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Kalona is a city in Washington County, Iowa, United States. It is part of the Iowa City, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,363 at the 2010 census. Kalona is the second largest city in Washington County.
Amish settlement in what is now the Kalona area began in the 1840s, placing the Amish among the very first European settlers in the area. The split between Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites occurred in the 1860s. Most Amish Mennonites later assimilated and lost their Amish identity. The Beachy Amish broke away from the Old Orders in the 1920s.
The Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railway built a 66-mile branch from Iowa City to What Cheer via Kalona in 1879. Kalona was established by the railroad on August 6, 1879. The name was suggested to the railroad by a Mr. Myers, who owned a bull of that name. The town remained unincorporated until 1890.
Kalona is home to a burgeoning craft, antiques and local products industry. Its proximity to both Iowa City, Iowa and a large Amish settlement have allowed growth in population and industry in recent years. The town is home to a variety of locally owned shops and restaurants. This quaint city centers around the historic old town business section of Kalona, which features many local businesses that are popular with tourists.
Not far from Kalona is located one of the largest Amish settlements west of the Mississippi with 9 church districts and a population of roughly 1,200 people. It is the oldest in Iowa, founded in 1846. The Kalona Old Order Amish affiliation is one of the most liberal ones concerning the use of technology, allowing even tractors for field work. Kalona is the home of the Iowa Mennonite Archives, located at the Kalona Historical Village. The Iowa Mennonite School is located a few miles northwest of Kalona.
Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
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