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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 in most places, but it was not until the 1880s that the formal split occurred in Iowa, even though a process of sorting out between conservatives and change-minded Amish had begun a decade earlier or so in Iowa. 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.
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