A river town
Beneath the boutiquey, quaint exterior lies a reality. Galena is a river town and is prone to flooding from time to time. Following a pattern common in the Mississippi flood plain, Galena has flood gates, so that if the region floods they can at least save the town. Flooding may be good for agriculture, but it is far from good for historical architecture. To enter Galena, you must pass through these gates. Grant Park
Old Stockade on the Cobblestone Street
One of the most baffling sites in Galena would be the Old Stockage on the Cobblestone Street.
It's a log-built structure that was used as a refuge for the women and children of Galena during the Blackhawk War . Inside are historical displays of Galena's history from 1820's. The original building was constructed in French style using upright timbers and with a stone cellar.
It was purchased in 1998 and restored by using and 1890 photo. Federal and state preservation incentives helped with the total restoration. Today there is an apartment upstairs and tours by appointment are done downstairs.
It's open every Sunday from 1pm to 4pm
1. A very humorous sign at the bottom of the Cobblestone Street announcing the Old Stockage on the Cobblestone Street
2. The Cobblestone Street itself.
I walked up and down this street [no easy feat because of the age and condition of the cobblestones] and never figured out where the structure actually is. appearance.
Basaic Galena Page
"History of Galena"
Galena was organized in 1826 and was chartered as a city in 1841. It was named after the sulphide form of lead which was important economically to the town. Galena's political history includes speeches by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. Ulysses S. Grant came here in 1860 to work in his father's leather goods store. It was here he was appointed a general and left to fight in the Civil War. His home is now a State Historic Site.
"Other Historic Buildings"
Galena boasts quite a few historic buildings with about 85% of the downtown area in National Register Historic Districts. These building include the John Dowling House (1826); the DeSoto House Hotel; the Stillman Inn; and the John Long House.
The Belvedere Mansion was built in 1857 and was a former residence of Ulysses S. Grant. It is now a nice museum to explore.
This bucolic town, situated about 10 miles east of the Mississippi River on US-20, was the unofficial "capital" of the Upper Mississippi Basin in the pre-Civil War years thanks to the lead mines in nearby Wisconsin. A hundred years after fortunes dwindled the town hit another mine: the well preserved streets and buildings, along with the soft, rolling beauty of the nearby countryside lent easily to tourism. A few historic sights, lovely buildings and a lack of the kind of gaudiness found in tourist towns of this sort make Galena an excellent place to stop for a long lunch followed by a leisurely stroll about town.