German American Heritage Center

About German American Heritage Center

Imagine stepping in the footprints of a person from over a century ago…only to see them appear before your eyes. Hear the sounds of a storm at sea, the roar of an old wooden German rollercoaster, and joyous music celebration as you travel through 2,000 years. Listen in on century old conversations on an old party-line phone that tell the emotional story of despair, hope and triumph. See a reflection of yourself as a turn of the century immigrant as you explore and try on clothing of yesteryear. Enter a restored hotel room, sit on its bed and gaze out at the Mississippi at the same sight an immigrant took in on their first night in Davenport.
This is all possible at the German American Heritage Center and Museum!

Enjoy an interactive experience as you learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s.

The museum includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits. Within the permanent exhibit, visitors enjoy an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms.

One of the highlights in the exhibit is called “Step into my Shoes.” Visitors will find footprints of a child, female and male at this section. They can step on any set of the footprints, which then triggers the corresponding character to appear before them on a screen and talk about their personal experience as an immigrant. Visitors may also try on clothing that immigrants would have worn during the turn of the century, and enjoy exploring many artifacts on display.
The museum also provides programs, classes, and workshops throughout the year.



May 2019 Davenport, IA
“I like being able to explore a different side of my History major, while gaining real experience. ”
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