Galena is famous for its concentration of diverse historic architecture and for how much Galenians treasure, restore, and care for it – but so much of it is hidden behind high fences and closed doors. Who wouldn’t be excited by the opportunity for a closer, more in depth look at some of these ornate and history-rich edifices?
Clearly many do, or the highly-popular tour wouldn’t be in its 48th year!
One of the best things about the annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes is that, because there are so very many well preserved and restored properties in Galena, the homes featured on the tour change from year to year. Even if a building has been on the tour before, it will only be back on the tour if it has had significant work done or if it has been a long while since last it was included.
Thus, even if you’ve been on the Tour of Historic Galena Homes before, you wont be bored this time around!
This years Tour of Historic Galena Homes includes:
Jail Hill Inn – 319 Meeker Street
Built as a replacement in 1878 after the earlier jail burned down, this building initially housed the sheriff and his family on the first floor with six jail cells on the second. Sold by the county in the 1970s, the building has since been a private home, an apartment complex, and is now a B&B.
Bench Street Bungalow – 100 S. Bench Street
An arts-and-crafts, craftsman-style home built around 1915, this “newer” building on the tour features the classic, low-pitched gable roofs, wide porches, and open air floor plans so typical of its style. Though a more contemporary home than most on the tour, visitors will be charmed by the many custom, handcrafted features, like the built-in oak dining buffet.
The Owl House – 116 S. Bench Street
This 900 square feet commercial building-turned-residence is known as the Owl House for the owls depicted in its frosted windows. With a long history as a commercial warehouse for several Galena businesses over the years, this unique building’s successful conversion into a residence during the 1980’s make it one of the more interesting on this year’s tour.
The Fricke House – 119 S. Bench Street
Built in 1878 by skilled German jeweler and goldsmith Henry Fricke. Marble fireplaces, wrought-iron fencing, wood floors, beautifully etched glass, and period furnishings will both transport and dazzle you.
The DeZoya House – 1107 Fourth Street
This 1838, federal-style house, was built by Swiss veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, John P. DeZoya, who went on to serve as Galena County Treasurer, Market Master, and Alderman on the City Council. Located on a secluded, park-like 1.25 acre lot along Davis Creek, the entire property is a wonderful, graceful blending of the old with new.
Your ticket for the 2015 Tour of Historic Galena Homes also provides free admission to the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, within a block of the three South Bench Street homes, on the days of the tour. Free shuttles will be provided on Saturday to all tour locations, and all proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society.
Tour of Historic Galena Homes
September 26 and 27, 9am to 5pm
For tickets: www.galenahistory.org or 815-777-9129
Tour of Historic Galena Homes Lodging
You’ve come to Galena to tour beautiful and historic homes – so why not stay in one? Treat yourself to the impeccable service and unmatched guest accommodations of Galena’s premiere historic inn, Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast.