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Iowa History Daily: February 12 - Amana (Homestead) Meteorite

Iowa History Daily: On the evening of February 12, 1875, a giant fireball trailed across Iowa skies. As the meteorite fragmented into over 100 pieces it fell over an 18 square mile area between Amana and Boltonville in Iowa County.

Just two days before the “Amana Meteorite” fell, over sixteen inches of snow blanketed Iowa. While people as far as two hundred miles away marveled at the celestial body headed for earth. An Iowa City man named Charles Wood Irish recorded accounts, writing: “from the time it was first seen to its disappearance, its time of visible flight being not more than ten seconds. From the first its light could be hardly tolerated by the naked eye turned full upon it.”

As the meteorite streaked toward earth, other observers noted not just the sights but also the sounds: ““From three to five minutes after the meteor had flashed out of sight, observers near to the south end of its path heard an intensely loud and crashing explosion. The deafening explosion was mingled with, and followed by, a rushing, rumbling and crashing sound that seemed to follow up the meteor’s path.”

The intensity of the strike paired with the freshly fallen snow to prevent local people from finding many fragments until later in the spring. However, local woman Sarah Sherlock found a 7.7 lb. chunk shortly after the event about two miles from Homestead. Eventually, more than 510 lb. of the Chrondie meteor have been found including 74 lb. 48 lb. chunks buried as deep as two feet into the soil. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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