Walk to Main Street and Historic Sites!

Unique History of Galena, Illinois

Galena takes just a small space in Illinois, but it makes a huge impact.  Originally it was inhabited by Sac and Fox Native Americans, and later settled by the French.  In the 1800's, settlers arrived and began a bustling shipping and lead mining industry. The area was called the Driftless Zone, due to the glaciers splitting and leaving rolling hills and amazing vistas.  Galena was named after the mineral found in lead, and the river running through town was originally called the Fevre River and more commonly the Galena.  Once one of the most important cities in the state, and a one time a contender to be named the capitol, Galena received national attention in the 1860's by being the home of General U.S. Grant.  During the Civil War, nine Generals came from this small town.  Galena has kept it's rich history of architecture with over 80% of its' buildings listed on the historic register.

Today Galena is a premier tourist town, earning multiple awards in 2013 for the Friendliest, Best Small Town, Best Main Street and more by such distinguished travel publications as Fodors and Conde Nast.

Visit U.S. Grant's home or that of Elihu Washburne, or award winning vineyard and wine shops. Antiques, boutiques, museums, excellent dining opportunities, botanical gardens and an abundance of outdoor recreation, festivals and parades.

Galena is the town that never closes and boasts a strong and diverse retail commerce experience. No matter what the season, there is always something going on.

Discover Galena for yourself, you'll be glad you did and you'll be back!      

              Main St.               President Lincoln    Wineries      Trikking

            Country Fair           Night of Luminaria     Grant Park




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