution. They bought land and established 7 villages for a communal society. Everyone worked together for the common good of all so there was no money. They were all fed together and lived in sort of dormitories. The downstairs would be a kitchen and dining room where a lot of people would be fed & the upstairs would be bedrooms. The old brick houses are huge and have several wings. Barns are clustered together in groups of 6 or 8. The people grew their own food, made their own cloth & clothing & everything they needed. Now the land is divided and people live like everyone else but they have turned the villages into tourist attractions and I imagine they make most of their living from the tourists. They weave beautiful woolen cloth and make beautiful furniture of walnut and cherry. The prices are beautiful too, of course because the furniture is all hand made. The grandfather clocks were from $400. up. Their bread is supposed to be special but it is just like any good homemade bread. I bought some to put in the freezer.

Our dinner was German but it was much like you cook. Their special dressing on the salad tasted just like the dressing you fix for slaw lots of times. Everything was good and there was a lot of variety served in bowls, family style. I had ham & B had pork sausage. Then we had the lettuce salad, fried potatoes, gravy, kraut, cottage cheese & green beans with white & rye bread. We couldn't eat it all and we couldn't eat dessert.

Hoover birthplace

On our way home we drove around the Herbert Hoover park in West Branch, Iowa. It was late and buildings were closed but we saw the tiny, two-room house where he was born and the beautiful high spot which overlooks the whole park where he and Mrs. Hoover are buried.

There is a library, a museum & some other buildings in the park but I don't know what they are. The town of West Branch is smaller than Richland but it has this lovely park.

It rained on us most of the way home and the lightning was terrible. We were glad to get home. I guess St. Louis & lots of other places had too much wind & rain.

I finally got the hall walls washed this week and hope to start in our bedroom tomorrow. We're going to a tea later this afternoon for a faculty member who is retiring.

The articles you sent were real interesting. I think I'll send them to Bob.

I wrote & told Ann about Mrs. Simmons but I don't know whether she'll get the letter in time to go see her or not. It takes twice as long for her to get mail from us as it does you.

I put some strawberries & cherries in the freezer this week. The girl next door wanted me to share a crate of berries with her & then part of Hodges big cherry tree blew down so I picked cherries. I said it was the first time I ever got a back ache stooping to pick cherries. The tree is loaded with the nicest cherries I've ever seen & about ⅓ of the tree just fell over. It had a big rotten place in the trunk. Three of us picked cherries off of that part alone. Some other people have been picking off the tree today & you can't tell they have picked.

The young mimosas I planted last year are fine but the big one had to be dug up. The winter I guess was too hard on it and it didn't have any protection. Maybe these others are in a better spot.

Hope you both are fine. Stay out of the hot sun."



1 comment:

  1. I found the "Hoover" images and text very interesting, such a powerful man and yet he had a rather humble start in life.


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