Our New Year's Visit to Historic Galena, Illinois

January 11, 2017

Dowling House in Historic Galena, Ilinois

I don't know about you, but I enjoy "getting away" every once in a while and recharging my batteries so to speak. And lucky for me that's just what we did on New Year's weekend this past Christmas holiday. My family and I were blessed to be able to spend the weekend at a friend's home situated in the rolling hills of Galena. IL.

And when I say rolling I'm not kidding. This historic Illinois town (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is situated, literally, on a hill alongside the Galena River, which is one of the many tributaries of the Mississippi River. If you're heading into town from the east you have to drive through Stockton, Illinois which is the highest town above sea level in the state of Illinois -- at 1,000 feet above sea level.

The town of Galena, established in 1821, got its name from the mineral deposit galena (lead sulfide) which was once discovered there. This discovery was actually responsible for making Galena the site of the first major mineral rush in the United States. Galena was also the home of Ulysses S. Grant as well as eight other civil war generals. The downtown area retains the beautiful old architecture of yesteryear, while at the same time provides a perfect shopping destination for vintage and antique lovers alike. You can also tour Grant's home as well as other historic buildings around town.

Dowling House in Historic Galena, Ilinois

 This is  Dowling House, Galena's oldest house circa 1826. 

Dowling House in Historic Galena, Ilinois
As you can see, there is no shortage of hills in Galena.

Historic Galena, Ilinois

Historic Galena, Ilinois

Desoto House Hotel in Historic Galena, Ilinois

The Desoto House is the oldest operating hotel in Illinois, having opened in 1855.

Honest John's Trading Post in Historic Galena, Ilinois

Shopping is a popular pastime along winding Main Street, Galena.

Main Street in Historic Galena, Ilinois

The shops and restaurants are varied and eclectic, with a little something for everyone. I really enjoy spending the day strolling down the street and stopping in whatever shop strikes my fancy that day. I am lucky in that my sweet family humors me in this endeavor.

pink Christmas tree with vintage ornaments

I love visiting Galena this time of year since the town and all the shops are still so beautifully decorated for Christmas

pink Christmas tree with vintage ornaments

I easily swoon over vintage Christmas ornaments.

You never know what you'll find in these wonderful antique shops.

I'm a huge fan of shabby chic and religious relics so I happily get my fill of 
eye candy when I'm there.

vintage Madonna Sacred Heart painting

There's also many more of what you might consider typical vintage stores as well.

Looking back I realize that I should have asked if that crate was for sale!

vintage Winston Churchill six book set

And every time we pass this small farm outbuilding I cannot help but smile.

 But the best part might just be the view from the deck on the back of the house.

It's a serene setting that gives us just what we need to feel rejuvenated and ready to face the world again. We hang out by the fire and play board games as a family. I didn't even open my computer once.  And we certainly can't thank our kind and generous friend enough for so graciously sharing her beautiful home with us for the second year in a row. 

But for now it's back to reality. Oh, and you didn't think I left that town empty handed now did you? I'm putting together a special Thrill of the Hunt just to share what goodies I brought home with me. So stay tuned.

I hope you enjoyed reading Our New Year's Visit to Historic Galena, Illinois! 
And thanks so much for spending time with me today!

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Leave a Comment!

NanaDiana said...

Hi Kathleen-
Don't you just LOVE Galena? I felt like I was right there again. I have not been there in years. The last time I was there was on a Halloween night and the kids were all out trick-or-treating and the houses were done up and it was just fantastic to see. So much fun. I think I need to get back there again! xo Diana

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely place. I was excited to see all those interesting books. The pink Christmas tree is my favorite[pink is my favorite color].

Diana said...

Galena looks like a wonderful place to visit--my kind of town for sure. I enjoyed every bit of your tour, Kathleen, and am so glad you got the chance to have such a special time with your family :)

https://www.vintagesouthernpicks.com said...

Beautiful wintry town! This Southern gal loves all that snow!! I would love to stay in that DeSoto Hotel! Wonder how they've updated it inside? It would be fun to see it and/or stay there! Loved the look at the shops too.

My thrift store addiction said...

What a charming spot! I would love to browse those shops!

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