Lining Galena's Main Street on both sides are historic 19th century brick structures that today are home to restaurants, cafes, art galleries, boutiques, and bars.
The Desoto House, pictured above, was opened in 1855 and is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Illinois (Perhaps the oldest one, the Rose Hotel, was built in about 1830 in Elizabethtown at the opposite end of the state). Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech from its balcony in 1856 and Stephen Douglas did the same in 1858. Galena resident Ulysses S. Grant used the hotel as his presidential campaign headquarters in 1868.
Just north of Main Street is Perry Street, which is still made of cobblestones. Further up the hill on the left side is where Galena residents built a stockade in 1832 for protection during the Black Hawk War.
Located where Diagonal Street meets Main Street is the oldest home in Galena and one of the oldest in Illinois, the Dowling House, which was built in 1826. The Dowling residence was a trading post, and it housed many fur traders as they passed through town.
To head one block south to Commerce Street, click here. To explore other areas of Galena, click on one of the links below.