Located in the heart of Gretnas National Register Historic District, settled by German immigrants in the mid-1880s, the German-American Cultural Center (GACC) celebrated its 10th anniversary on June 30, 2009. The GACC interprets the unique German immigrant contribution to Louisianas history through exhibits, lectures, programs, and other educational activities. Exhibits depict the colonial experience, immigration, world of work, culture, religion. An additional exhibit panel features *culture in crisis* during the two world wars. The GACC sponsors special events with a Maifest on the grounds outside the Center and an Oktoberfest Bier Garten as part of the Gretna Heritage Festivals three day event during the first weekend of October each year. The GACC is supported and operated through memberships in the Friends of the German-American Cultural Center and other fundraising activities.
The Friends of the GACC is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and support the German-American Cultural Center. Contributions, both monetary and volunteer hours, will help support the preservation and education of our rich German heritage in Louisiana.
Germans have played a major role in the development o Louisiana ever since they settled the German Coast or La Cote des Allemands, about 36 miles above New Orleans in 1721. They were contracted by John Law t colonize Louisiana after the Duc d?Orleans, Regent of France, granted law permission to charter the Company of the West. The German farmers endured many hardships. Their produce fed the emerging City of New Orleans. The original Germans were absorbed into the French culture and their names were changed from Heidel to Haydel, Himmel to Hymel, Huber to Oubre, Wishner to Vicknair, Zweig to LaBranche, Troxler to Trosclair, and Zehringer to Zeringue (to name a few). Descendants of the colonists still inhabit St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. Throughout the 1800s, New Orleans was a major port of entry for German immigrants, many of whom went to Texas or the mid-west. By 1850, however, there were more Germans than French in New Orleans. They were bakers, blacksmiths, brewmasters, carpenters, dairymen, doctors, engineers, farmers, florists, shoemakers and shopkeepers. Their cultural traditions included love of family and religion. Their strong work ethic helped to shape the destiny of Louisiana. Throughout the 20th century, German immigrants have continued to contribute to the Delta region of Louisiana.
Copyright GACC 2009. All rights reserved