German American Heritage Center
In the mid-to-late 1800’s millions of German citizens left their homeland and settled as immigrants in the United States. The 1900 U.S. Census documented that over half the citizens in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota were German immigrants or their descendents. Scott County, where the first passenger railroad crossed the Mississippi River, was the entry point for many immigrants to the upper Midwest region and points west. In 1900, Joseph Eiboeck, a veteran German newspaperman, described Davenport as, “the most German city, not only in the State, but in all the Middle West, the center of all German activities in the State”.
Founded on August 1, 1994 as a private, not-for-profit organization, the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve the heritage of our German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich our knowledge of the German immigrant experience.
The Mission is to “preserve and enrich for present and future generations knowledge of the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American Culture.” GAHC’s focus is cultural programs and immigrant contributions. GAHC seeks to reach out to other cultural groups and demonstrate the contributions immigrants from many countries and from varied backgrounds have made to the ethnic palette which is the United States.
Today GAHC, a National Historic Site, has evolved a museum that includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits.