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Monday, May 30, 2016

Day Trip to Galena, IL

Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois. It is named for the mineral galena, which was mined by Native Americans in the area for over 1000 years. 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. TripAdvisor listed Galena among its top-ten "Charming Small Towns". <Source>


Galena's Oldest House
John Dowling arrived in Galena with his son Nicholas in 1826. The limestone house was built in 1826-27 in the single-pen style. John served on the 1834 fire committee and was elected to the 1838 town board of trustees. Nicholas was elected alderman in 1841, serving until his election as mayor in 1843. The building sat abandoned for several decades. It was rehabilitated by William McCauley in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the building was opened to the public. <Source>










Main Street
Galena's historic Main Street— named "Best Main Street in the Midwest" by Midwest Living magazine and one of America's Best Main Streets by Fodor's— curves past nearly 100 19th-century storefronts. Galena looks much as it did during the time of the Civil War, although now the historic red brick buildings are home to charming boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Galena is also known for its cozy lodgings, with quaint bed and breakfasts dotting the picturesque hillsides surrounding the town. <Source>














The Old Blacksmith Shop
Filled with tools and equipment from its 100 year history. While the shop is a museum (complete with gift shop), forges are totally operable and blacksmiths are on duty during the season. <Source>





Ulysses S. Grant Home

The former home of Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War general and later 18th President of the United States. The home was designed by William Dennison and constructed in 1859 - 1860. The home was given to Grant by residents of Galena in 1865 as thanks for his war service, and has been maintained as a memorial to Grant since 1904. <Source>







The Belvedere
The Belvedere has been considered the finest mansion in Galena since it was built in 1857. This historic 22 room mansion is truly lavish, the finest and "most often visited" Italianate mansion in Galena for more than 33 years. Inside visitors will find Victorian furnishings, Liberace's estate items and the famous green drapes as well as artwork from "Gone With the Wind". <Source>

Building was closed when we visited. Watch informative video here.




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