A quaint, historic town that parallels the Galena River, Galena was established in 1832 as a lead-mining boom town. The largest port between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis, Galena at one time boasted a larger populous than Chicago.
Here are some fun, historical facts about our Galena:
- "Galena" is Latin for lead sulfide.
- In the peak year of 1845, the mining district, with Galena as its hub, produced almost 85% of the nation's lead.
- The "Lead Rush" preceded the California "Gold Rush" by 20 years.
- Galena claimed nine residents who reached the rank of General for service rendered during the Civil War.
- Ulysses S. Grant, Galena's most famous citizen, moved to town in 1860, one year before the outbreak of the Civil War.
- So much of Galena's original architecture remains, that over 85% of the community is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
If you want it, we've got it! Galena's Shopping:
- Art Galleries and Studios - there are more than ten in Galena.
- Antique Stores - with the amazing variety of antique stores in Galena, there is something for everyone.
- Apparrel and Accessories - there are 20 plus stores in Galena for the fashion conscious.
- Gifts - there are over 22 boutiques that offer unique gifts.
- Home and Garden - there are several stores offering home items for the interior and the exterior.
- Specialty Foods and Products - there are over 20 stores offering gourmet food items, ingredients, and beverages in Galena.
Things to do in Galena:
- Attractions and Tours: there are a variety of Ghost Tours, including Annie Wiggins Ghost Tours. There are tours of the Galena countryside, Tri-State Trolley Tours, and winery tours to name a few. The Alice T. Virtue Water Park is located in a beautiful Galena city park. Fun for all ages.
- Dining: there are numerous restaraunts on Galena's Main street serving breakfast food, Italian food, French food, German food, American food, Bar food, Mexican food, Japanese food. Off Main street there is fast food, Chinese food, Irish food, etc...
- Entertainment and Nightlife: lots of live music at The Cornerstone and The Grape Escape to name a few. Go out and enjoy!
- Historical Sites and Tours: from the Chicago Athenean Museum to Ulysses S. Grant's home, there is no shortage of historical sites to visit.
- Outdoor Recreation: boating, fishing, camping, golf, biking, hiking, riding, and skiing in the winter. Galena and surrounding area has it all.
- Spa Services: visit one of over five area spas or have a wonderful massage in the privacy of your room with Healing Touch of Galena (see our Massage Package).
Source for historical facts: Galena Historical Society
Source for shopping and things to do: Visit Galena