A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Galena (the history)

Rick and I love small Historic towns,  
Galena fits the bill, it is definitely a beautiful town rich in history!

* I started getting a yucky cold virus on Thursday, (the day before we left) but I was determined to go on this trip anyway. Friday night's haunted ghost tour was out since it was late and cold and it was a 1.5 hour walking tour. I decided that might be a better option for the fall, and hopefully 
I will feel healthy next time. By Sunday I was feeling quite crappy, 
so we skipped the "clay thrower" on the way out of town. 
Despite the wretched virus that snuck up on me, we still had a great time!
 There was plenty to do, lot's to see and yummy foods to try.

The History.....
Galena is famous for it's lead mining and steamboats, 
in fact the city is named for the mineral, "Galena" a natural form of lead sulfide. 
It has a population of  about 3,400 and is a very popular tourist destination.

Before we even got checked into our hotel we stopped to explore the Grant House
Yep, that's Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president. He lived in Galena, in this mansion. 
You can learn more about the years he spent here with his family

 The staircases in this home were crazy, believe me, I held on tight in fear of my life!
I be those 4 little ones of Grant had a blast playing on this banister, I know mine would have!

(you can click here for a little history)
 The oldest operating hotel in the state of Illinois
This hotel has quite a history, it's all so interesting!

The Dowling House 
 self explanatory

 Main street.....
Main street is full of unique shops and restaurants! We spent most of the day
 Saturday browsing up and down the street.
* * *
We had been on our feet most of Saturday so we decided to jump in the car 
and explore a few of the old building around town.
The old high school
The school was rebuilt in 1905 after being destroyed by a fire. It was sold in 1980, 
people now live in condominiums within the beautiful building. 

Another beautiful mansion...I especially loved the roof and the colors of the building!

The Belvedere Mansion

We drove up to it but it was closed until May,
 I would have loved to see the inside of this giant 22 room mansion. 

The Churches....oh the churches
So many beautiful churches in Galena, many of them are the oldest in the region. 
We decided to attend one of these beauties on Sunday before heading home,
we didn't care what denomination. It was a tough pick but it was decided to go with
the First Presbyterian Church built in 1938

The steeple reaches 125 feet above the street 
( I had a hard time getting it all in the photo)

The pews we sat in were the original, kinda cool I'd have to say :)
 35 people were in attendance, they made us feel very welcome.

A small glimpse into the history of Galena, but wait, I'm not done yet
too much for one posting.  Stay tuned for more fun in Galena :)


  1. Looks like the town is older than the hills. Very beautiful old town. Can't wait for more about it.

  2. Oh, for sure now Galena is on my must-see list. The downtown shot reminds me of downtown Northfield. Looks like a busy place, even in winter.

  3. It was a pleasant busy Audrey, so much to see and I know you would enjoy the "arts" in this town. I could just imagine you interviewing the potter that we were unable to see. He does demonstrations every weekend on the potter's wheel. I so wanted to watch him but I was feeling under the weather and we thought it would be fun to save it for next time. Here's a video of the guy, check it out !

  4. Love the pictures and all the beautiful buildings!

  5. Galena is on our list of places to go. Almost stopped last summer on our way by when we were in Southern IL for a wedding. So did you stay at a B&B? I hear there are some awesome ones there!

  6. It's a nice ride, and not too far away, you guys should check it out for sure. There are a lot of B&B's although Rick and I are not big B&B fans, we stayed at the best western.....huge room, great price, we would stay there again.