Park Avenue east of the Galena River is home to several Victorian mansions, including one of the most beautiful homes in the state of Illinois, the Belvedere Mansion. The mansion was built in 1857 by Joseph Russell Jones, a Galena businessman, politician, and later U.S. ambassador to Belgium. He befriended Ulysses S. Grant when he moved to Galena in 1860 and lobbied to get Grant an important command once the Civil War started in 1861. Today the mansion and its gardens are open for guided tours from the spring through the fall.
_To see what a tour of the Belvedere Mansion would be like, click on the video below by Illinois Adventure, a program of WTVP 47, the public broadcasting channel of Peoria. Illinois Adventure is a great resource for those looking for Illinois travel ideas.
Just to the north of the Belvedere Mansion on Park Avenue is the Annie Wiggins Guest House.
Just a block east of Park Avenue on 3rd Street is the Elihu Washburne House. Washburne was a longtime U.S. congressman, a secretary of state, and political ally of both Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. His home was first built in 1843 and upgraded in 1859. It was in the library of the Washburne home on election night in 1868 that Grant learned of his election as president. Today the Washburne House is open for tours.
Back on Park Avenue near its intersection with Bouthellier Street is the old Illinois Central Railroad depot that is now a tourist information center.
Caddy-corner to the train depot is the old Galena Water Works building pictured below that was erected in 1886.
Further east on Park Avenue is this beautiful home with a cupola pictured below.
Across the street from the home pictured above is Grant Park. In the park there are several Civil War monuments that show the important role that Galena played in the "War of the Rebellion." Pictured below left is an obelisk inscribed with all the names of the Galena residents who served in the Civil War. The Napoleon, the nickname of the 12-Pounder Field Gun pictured below right, was the most commonly used canon in the war.
To learn more on Ulysses S. Grant and his Galena home, click here. To explore other areas of Galena, click on one of the links below.