Visitor Information Center
If you're coming from the east along US 20, the visitor center just north of the highway on Park Avenue is a good first stop. Be sure to pick up the illustrated Galena/Jo Daviess County map. The facilities are housed in the former Illinois Central Railroad depot, constructed in 1857.
Stone House Pottery
Located on US 20, about a mile west of the river and traffic light. This is an artist gallery of sculpture and painting. The owners are the artist. Next door is the studio where they and several other artist work. The stone building is one of the original brewery's from the end of the 19th Century.
Hunting and Fishing,
Miniature Golf Courses,
Parks and Pools,
Skiing, Sledding,Skating and
Second Most Visited City in the State of Illinois
"Grand Old City: Galena"
The term Galena is Latin for "lead sulfide", which is appropriate for the name of this city since all the wealth that was here came from the mining of lead. The Native Americans called Galena and the area around it "Manitoomie" meaning "Sacred Ground" or "God's Country". I can certainly see why.
Because of the mineral treasure found in the late 1600s, fortunes were amassed and "architectural masterpieces sprang up in Galena". About this time, it was one of the busiest Mississippi River ports between St. Louis and St. Paul! It was not long-lived. The town's fortunes declined, and progress bypassed Galena.
Then, in the 1960's, Galena was rediscovered, and most of its 19th-century buildings were restored. That is fortunate for all of us who love beautiful architecture. Preservation is still strong in Galena; hopefully, the beauty will be maintained.
Galena is the county seat for Jo Daviess Count and second only to Chicago as the most visited city in the state of Illinois.
The antique shops that used to abound are no longer here. The shops over the last 20 years have changed with the times, and it is not a good thing, in my eyes. I hope this conscientious community does not let commercialism get out of hand. It's the rich heritage stretching back many centuries that is really important rather than Chinese-made items sold in many of the 100 plus shops.