- Harlan Meier Remembrance
We remember our dear friend Harlan and the many good times we had with him at the German American Heritage Center. There would not be a GAHC without his hard work and dedication. He was very proud of his German Heritage and was able to share that pride with the community.
- Grass Between the Rails with Denny Rehder
Sponsored by Humanities Iowa and Rail One, Denny Rehder presents Grass Between the Rails. Denny's hunger for railroad history has opened a door for his musical and song writing talents. He presented his 100th show at the German American Heritage Center delighting all the listeners with his folksy mannerisms and tales. Listen to two songs of the many shared and you to will be charmed by his repertoire.
- The Golden Age of Passenger Rail in the Quad Cities and the Midwest
Dr. Curtis Roseman shares his knowledge of the variety of rail roads and stations that became the fabric of American travel. He shared many photos as well as historical development of train routes and travel amenities, focusing on when, where and how Quad City citizens participated in the "Golden Age of Passenger Rail."
- Crossing the Tracks of Time: QC Railroad History
There are two parts to this photo display!
- Open House Presentaton with Dr. Cora Lee Kluge
Dr. Kluge, Professor of German and Co-director of the Max Kade Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, spoke about Germans who settled in America to only later fight their countrymen during World War I. This fight also expanded to "battles" in their newly adopted country due to misgivings about German loyalty. The issue of loyalty was debated on the pages of newspapers of the day and Dr. Kluge's Power Point displayed many of these articles.
- Advent Calendar
Advent calendars are a long tradition in Germany. Children love opening the doors of the calendars as on each day passes during the Advent season. This idea was inspired by a small town in Germany that transforms its city hall each year. The German American Heritage Center likewise has been transformed into a giant calendar with the capable work of the 7th grade class at the Davenport Creative Arts Academy taught by Ms. Ellen Craig. Sponsors include the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Genesis Health Systems and a private benefactor. Technical production and assistance was provided by Edwards Crearive in Milan, Illinois.
- Margaret King of Ballet Quad Cities presents The Nutcracker
Maggie King brought The Nutcracker to the German American Heritage Center. Audience members participated in the presentation as directed by Maggie. Her command of the ballet dance as well as her ability to share her experience with the "wanna be" dancers (children) was a delight for all.
- Volunteer Recognition for 2015
"If it were not for the volunteers...." That sentence begins many comments regarding our wonderful and hard working volunteers who make the GAHC Program the success it has become. All of our volunteers have the "right stuff" in making sure our patrons get the most out of each visit. Beyond that, they form the nucleus around which the various committees and programs are built. We honor each and every one of them. And for this year, one special volunteer, Ruth Reynolds , was honored with our highest award, the Legacy of Leadership . Because of her years of dedication, her many loyal services to the German American Heritage Center and her unfailing kindness and friendship to all she is most deserving of this award. Congratulations, Ruth!
- Fall Frolic-2015
The German American Heritage Center celebrated its Fall Frolic at the Outing Club with guest speaker, Daniel Kaercher, former editor of the Meredith Publishing Company's magazine, "Midwest Living." His folksy humor and lively review of Germans and their settlements across America was a delight to hear. The 123 guests celebrated with schnitzel, brats, potato salad and beer along with fine accordion music played by Al Milas. A silent auction rounded out the entertaining evening. Presenting sponsor for the night's event was Walcott Trust and Savings Bank. Others included Zimmerman Honda, Crawford Company, The Green Thumbers, Iowa Mutual Insurance and Lorenzen-Steffen Insurance Agency.
- "Really Good Grief"
Jason Platt, a local cartoonist, actor and artist shares his insights and knowledge regarding Charles Schulz and his Peanuts comic strip. He shared information surrounding the beginning of Charles Schulz's career stemming back to the influences of family and friends. This well attended program extended the current display of Peanuts memorabilia exhibited on the third and fourth floors. Come see what Lucy is up to!
- Stickley Furniture History with Mike Danial
With the support of Knilan's Furniture, Mike Danial, Stickley Corporate Historian rendered a rousing presentation on the foundation of the Stickley Furniture Company. His very entertaining presentation, one of many that he offers across America, looked at the roots of the family including the highly competitive business tactics used in the early 1900's. Eventually, Gustav Stickley declared bankruptcy which paved the way for another brother to re-invent the company. This program continues the review of German influences in building our nation.
- German HeritageTour-2015
This the second tour after 2013 when the German American Heritage Center and Blue Horizons Travel Agency combined efforts to re-visit Germany. Thirty six travelers toured the south and southwestern German states of Hessen, Bayern, Baden-Wurttemberg and Rheinland Pfalz. Our group not only observed the beautiful landscape, cities, towns and villages, but also enjoyed the hospitality of all of the people we encountered. We enjoyed the tremendous food and of course the exquisite beverages that make Germany famous. The experiences are attached in this review. Please enjoy!
- Bruce Johnson on the Arts & Crafts Movement
Participants gained a broad perspective of the time period and Stickely's influence. Some purchased books authored by Mr. Johnson which he autographed.
- Bix Celebration
Bix Jazz Fest Event on August 2 featured the Locust Street Boys. Special Vice Consul Mario Soos of the German Consulate Chicago spoke briefly to the crowd and afterwards with guests. He's a new Bix fan! Artists Buck Henri and Bruce Walters shared comments about their work in the third Floor Gallery which was inspired by Bix or the "Zeitgeist," the spirit of his age. Over 140 visitors attended this program!
- Agatha Beiderbecke--Remembering Bickie
Local actress Wendy Hammen presents a riveting portrayal of Agatha Beiderbecke, mother of Bix or "Bickie." Written by Julie Jensen McDonald, Wendy has portrayed Agatha since 2007 gaining kudos for her wonderful presentation. This 40 minute monologue shares some little known stories of Bix and his attainment of greatness at a young age.
- Wolf to Woof
Many of our favorite "friends" originate from Germany. View the history of the canine and read about the tremendous value we place on dogs.
- Training Your Dog
Melanie Brown and Bobbie Fersch, Veterinarin Techs and Certified Dog Trainers shared their knowledge in animal behavior control. Both brought with them their dogs, "Sam" a German Shephard and "Matilda," a Deutscher Wachtlehund or German Spaniel to demonstrate capabilities. Melanie described the methods she has learned to manage the variety of behaviors that we encounter in being with "man's best friend" via a powerpoint and answering audience questions.
What we can say about the book is what is written in the book. See this exhibit on our third floor and admire the technology that started a revolution.
The Scott County Kennel Club presented several dog breeds demonstrating agility and obedience in obeying commands. The dogs were all well behaved and seemed to have fun being put through their paces. This is the second presentation of the Wolf to Woof exhibit.
- Maifest 2015
- JAZZ for the Curious
Legendary Don Wooten shares his musical insights to a much appreciative audience.
- Lucy-Queen of the Sofa
Pamela Spear Bulat, Author with the assistance of Ben Resnick, Illustrator wrote a wonderful short story using a poem reflectiong her love for her dachsund, Lucy. Pam shares her desire to publish a book to be enjoyed by children like the Golden Books series she read as a child.
Tom Chouteau's artistry has taken years to develop. His unique efforts are displayed at the German American Heritage Center, a fun exhibit for the whole family. One does not have to travel to Disneyland to see the miracles formed by light and mirrors. Spend an hour gazing into his world! You will be AMAZED!
- Eier Marke
Eier Marke is celebrated annually in Germany as part of the tradition welcoming Easter and Spring. From small villages to huge cities, merchants display eggs with brilliant colors forming fantastic eye candy! Here, we see several handcrafted items made lovingly by crafts people adding to the overall fun atmosphere.
- Remagen Bridge
Dr. Wolf Koch presents on an area of Germany from which he emigrated as a very young man. He shares the history of the Allied capture of the Remagan Bridge that helped close a chapter of WWII. The bridge was successfully destroyed by Germany to prevent troops expanding into the Fatherland. However, the cost was large and the success was delayed for many weeks allowing Allied troops and armour to cross unimpeded. It finally fell on March 17, 1945.
- Medieval Europe
Janet Brown-Lowe shares her love of history by describing the world through Medieval eyes. She describes the life and times of the people whol lived through some very dramatic history.
- Messipi Threads River Quilts
Sara Detweiler gave 60 of her friends a piece of "Hoffman" river fabric and a few instructions. It was to be 18" by 14" finished with a 3" river on two sides. It should have a thin batting and finished by enveloping or facing. The quilt may be pieced, appliqued, painted, embroidered, fused, thread painted and embellished. Quilts will be of contemporary, a scene, personal experience or a special event. The quilts will be displayed so the river runs continuously.
- Kathi Hofman Presents Iowa OP Platt Video
Many of local German ancestors arrived speaking "low German" or the language of the present day states bordering Germany and Denmark. A movie for a German talk show was completed a few years ago and local family members of some of these ancestors were interviewed. Kathi prepared an English translation of the video contents as shown nn German television show.
- Lt. George Stout, Iowa's Monument's Man
Nancy Trask of Winterset Iowa presented on her hometown hero, George Stout who became famous for his efforts in saving art stolen by the Nazi's during WWII. He and his small group of highly educated specialists redirected many of the world's most famous paintings, sculptures, carvings, etc. back to their original owners. Their efforts were depicted in an award
winning Hollywood movie called, "The Monuments Men" starring George Clooney. The movie was shown at the Figge Museum folllowed by Nancy's well attended presentation on January 4, 2015.
- WWI Christmas Truce of 1914--A Military Perspective
George Eaton, ASC Historian of the Rock Island Museum spoke on the Christmas Truce of 1914 during the beginning stages of World War 1. He described the trench warfare and the expectation that the war was only going to last for a few months before being won. The spontaneous celebration of Christmas broke the monotony and the horror of war for a few hours before conflict restarted.
- WWI Christmas Exhibit
Current Exhibit on the First Floor
- Danish-German War Exhibit
Come see the current exhibit on the Third Floor!
- Dr. Bill Roba
Bill shared his research of the area as well as his own family history regarding the Schleswig-Holstein border fight between Germany and Denmark in the late 1840's. The First Schleswig War (German: Schleswig-Holsteinischer Krieg) or Three Years' War (Danish: Treårskrigen) was the first round of military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question, contesting the issue of who should control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The war, which lasted from 1848–1851, also involved troops from Prussia and Sweden. Ultimately, the war resulted in a Danish victory. A second conflict, the Second Schleswig War, erupted in 1864. (Parts of this explanation comes from Wikipedia)
- House on the Hill
Paper casting is an old art form that is brought to life by Connie from House on the Hill in Elmhurst, Illinois. Participants watched and later were able to make a Christmas card using the beautiful casts.
- 1848'ers with Yogi Reppmann
In the 1840's, the middle of America was being transformed from being the "wild west" to a more civilized society. Early German arrivals came and brought with them a dream to experience freedom that they could not find in the Fatherland. They became known as the 1848'ers, men and women who became the foundation for much of the political and educational thought for the Mississippi River valley from St. Louis to Davenport and beyond. Yogi presents on his study of this important group from his homeland of Germany. He also introduces Scott Christiansen who he met while Scott was researching his family. Together, they made an informational video of their research that was presented.
- Volunteer Recognition-2014
This year, the celebration occurred at the Quad Cities Botanical Center in Rock Island. Jerry Nemeier was the toastmaster and the GAHC Legacy of Leadership Award was made to Leroy and Roma Offerman.
- A Glimpse Behind the Wall: Art in E. Germany with Dr. April Eisman
- Beer Tasting
A crowd pleaser if ever one, the annual Octoberfest at GAHC!
- Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP)
The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) was founded in 2002 to promote education about Germany, to encourage intercultural dialogue, and to provide the opportunity for North American social studies educators to experience Germany in person.
- Michele McNabb, museum of danish america
Representing the museum of danish america in Elk Horn, Iowa, Michele presented two workshops. During the first presentation, she discusses the topic of "Were They Danish or German?-Danish Ancestors from Slesvig-Holsten" followed up with "Under Sail and Steam--Immigration from Denmark and Slesvig-Holsten." With over 40 audience members listening and learning, she shared multiple internet sites that would be helpful in anyone's family research.
- Johann Kaspar Wild Dedication
Johann Kaspar Wild is buried in the City Cemetery of Davenport, Iowa. He died at the age of 42 from "consumption" (tuberculosis) in 1846 and was buried in an unmarked grave. He was famous for paintings depicting the beginning of several river towns along the Mississippi river as well as other sites. Before the invention of photography in 1835 which was not widely available until years later, painting was the primary mode of sharing the sights with a viewing public. He died as a pauper, but his work continues today. The Putnam Museum has opened its vaults to reveal two of his paintings that were displayed and the City of Davenport donated a grave monument. Several dignitaries representing the City, the German Round Table Group of the Quad Cities, The Swiss Center of North America and Western Illinois University spoke.
- The Christmas Tree Ship by Rochelle Pennington
Researcher, author and speaker shares her book about "The Christmas Tree Ship" that provided trees to Chicago residents, both rich and poor. Original artifacts are displayed along with pictures and written accounts of the loss of the ship in Lake Michigan in 1912. The audience was captivated and brought to tears with her very moving presentation.
- Fall Frolic
This year's Fall Frolic was held in the Ballroom at the Outing Club in Davenport. Guest presenter was Rochelle Pennington, researcher, author and speaker who shared her presentation, "World War I Christmas Miracle." Members of the audience also enjoyed the good German food as well as live accordion music.
- J. Elke Ertle, Author of Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl's Journey to Freedom
J. Elke Erkle , author and speaker presented her Memoir reflecting her experiences in Berlin post WWII. Her family worked to survive the aftermath of the war caring for her as a baby. She shared stories of her growing years, her fall out with her parents as well as marriage and move to America as a young adult. She shared portions of her book, "Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl's Journey to Freedom." It is available on line.
- Joe Michaud on the Berlin Wall
Joe shares a few of his personal stories of his days as a guard on the Berlin Wall. He has written a book that reveals both the history as well as the untold events that have shaped Europe for years. His book is for sale at the GAHC gift store and will make a memorable addition to anyone interested in WWII history.
- Hummel Exhibit
Welcome to the Hummel Exhibit on the 3rd floor of our Center. Here are a few pictures to wet your whistle........Sponsored by Betty Dexter, Rick Sundin, Sheila Kistenmacher, Evelyn Wieck and Kathi Hofmann
- Dennis Loftin's History of the Quad City Symphony
Dennis spoke of the long history of the original Tri-City Symphony (later Quad City Symphony) populated by German immigrants who brought their love of music to our area. A variety of conductors as well as dynamic supporters such as Elsie von Maur led the way to develop a deep love for the music and programs that we still enjoy today.
- Larry Minard on Scott Co.
The recorded history of Scott County, Iowa started 350 years ago with exploration of the middle United States by Spanish and French representatives. Larry shares his knowledge of the background of our county and how it became what it is today.
- Frederick Morden
Frederick Morden presents the symphony "Immigrants to America: From Weiner Schnitzel to Melting Pot". Influences of great composers from early to present day Americans.
- Don Wooten on Richard Strauss
As a part of the celebration of the QC Symphony 100 Years, Don Wooten gives a sparkling and informative presentation on Richard Staruss, a German composer who lived from 1864-1949.
- Arlene Considine's Easter Celebration
Arlene Considine of Considine Cottage in Clinton, Iowa displays many of her coveted Easter eggs and other momentos on the 4th lloor of GAHC. Take some time to visit!
- Kathi Hofmann Shares German Easter Traditions
Kathi shares Easter pictures and stories while lifving and traveling in Germany.
- Keith Bonnstetter- Scherenschnitte (Paper Cutting)
Keith Bonnstetter leads two classes in making a beautiful cutting.
- Basket Weaving with Tracy Welch
Tote Basket Weaving conducted by Tracy Welch, a 27 year veteran.
- Kautz Farms-A Living Legacy
- Mark Russell Smith on Gustav Mahler
Mark Russell Smith, Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony shares his insights on Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony. 2014 is the 100 year celebration for the QC Symphony.
- Paul Cutting--Early Immigrant Cabins
Paul Cutting shares his knowledge on homes built by early German and Norwegian settlers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. All were built using local resources and depended on oak or pine logs for construction. He has deconstructed at least 10 homes rebuilding them on new foundations to preserve history.
- Puppets and Pies with Monica Leo
- The World of Antique Metal & Mechanical Dolls
Metal has been used in doll making since antiquity, but most famous 19th century examples come from Germany. Automatons also date from ancient times, but those more familiar to us have their roots in Switzerland and Germany. This exhibit displays a variety of dolls and artifacts covering different historical periods.
- The 48ers
The year was 1848 and Hans Reimer Claussen, a lawyer living in the Schleswig-Holstein province of Germany, was among the revolutionaries taking up arms against the king of Denmark.
At the time, Denmark ruled the province, and Claussen and others were fighting for independence and the right to self-rule. The revolution was quashed, and Claussen was one of 21 men excluded from the king's amnesty.
He immigrated to the United States and Davenport, one of about 200 "Freedom Fighters" — or 48ers, as they are called — who brought liberal education and secular ideas to this area, deeply influencing the city's early government and culture.
This is one of several stories you'll hear in a 30-minute documentary that will be shown Sunday during a free open house at the German American Heritage Center in Davenport.
The documentary was made this fall and funded by Deutsche Welle, the German equivalent of the Public Broadcasting Service.
Alma Gaul, Q-C Times
- Springerle-Connie from House on the Hill
Springerle papercasting and biscuit making with embossed designs follow old German Traditions celebrating the Christmas season from early times. Connie of the House on the Hill in Elmhurst Illinois shares her secrets in making these wonderful products.
- Kathi Hofmann presents St. Martin's Day Lanterns
Kids learn to make a paper lantern to celebrate Germany's St. Martin's Day.
- Arts & Draughts 2013
Celebrating Octoberfest in Germany at the German American Heritage Center with the local assistance of the MUGZ Club and professional artists.
- Dr. Cora Lee Kluge & German POWs/Miss. River
Dr. Kluge, Prof. of German at UW Madison is sponored by the German American Heritage Center and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She spoke on the topic of WWII German POWs and the Mississippi River Basin Model.
- Volunteer Recognition
- Anneliese Heider Tisdale- "Christmas Trees Lit the Sky"
Anneliese Tisdale shares her memories by authoring "Christmas Trees Lit the Sky," her first hand account of Berlin in 1945 with the arrival of the Americans.
- Mary Swalla Holmes on Oberholtzer
Mary Swalla Holmes of the Ernest Oberholtzer Foundation in Minnesota discusses his life and work saving the Boundary Waters between the US and Canada. Mr. Oberholtzer was originally from Davenport, Iowa where he is buried.
- A) Zurich & Basal Switzerland Aug. 18
Arrival & short tour of Zurich and travel to Basal for departure on Avalon Felicity down the Rhine River.
- B) Strasbourg, France Aug. 19
Visiting Strasbourg, France with excursion to the Black Forest
- C) Speyer & Heidelberg, Germany Aug. 20
Arrive at Speyer for tour of Speyer Cathedral and City before departing for afternoon visit of Heidelberg.
- D) Mainz & Rudesheim, Germany Aug. 21
Arrive at Mainz and tour the Gutenberg Museum and City. Travel on to Rudesheim and the wine region.
- E) Rhine Gorge & Koblenz, Germany Aug. 22
Continue with the wine country with added bonus of Castles ending in the city of Koblenz.
- F) Cologne, Germany Aug. 23
Enterng Cologne to visit several sites, shop and experience the last night on board the Felicity.
- G) Amsterdam, Netherlands Aug. 24
Arrive Amsterdam, tour the city and say goodbye to those who are traveling elsewhere.
- H) Begin Bus Tour--Amsterdam to Emden, Germany Aug. 25
The German Heritage Bus Tour begins with touring Amsterdam, visiting the Anne Frank Museum and then on to Emden, German for two nights.
- I) Emden & surrounding area Aug. 26
Will be touring Groothusen, Pilsum and Rysum with a stop at a Campen Light House amd finally Suurhusen's leaning church.
- J) Bremerhaven & Bremen, Germany Aug. 27
We travelled to the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven where over 23 million people left for the US between 1815-1914. Then we traveled to Bremen made famous by the Brothers Grimm. Last, we stay the next two nights in Nienberg.
- K) Celle & Bergen-Belsen. Germany Aug. 28
We drove to Celle to visit the Ducal Palace built in 1318. Some stayed to tour the city while others went on to the concentration camp that held Anne Frank.
- L) Potsdam, Germany Aug. 29
Today, we visited Potsdam and the Sanssouci Palace where Frederick the Great ruled from 1740-1786.
- M) Berlin, Germany Aug. 30
Brandenburg Gate as well a Check Point Charlie and other sites are on the agenda for this day's visit.
- N) Wittenberg & Leipzig, Germany Aug. 31
We leave Lukckenwalde and travel to Martin Luther's church in Wittenberg. We tour the city and then off to Leipzig ending in Burgstadt for two nights.
- O) Wechselburg, Germany Sept. 1
Visiting Wechselburg Castle and Abby today, dating back to 1168. We then struck an outdoor State Festival in Chemnitz, Germany and we spent a few hours enjoying the sights and sounds.
- P) Dresden & Meissen, Germany Sept. 2
We drove to Meissen where we tour the porcelain factory. We then go to Dresden and tour the city. We closed the day by arriving in Prague, Czech Republic.
- Q) Prague, Czech Republic Sept. 3
We spend the last full day touring Prague. We arrived at the world largest castle complex-Hradcany which includes the Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral. We cross the Charles Bridge and end the day at a fun folk show.
- R) Czech Movies
Two very short movies showing the talented performers.
- S) Linda Meador's Favorite Photos
Linda has chosen 27 pictures of the trip that she wanted to share.