The community of True Inspiration, now known as the Amana Colonies, selected their present location in the Iowa River Valley for several reasons. One, was the nearly 10,000 acres of forest which has not changed appreciably in size since settlement.
Trees were an important source of fuel for the community kitchens and for heating-wood. Middle Amana, for example used 900 cords of wood per year to satisfy both needs. Of course, the timber was also used as construction lumber for building and furniture shops.
The first sawmill in Amana was established in 1856 just north of the 4-way intersection of State Highway 151 and County Road 220 on Price Creek. This mill, located on Price Creek, was water-powered, other mills in the villages were steamed-powered using the slabs cut at the mill.