Extra photographs are a MUST SEE if you want to smile
Jill and I had a "blast" at the Galena History Museum. It's also called Galena/Jo Daviess County History Museum.
It is located in an 1858 Italian-style mansion that, in itself, is a treat to see. It was formerly home to a local retailer.The museum has special exhibits that feature Grant and the Civil War, steam boating, clothing, geology, toys, dolls, mining, and agriculture.
Since we love anything about the Civil War, we loved the rare photographs & personal items of U.S. Grant and the famouse Painting called "Peace in Union" of Lee's surrender to Grant.
Perhaps the most remarkable offering in this local museum is an abandoned mineshaft. It's an original 1830's mine shaft which you can see for yourself. It's a specially constructed viewing platform that allows you to look 30 feet down into an original shaft. You can see for yourself
Fondest memory: You can also see a video on Galena's history on the hour.
If you wish, you may want to visit the book, gift, and antique shop.
211 South Bench Street, Galena, IL 61036
Daily from 9 am until 4:30 pm
Child [under 10] Free
For the second time, I visited the "coolest" ice cream shop in Galena. I took my three friends this time to prove to them how good the ice cream really is.
The American Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is located in a beautiful building that was built in 1846! In addition has the original cabinetry, which is a delight to view. There is also a 1927 old fashioned fountain. What I really like about it is the fact that it is not "cluttered" as some other ice cream shops in town seem to be.
Both times I have visited, it has been about nine o'clock at night, and the same elderly woman is working alone with efficiency and speed. She always has a smile and kind comment regardless of how busy it is.
Fondest memory: It has a black and white awning, which is how I am able to identify it because the signage is not obvious. It is located at: 102 North Main Street, and the telephone number is (815) 777-3121.
They have Flavored popcorn, a Coffee Bar with hot chocolate, cappuccino, flavored coffee, cookies, and Biscotti.
In addition, they offer 40 flavors of ice cream, sodas, floats, sundaes, banana splits, malts, and shakes, as well as 40 wonderful flavors of Ice Cream.
My favorite flavor is ice cream is Black Walnut, and I have never tasted any better than here at the The American Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.
The photograph shows my friend, Jill Martin.
While in Galena, don't miss visiting this delightful place.
1. Beautiful Church Steeple in Galena.
2. Delicious Food in Galena [this was breakfast at the Courtyard Restaurant at the DeSoto House Hotel.
3. Belvedere Mansion in Galena.
4. Four Friends during Ladies Getaway Weekend: Dee, Mickey, Marcia, & Jill.
5. Statue of General Grant in the Grant Park in Galena.
My three friends, Mickey, Marcia, and Jill, are all English teachers. Marcia is the only one who is not retired. We decided that we needed a Ladies Getaway Weekend. We used Jill's Ford, and Mickey and I did all the driving.
We arrived in Galena about 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7, 2007. [It's a 3 1/2 hour drive from our homes]. We had beautiful rooms in the DeSoto House Hotel. That night we ate pizza, talked, and went to bed about midnight.
Saturday we had breakfast in the hotel , shopped, had a wine tasting/buying, took a walk to the park, ate lunch and dinner. After dinner, we had ice cream at our favorite ice cream parlor. Early Sunday morning, Mickey and I took a nice walk around town and to the park. We ate Sunday Brunch at the hotel.
After we check out of our hotel, we then drove to Dubuque, Iowa and shopped at what I call the "Bluff Shops".
Fondest memory: We then drove back over the Mississippi River and took a guided tour of the elegant Belvedere Mansion. Once the tour was over, it was time to say goodbye to lovely Galena.
We really hated to leave because we had so much fun, because we all love
to shop in the great shops, because we all love architecture and history, because we love good food and ice cream, and because we cherish our long-time friendship.
There are two possibilities if you wish to take a Ghost Tour while in Galena:
Annie Wiggins Ghost Tour
1004 Park Avenue
Galena, Illinois 61036
ON this tour, a "costumed guide" leads you on a ghost tour of cemeteries and Galena's sites. She tells you about Galena's most famous ghost tales.
Reservations are needed for this seasonal tour.
It is only available on:
Fridays and Saturdays in May through October
All About A Ghost Tour
227 South Dodge Street
Galena, Illinois 61036
This walking tour gives you an oversight of Galena's past and present ghostly adventures. The tour guide says that ALL of the stories are "AUTHENTIC AND HAVE BEEN RESEARCHED". Thus, it is a mixture of history and mystery.
This, too, is a seasonal tour.
Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m. April-October
[Memorial Day Weekend is Friday, Saturday, & SUNDAY night at 8:00 pm]
November and December tours are conducted inside.
Fondest memory: Regardless of which ghost tour you decide to take, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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.
Fondest memory: Grant Park
Boutiquing is what you really do in Galena when you aren't horseback riding etc. The whole town is filled with boutiques and the main picture here shows only one, the teddy bear store. Great place! If you can see in the second picture, just try and imagine each and every storefront being a specialty store of some kind, featuring cute household items, gourmet ice cream, specialty foods, and other things. One chocolaterie even had chocolates imported from Venezuela.
Fondest memory: A picnic in Grant Park
Favorite thing: 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.
I like Diagonal Street. Not sure why it's here, but it's the only street out of line with the nearly perfect grid of streets around town. I mean, this place has a very steep hills (as a matter of fact Hill Street (see tip)), yet the streets are nearly squared off. Diagonal goes with the slope, not right up it.
It also let me use my panoramic feature to good effect.
Hill Street isn't the only street with a hill, but it's a great one for showing the impact on town design. The city is laid out in a traditional midwest, surveyed grid. Only unlike much of the Midwest, the hills here are a bit too steep. So what gives? The roads, or should I say the legs of anyone who walks around town.
When the hills become too steep, the road either disappears or it becomes a stairway. An be careful using the on-line maps when plotting routes through Galena. It shows Hill Street as driveable it's entire length, in spite of the stairs shown here.