German American Heritage Center & Museum

German American Heritage Center & Museum GAHC&M, located at 712 West Second Street in Davenport, Iowa is currently open to the public. Visit our website for upcoming programs and events! www.gahc.org
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Come visit our award winning permanent exhibit, "The German Immigrant Experience." Ranging from 1845 to 1925, this exhibit provides an interactive experience for visitors to learn about life in Germany before immigration, the journey, what immigrants did on arrival in America, and how they have impacted the Quad City area. In addition we have two rotating exhibition galleries, a gift shop featuring German made gifts, and a beautiful rental hall.

Frohes Neues Jahr! Happy New Year!Check out all of our upcoming events in January. Visit our website, www.gahc.org, for ...
01/02/2024

Frohes Neues Jahr! Happy New Year!

Check out all of our upcoming events in January. Visit our website, www.gahc.org, for details and to register for our events.

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we...
12/31/2023

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we offer? With your support we can ensure we provide the in-depth content you crave.

We are pleased to announce a new series of programs called Kaffee und Kuchen starting on February 25th, 2024. Inspired by the German social ritual where friends and family gather to enjoy coffee, cake, and conversation, we will host programs every second and fourth Sunday of the month. We need your support to create and sustain programs like Kaffee und Kuchen.

You can donate online here: https://german-american-heritage-center.square.site/
or mail a check to
712 W 2nd St. Davenport, IA 52802

The museum will be closed on Sunday December 31st and Monday January 1st. We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year! 20...
12/30/2023

The museum will be closed on Sunday December 31st and Monday January 1st. We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!

2024 is an exciting year for us: the GAHC&M turns 30! Back in 1994, the organization was founded and we began the long and major process of renovating into the museum we are today.

The GAHC building was built in the 1860s, and was originally the Standard Hotel where thousands of German immigrants stayed in the 1800s when they arrived in the area. The organization was founded in 1994, the building was purchased in 1995, partially restored in 1999, and reopened to the public in May, 2000. Renovations continued and in October 2009, GAHC debuted a newly expanded space including a new large interactive permanent exhibit called the “German Immigrant Experience,” and two traveling exhibit spaces.

The German immigrant experience is an integral part of the history and fabric of life in Iowa, in the region and in the nation. The German American Heritage Center was formed to document and celebrate this heritage.

The Germania House was among the earliest of many “Gast Haus” buildings in the area. This structure is the last remaining immigrant hotel of that period in the region and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we...
12/29/2023

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we offer? With your support we can ensure we provide the in-depth content you crave.

From our summer walking architectural tours to the Darker Side of Davenport tours in the fall, our historical walks of downtown Davenport are fan favorites. We need your support to create and sustain programs like our walking tours.

You can donate online here: https://german-american-heritage-center.square.site/
or mail a check to
712 W 2nd St. Davenport, IA 52802.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the GAHC&M! The museum will be closed on Sunday and Monday, but we will be back open on...
12/23/2023

Happy Holidays from all of us at the GAHC&M! The museum will be closed on Sunday and Monday, but we will be back open on Tuesday during regular hours. Enjoy time off with your families and loved ones. Wishing everyone joy, peace, relaxation, and happiness this holiday season ✨🎁💝

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we...
12/22/2023

For our 30th anniversary, will you give $30 to create programs like Kaffee und Kuchen and the impactful walking tours we offer? With your support we can ensure we provide the in-depth content you crave.

We are pleased to announce a new series of programs called Kaffee und Kuchen starting on February 25th, 2024. Inspired by the German social ritual where friends and family gather to enjoy coffee, cake, and conversation, we will host programs every second and fourth Sunday of the month. We need your support to create and sustain programs like Kaffee und Kuchen.

You can donate online here: https://german-american-heritage-center.square.site/
or mail a check to
712 W 2nd St. Davenport, IA 52802.

The holidays are a special time when families bring out their old recipes and share with their loved ones. What recipes ...
12/22/2023

The holidays are a special time when families bring out their old recipes and share with their loved ones. What recipes have been passed down in your family? 🎄🎁

This recipe comes from one of our friends, Kathi!
Kathi says, "Pfoertchen – Förtchen – Futjes – Pfütten - there are many spellings for these little pancake balls. This recipe has been in my family for many years. It was given to my grandmother by Frieda T. who had been a schoolmate of my grandfather on the island of Fehmarn in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. My grandfather and Frieda both immigrated to Iowa and their families remained friends here. The special pan used to fry them belonged to my great grandmother. We are not sure exactly how old it is, but it still works great!"

The recipe is as follows:
1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1 pint of warm milk, set aside to dissolve
Cream together 4 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup butter
4 cardamom seeds (1/4 t)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 rind of lemon, grated
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins (boiled, drained, and cooled) [cooked prunes may be used rather than raisins]
Add 4-5 cups of flour to the batter.
Let the batter rise for almost 2 hours.
Fry in a pfoertchen pan on low heat (We use Mazola oil)
Put about 1/4 tsp of oil in each cup and turn when golden brown.
Steam heat before serving.
Makes 50

For our 8th straight year, the building will transform into the largest Advent Calendar in the midwest! All of the desig...
12/21/2023

For our 8th straight year, the building will transform into the largest Advent Calendar in the midwest! All of the designs are created by 7th-grade students at Davenport’s Creative Arts Academy, based at Sudlow Intermediate School. This year's theme focuses on Grimm's Fairy Tales. The windows will feature scenes from Hansel and Gretel designed digitally by each student.

Thank you to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago and Edwards Creative for sponsoring this project.
German Consulate General in Chicago Sudlow JH and Creative Arts Academy Edwards Creative

As part of Downtown Davenport's "Deck the Downtowns" celebrations in Davenport, more than 40 businesses have pickle orna...
12/19/2023

As part of Downtown Davenport's "Deck the Downtowns" celebrations in Davenport, more than 40 businesses have pickle ornaments on their Christmas trees or hidden in plain sight.

An official card can be picked up at any of the participating locations. When you find 10 of the pickles, you can submit the card to either of these locations:
German American Heritage Center (712 W. 2nd St.)
Tues-Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 12 – 4 p.m.
Davenport Public Library (321 N. Main St.)
Mon 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tues-Sat 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

When you submit the complete card, you get your own pickle ornament and enter a drawing for downtown gift cards and a grand prize basket. The competition lasts until the end of December.

A part of German life and tradition, beer, has deep roots in the cultural, musical, theatrical and recreational activiti...
12/19/2023

A part of German life and tradition, beer, has deep roots in the cultural, musical, theatrical and recreational activities of Germans. During the Middle Ages, brewing beer was part of the struggle for political and economic control between the church (particularly monasteries) and the local feudal lords. Taverns became meeting places for men to make and develop social business connections and discuss local events and politics, and by the 19th century, it had become part of the German family and social activities conducted on Sundays.

Bringing with them their traditions and habits surrounding the consumption of beer, German immigrants built breweries and established saloons and taverns. They frequented beer gardens with their families on Sundays for social and cultural activities which made some Americans view these activities as immoral and unhealthy.

The Rock Island Brewing Company was one of the longest operated breweries in the area dating back to 1851. It was formed when several breweries merged during a period of heavy competition among local breweries in the 1890s. The Atlantic Brewing Company was one of the breweries that combined form RIBCO. George Wagner was born on January 13th, 1832 in Wurtemberg. He immigrated in 1853 and worked as a baker in New York for two years before coming to Rock Island with his cousin and establishing bakeries in Rock Island and then Moline. In 1865 he bought the brewery in Rock Island which grew and became one of the largest in the area. When RIBCO was formed, George retired leaving his son Robert to continue the family’s involvement in the company.

We are sad to hear that Rock Island Brewing Company is closing. It has been such a staple in the QC community and a historic institution that has survived many owner changes, location changes, and historic events.

The first photo is from October 22, 1915. It is a photograph of a man standing outside of Rock Island Brewing Company's tavern located in Rock Island, Illinois. The street is unpaved and a horse-drawn wagon is visible in the background.
The second photo is a news clipping from the Dispatch from Sunday, February 04, 1996.

Don't forget to vote for your favorite holiday display! 🎄🎁Check out our painted windows and interior decor this season a...
12/14/2023

Don't forget to vote for your favorite holiday display! 🎄🎁

Check out our painted windows and interior decor this season as part of Downtown Davenport, Iowa's "Deck the Downtowns!" You can vote for you favorite holiday display and local artist online here: https://www.downtowndavenport.com/deck-the-downtowns

Voters are automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win downtown gift cards & goodies, AND the artist with the top votes will get a prize! Voting is open November 18th - January 1st.

Our windows are inspired by HARIBO gummi bears! HARIBO is a German confectionary company that created the first gummi candy in 1922. They shaped their candy in the form of little gummi bears called Gummibärchen. 🐻

Need a last-minute gift? Give a gift membership to the German American Heritage Center and Museum! This is a great gift ...
12/14/2023

Need a last-minute gift? Give a gift membership to the German American Heritage Center and Museum! This is a great gift for those who enjoy culture, history, heritage, and community. Membership benefits are valid for a full year. Benefits include free admission to the museum, free and discounted rates for programs, workshops, and classes, and discounts in our German gift shop. 🎁 🎁 🎁

Give a gift membership online: https://gahc.org/become-a-member/
or call 563-322-8844 to register.

712 W 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa 52802

For our 8th straight year, the building will transform into the largest Advent Calendar in the midwest! All of the desig...
12/11/2023

For our 8th straight year, the building will transform into the largest Advent Calendar in the midwest! All of the designs are created by 7th-grade students at Davenport’s Creative Arts Academy, based at Sudlow Intermediate School. This year's theme focuses on Grimm's Fairy Tales. The windows will feature scenes from Hansel and Gretel designed digitally by each student.

Thank you to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago and Edwards Creative for sponsoring this project.
Sudlow JH and Creative Arts Academy

Our annual Christkindlmarkt Craft Fair is TODAY Saturday, December 9th from 10 am - 2 pm here at the Museum. We will hav...
12/09/2023

Our annual Christkindlmarkt Craft Fair is TODAY Saturday, December 9th from 10 am - 2 pm here at the Museum. We will have lots of new and returning vendors selling everything from holiday cards, jewelry, artwork, stocking stuffers, baked goods, and much more!

Admission to the event and the museum is FREE all day. ✅
📍 712 W 2nd St. Davenport, Iowa 52802

*most of our vendors are cash only*

Join Jesse David Chariton and delve into the mysteries of German immigration to Iowa in the nineteenth-century. Learn mo...
12/08/2023

Join Jesse David Chariton and delve into the mysteries of German immigration to Iowa in the nineteenth-century. Learn more about German-speaking immigrants to the United States and their participation in a variety of organizations, including ethnic Masonic Lodges with focus on the Fraternal Lodge No. 221 in Davenport.
See original post for registration information.

Delve into the mysteries of German immigration to Iowa in the 19th century during our next Iowa History 101 program to be held online at noon on Thursday, Dec. 14. Jesse David Chariton will discuss German-speaking immigrants and their participation in a variety of organizations, with a focus on Fraternal Lodge No. 221 in Davenport. Register to participate on to receive a link to the recorded program: bit.ly/3QT8MAN.

Image: Map of Iowa, 1859.

Our annual Christkindlmarkt Craft Fair is Saturday, December 9th from 10 am - 2 pm here at the Museum. We will have lots...
12/07/2023

Our annual Christkindlmarkt Craft Fair is Saturday, December 9th from 10 am - 2 pm here at the Museum. We will have lots of new and returning vendors selling everything from holiday cards, jewelry, artwork, stocking stuffers, baked goods, and much more!

Admission to the event and the museum is FREE all day. ✅
📍 712 W 2nd St. Davenport, Iowa 52802

*most of our vendors are cash only*

Tonight is Krampusnacht and tomorrow, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day. Will you be putting out your shoes tonight??Mak...
12/05/2023

Tonight is Krampusnacht and tomorrow, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day. Will you be putting out your shoes tonight??

Make sure to be on your best behavior or Krampus will make a unpleasant visit tonight and scare the naughty children... 👹

As soon as school is out, cleaning and polishing shoes and boots will take over the day. Spotless and shiny footwear is essential because it's Nikolaus Eve tonight, and tomorrow St. Nicholas Day, Nikolaustag, the feast day for Heiligen Nikolaus. Inspiration for Santa Claus.

Tonight children will put beautifully written and decorated letters for the saint, along with carrots or other goodies for his white horse, on a plate or in their shoes, then leave them outside, under the bed, beside a radiator, or on a windowsill.

Hoping to find something from St. Nicholas tomorrow morning.

So tonight Sankt Nikolaus will go from house to house carrying a book in which all the children's deeds are written and, if they have been good, he will fill their plate, shoe or boot with fruit, nuts, candy or small presents.

But, if not, then it could be they will find potatoes, coal, or twigs.

Sankt Nikolaus' assistants differ from region to region and country to country in appearance, role and name, but have one thing in common... no resemblance to a cute Christmas Elf.

Their goal in life is to frighten and punish misbehaving children at Christmastime.

Knecht Ruprecht and Belsnickle in some German areas, Krampus in Alpine Regions of Bavaria and Austria, Schmutzli in Switzerland, among others, are not exactly the stuff of dreams.

They are the 'Bad Cops', meant to "whip children into being nice", to 'Good Cop', and patron saint of children, kind-hearted Nicholas in his bishop's robes.

And where does it come from?

It is thought St. Nicholas is based on Nicholas of Myra, who was known for his generosity, including a Christian legend in which he gave a poor father money, to prevent his daughters from being taken into slavery.

The father couldn't pay for his daughters' dowries, and it is said Nicholas of Myra threw the money through the family's window, where it landed in their shoes as they dried by the fireplace.

Nicholas of Myra died on the 6th December 346, which we now commemorate with the Feast of Saint Nicholas of present day.

Illustration of Saint Nicholas and Krampus visiting a very nervous child in the early 1900s. Original source unknown.

Walt Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, and voice actor, best known for creating the iconic character Mickey...
12/05/2023

Walt Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, and voice actor, best known for creating the iconic character Mickey Mouse. He was born on this day, December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois, to parents of German and Irish descent.
Disney spent most of his childhood in Missouri, where he developed a love for drawing and art. He worked as a commercial illustrator in his early years, and eventually moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in animation.

🎂 He won 22 Academy Awards and was nominated for 59 others.
🎂 Disney created the first synchronized sound and color cartoons, including Steamboat Willie, which introduced the world to Mickey Mouse.
🎂 He was the voice of Mickey Mouse for many years.
🎂 Disneyland, the first theme park of its kind, opened in California in 1955.
🎂 Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1971, remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Despite his immense success, Walt Disney faced many challenges throughout his life, including financial struggles and the loss of his mother at a young age. However, he persevered and created a legacy that has lasted for decades, inspiring generations of artists and animators to follow in his footsteps.

Learn about some of our upcoming events and check out the Living Local segment with executive Director, Brian Allen.Than...
12/04/2023

Learn about some of our upcoming events and check out the Living Local segment with executive Director, Brian Allen.
Thanks to Local 4 News WHBF TV and Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!

Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Janessa Calderon was back with German American Heritage Museum’s Brian Allen to talk about a few events happening this holiday season. For more in…

Have you completed Downtown Davenport, Iowa's pickle hunt yet?? Pick up a stamp card, find 10 pickles at locations aroun...
12/04/2023

Have you completed Downtown Davenport, Iowa's pickle hunt yet?? Pick up a stamp card, find 10 pickles at locations around downtown Davenport, get your card stamped, and bring to the German American Heritage Center to claim your pickle prize!
📍 712 W 2nd St.
Davenport, IA 52802
Tue-Sat 10-4
Sun 12-4

Learn more here: https://www.downtowndavenport.com/deck-the-downtowns %20for%20the%20Holiday%20Pickle

12/01/2023

This Friday & Saturday: Meet the infamous Krampus and take your own photos. Visit with the German American Heritage Center & Museum to learn the folklore of Krampus. Krampus will be stationed in a designated, private area and will not be roaming the gardens. More info: https://bit.ly/40T1Zub

The public is invited to the 2023 Christmas Services of the Old Stone Church hosted by The Friends of The Old Stone Chur...
11/28/2023

The public is invited to the 2023 Christmas Services of the Old Stone Church hosted by The Friends of The Old Stone Church on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 4:00 PM. The Old Stone Church is located at 3507 180th Street, Muscatine, Iowa which is one and one-half miles north of Wild Cat Den State Park.

Muscatine's Old Stone Church is a fully restored historic church built by the county's early settlers. In 1867, a group of pioneers of German heritage needed a place of worship for their German Methodist Episcopal congregation. Their faith was such that they hand quarried the stone near Pine Creek one-half mile to the west and built the church themselves.

After the congregation abandoned the church in 1910, it had many uses and slowly deteriorated. This included being used as a machine shop and later for storing oats and hay. Eventually the building was abandoned entirely. In 2006 the Friends of the Old Stone Church was formed to restore the church. After several years of work, the church was ready. The first event held in the restored church was a Christmas Service in 2010, one hundred years after the last use.
Today the Old Stone Church is available to families and groups for a variety of uses. The church is owned by The Friends of the Old Stone Church, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is part of the Muscatine Area Heritage Association.

To make a donation or to obtain information on using the church for an event, contact: John Scott, President, phone 563-299-8205, e-mail: [email protected].

We are saddened to share that one of our board members, Nick Pitz, passed away last week.Nick was a dedicated volunteer,...
11/27/2023

We are saddened to share that one of our board members, Nick Pitz, passed away last week.
Nick was a dedicated volunteer, board member, friend, teacher, and many more things here at the German American Heritage Center and Museum. Nick served on our program committee, volunteered at the front desk with his wife, Barb, and led historic walking tours of the neighborhood. He loved sharing his knowledge of German language and culture and welcomed every visitor with enthusiasm and kindness.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time and we will miss him dearly. The museum will not be the same without his knowledge and passion for history and the community.

A visitation for Nick will be held Thursday, November 30, 2023 from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM at Weerts Funeral Home, 3625 Jersey Ridge Rd, Davenport, Iowa 52807.
A funeral service will occur Friday, December 1, 2023 at 10:00 AM at Bettendorf Presbyterian Church, 1200 Middle Rd, Bettendorf, IA 52722.

Our exhibition, "Art from the Archives," is on display through February 18th, 2024. We are highlighting some of the piec...
11/27/2023

Our exhibition, "Art from the Archives," is on display through February 18th, 2024. We are highlighting some of the pieces from this exhibition which come from our permanent collection.

Leo Daub (1902-1969) was an American painter of German descent. He was born in Mitchell, Iowa but later moved to DeWitt. Aside from traditional artwork, Daub also ran a sign-painting business as well as a landscaping business. Many of Daub’s paintings remain in DeWitt today, where they serve as a proud reminder of the town’s past. This first painting depicts a German park scene and the second resembles a German town. Daub often based his paintings off of photographs.

"My dad came from Germany in 1929. He left Germany because of the political and economic situation," Art said. "He had a...
11/27/2023

"My dad came from Germany in 1929. He left Germany because of the political and economic situation," Art said. "He had an uncle in Kalona, Iowa, that sponsored him to come to America."
Henry Bodenbender moved to southeast Iowa and began working on his uncle's farm, earning room and board. In order to make money, he found a job with an Amish farmer across the road. Once he was financially ready, Henry moved up to the Quad-Cities where he hoped to find a job similar to one he held back in Germany.
Katy's has the best selection around if you're looking for authentic, German and Northern European fare! Visit their store at 📍 2700 7th St, Moline, IL

Katy's Import Foods in Moline has been a Quad-Cities staple since 1933.

Shop small this weekend and support local businesses! The Quad Cities has a vibrant business community and shopping loca...
11/24/2023

Shop small this weekend and support local businesses! The Quad Cities has a vibrant business community and shopping locally makes a greater impact on our local economy.
Visit our gift shop for one-of-a-kind, authentic, German goods including nutcrackers, incense smokers, hand blown glass ornaments, chocolates, cookies, and local goods like books, toys, and much more! Our museum gift shop is always tax free and members get a 10% discount on all purchases. 🎁 🎁 🎁

The museum is open 10-4 Tuesday - Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday.
https://gahc.org/giftshop/

Happy Thanksgiving from the GAHC&M! 🦃 The museum will be closed Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 to observe Thanksgiving. W...
11/23/2023

Happy Thanksgiving from the GAHC&M! 🦃

The museum will be closed Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 to observe Thanksgiving. We will reopen regular hours on Friday November 24th.

Don't forget to vote for your favorite holiday display! 🎄🎁Check out our painted windows and interior decor this season a...
11/23/2023

Don't forget to vote for your favorite holiday display! 🎄🎁

Check out our painted windows and interior decor this season as part of Downtown Davenport, Iowa's "Deck the Downtowns!" You can vote for you favorite holiday display and local artist online here: https://www.downtowndavenport.com/deck-the-downtowns

Voters are automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win downtown gift cards & goodies, AND the artist with the top votes will get a prize! Voting is open November 18th - January 1st.

Our windows are inspired by HARIBO gummi bears! HARIBO is a German confectionary company that created the first gummi candy in 1922. They shaped their candy in the form of little gummi bears called Gummibärchen. 🐻

We have lots of Ritter Sport available in the gift shop! Have you tried all the flavors?
11/21/2023

We have lots of Ritter Sport available in the gift shop! Have you tried all the flavors?

As part of Downtown Davenport, Iowa's "Deck the Downtowns" celebrations in Davenport, more than 40 businesses have pickl...
11/21/2023

As part of Downtown Davenport, Iowa's "Deck the Downtowns" celebrations in Davenport, more than 40 businesses have pickle ornaments on their Christmas trees or hidden in plain sight.

An official card can be picked up at any of the participating locations. When you find 10 of the pickles, you can submit the card to either of these locations:
German American Heritage Center (712 W. 2nd St.)
Tues-Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 12 – 4 p.m.
Davenport Public Library (321 N. Main St.)
Mon 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tues-Sat 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

When you submit the complete card, you get your own pickle ornament and enter a drawing for downtown gift cards and a grand prize basket. The competition lasts until the end of December.

Address

712 W 2nd Street
Davenport, IA
52802

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 12pm - 4pm

Telephone

(563) 322-8844

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