We invite you to support the operation of the Center and the continuing restoration by sending in your membership dues and tax deductible donations.
Your membership dollars go toward educational program development and ongoing restoration expenses of the significant building that serves as the gateway to the Midwest.
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Why Support the German American Heritage Center with a Membership?
The German American Heritage Center focuses on teaching, demonstrating, and bringing to life the timeless spirit, values, and work ethic of the German immigrant to our current and future generations.
Immigrants and their descendants helped to weave a strong fabric of family values, hard work, perseverance, stewardship, and community spirit to the Quad Cities region and surrounding Midwestern states. The values and work ethic that are present in our community today are directly linked to the immigrants settling in this region.
Immigrants brought with them a culture of families and communities supporting each other and sharing their successes and sorrows through music, food, fellowship. and mutual respect. As innovators, these immigrants resourcefully used their skills to build and grow successful businesses and farms. As stewards, these immigrants helped to establish a strong financial and banking community.
The site of the German American Heritage Center has served as an inn or “Gast Haus” since the early 1870s. A three story brick building was built in 1871. It served as a hotel for many thousands of immigrant farmers and artisans alike as they arrived at their destination in the Midwest from the “old country,” and also for those who stopped to rest before traveling on to points further west. In 1876 J.F. Miller added another full section to the east side of the building, and a fourth floor to include a beautiful cornice. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the Center is the crossroads for the generations. The place where brick and mortar and a living culture are merged to provide dynamic experiences to perpetuate the immigrant values and work ethic for our current and future generations.
The Center explores and celebrates the immigration experience and further tells the story of how the immigrants contributed to the development of our country and had a positive influence on out American way of life.