Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Galena, Illinois




We recently returned from Galena, Illinois. The town is about two hours west of Chicago along the U. S. Grant Highway. I strongly recommend you visit Galena. With its great restaurants, shops, museums, and historic homes, it is a great place for a weekend or week long getaway.

Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, with a population of 3,429 at the 2010 census. A 581-acre section of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Galena Historic District. It is named for the mineral galena, which was mined by Native Americans in the area for over a thousand years. Owing to these deposits, Galena was the site of the first major mineral rush in the United States. The first American settler arrived in 1821, and by 1828, the population was estimated at 10,000, rivaling the population of Chicago at the time. The city emerged as the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. Galena was the home of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals. Today, the city is a tourist destination known for its history, architecture, and resorts.


I hope the following photographs will give you an idea about this charming, tourist friendly city.

We began with a tour on the Galena Trolley & Depot Theatre 

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Galena Train Station







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U. S. Grant Home

On August 18, 1865, Galena celebrated the return of its Civil War hero General Ulysses S. Grant. Following a jubilant procession with much flag waving and speeches, a group of Galena citizens presented the General with a handsome furnished house on Bouthillier Street.

It was opened to the public in 1904. Furnishings are original. The house is now managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as the U.S. Grant Home State Historic Site.

U. S. Grant Home





Julia Grant
 We had an excellent tour of the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site from one of the volunteers.
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U. S. Grant Park 

Civil War Monument
Civil War Monument

Civil War Monument - Detail
Civil War Monument - Detail

Civil War Monument - Detail



U. S. Grant Statue

U. S. Grant Statue

U. S. Grant Statue

U. S. Grant Statue - Detail

U. S. Grant Statue - Detail

U. S. Grant Statue - Detail
U. S. Grant Statue - Detail
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Some of Galena's Grand Homes











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Desoto House Hotel

The Desoto House Hotel opened its doors in 1855. It is Illinois' Oldest Operating Hotel.





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 Drawings in the Desoto House Hotel








Please see the DeSoto House Hotel for more in formation.

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Around Town















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U. S. Grant Museum

The Galena and U. S. Grant Museum contains information about the city's lead mining and a collection of Grant memorabilia. Visitors are introduced to the spirits of Ulysses and Julia Grant in a hologram. The museum contains many treasures, such as the "Peace in Union" painting, "General Grant on the Battlefield" painting, and the Flag from the Vicksburg Siege. The museum contains a topographical map of Jo Daviess County, information about lead mining, and exhibits about the steam boats that visited the city.

























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Reproduction of Grant Leather Shop

A special feature of the museum is the reproduction of the Grant family leather shop.












Please see U. S. Grant Museum for more information.


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Elihu Washburne House

Elihu Washburne (1816-1887), a prominent Galena attorney and later a U.S. congressman (1853-1869), political adviser to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, and ambassador to France (1869-1877), occupied the house with his family until 1882.




Please see Elihu Washburne House for more information. 

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