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Category Archives: Cloran Mansion News

Christmas Time in Galena!

November 14, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Enjoy the holidays in Galena! This year a new tradition begins with the Galena Holidaze Festival.
The event will be held at Green Street Plaza on Main Street on Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 11 AM to 6 PM. The annual fireworks show, known as Fire in the Sky, will then follow at 6:30, visible anywhere downtown.
​The Holidaze Festival will feature traveling local artisans with holiday items, local food vendors, live music including Christmas caroling, kids’ activities, a Christmas wreath sale, and a silent auction.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Galena Arts and Recreation Center.
More information can be obtained at
The rest of the schedule for the holidays looks like this:
Nov. 26 — Galena Tree Lighting, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Dec. 10 — Living Windows, 4-7 p.m., Luminary Nigt, 4:30-9 p.m.
Dec. 17 — Snowflakes & Sweets Stroll, 12-4 p.m. (tickets required and can be purchased at
Galena has been named the Best Holiday Town by Midwest Living. We hope you can enjoy the holidays with us!

October Colors Are Sparkling

October 24, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

It’s been a gorgeous fall here in Galena this year. Plenty of sunshine and lots of color! There are still some autumn leaves left. This was taken at Chestnut Mountain yesterday.

Picture of autumn trees at Chestnut Mountain




October Wedding

October 11, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to our most recent autumn wedding couple, Bill and Windy White from Orlando, Florida! Bill grew up in northern Illinois, and the two decided on Galena and its fall colors for their special day!

Milking It

September 12, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

This weekend, Janet and I had the pleasure of visiting Berning Acres, a dairy farm about 10 minutes from us in East Dubuque, IL. This is a picture of our tour guide, Natalie, providing some extra nutrition for a calf just a week or two old.

Berning Acres provides tours May through October, a “Night at the Farm” on selected Fridays and Saturdays through September, and Farm Camp for kids.

If you really want to understand how a modern dairy farm works, Berning Acres is a tremendous place to visit. Natalie makes a particularly good guide because she did not grow up on a farm and so appreciates the perspectives of visitors.

There are about 400 cows on the farm, so it is really amazing to see all the aspects that go into running a business of this size. Plus you get to say you milked a cow (at least the new, technology-assisted way!). For more information, visit

picture of Natalie feeding a bottle to a calf.


September 2, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to our newest wedding couple, Mikia and Jay King! Mikia and Jay hail from central Illinois and had a lovely ceremony near our pond, where the koi were very honored to act as witnesses. All the best to you for a lifetime of happiness!

Wedding Bells x 2

August 5, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Happy days recently at Cloran Mansion as we celebrated a couple of wonderful weddings in the summer heat. Congratulations to Dawn and Matthew Klepsteen from Knierim, Iowa (married July 23) and Denise and Glenn Stadler of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (married Aug. 3). Wishing you lots of happiness in the years ahead, and we hope to see you for a return visit on anniversary number 1!

4th of July Wedding

July 5, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

We had a great 4th of July celebration here yesterday. Kay and Darren Phillips were married in our gazebo! Despite predictions of storms, the clouds parted and the sun shone for a lovely, if steamy, day for a wedding. Congratulations to Kay and Darren, and we wish you many more happy years of celebrating with fireworks!

Do You Feel the Love?

June 14, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

The digital travel magazine Trips to Discover this week posted its newest article, “The Most Romantic Destination in Every State.” For Illinois, the magazine gave the honor to Cloran Mansion Bed and Breakfast! Thank you!

It’s a Good Sign

May 5, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

We are very happy with our new sign installed this week. The old one was rotting away, so it was time for a replacement. Many thanks to Lange Sign Group in East Dubuque for their attentive and timely work, to mason Reggie Droessler, who obviously takes great pride in what he does, and to Cheryl and Carmine Farruggia, who hired the graphic designer many years ago to create a logo for Cloran Mansion. We hope that the sign will help create a welcome feeling for all the guests who arrive here in the years to come!

Happy Birthday, President Grant!

April 28, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

This weekend, Galena marks the 200th birthday of Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was too trusting by nature, never a successful businessman, and he smoked too many cigars. But at a time when his country needed him, he was there, and the Union — and Galena — were deeply grateful. We hope you can help wish this distinguished one-time Galenian a Happy Birthday this weekend with lots of activities!

Best of the River

April 19, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Thank you to readers of River Travel Magazine. In its annual “Best of the River” survey, Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast came in second in the category of best bed and breakfast. River Travel Magazine focuses on travel along both sides of the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to New Orleans. Here is a link to the results Thank you to voters for the recognitiion!

Top Dog

April 1, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

This week Yelp! named Cloran Mansion Bed and Breakfast the top dog-friendly lodging in Illinois (Antonio’s Cottage only). Truth be told, I not a big fan of these kinds of rankings (top cities, top restaurants, top one-armed paper hangers, etc., etc., etc.). But it is always nice to be recognized, and I want to thank the guests over the years who have written kind reviews. That’s where the ranking comes from — and, as always, I am indebted to the guests. So thank you, and we will continue to strive to live up to our slogan at Cloran Mansion B&B — “Historic Charm, Modern Comforts.”

New Visitor Guide

March 22, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

The new visitor guide is out. Here is a link to it to help you plan your trip to Galena! Galena Visitor Guide

New Roof

March 18, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

New roof finished today, just in time for a good spring rain. Can’t tell you how good it feels to have this project completed. Old “tin” roof may have been 100 years old or more. Time to thank it for its service and enjoy the new “hat”!

Join the History Hunt!

February 26, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

Looking for a fun activity in the springtime? In April, the Galena Historical Society will release its 2nd Annual Galena History Hunt map!
Explore Galena on a fun filled scavenger hunt to local historic sites. Learn unique facts and stories at each historic site along the way for a chance to win $500 and other prizes!
Maps will be available for purchase in April at the following locations:
Online (
Historical Society Office (513 Bouthiller St., Galena. Call 815-777-9129)
Galena & U.S. Grant Museum (211 S. Bench St. from 10-4:30 p.m.)

Flyer for History Hunt.  Price for the hunt is $10 and can be purchased from April 27-May 31, 2022.

Welcome back!

January 23, 2022 by Paul Kolimas

It was a fantastic and special weekend here at Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast. Five grandchildren of Virgil and Rita Gaber, along with their spouses, came to stay in the house they grew up in or visited as children decades ago.

Virgil and Rita Gaber bought the Cloran Mansion from the American Legion in 1967 and lived here until 1983. During that time they used the upstairs as an apartment for family members. Alice’s Room and the Library were kids’ bedrooms, Tower Room was for their parents, John’s Room was the living room, and Ann’s Room was a kitchen!

Virgil and Rita’s bedroom was in the space that is now Sara’s Suite on the first floor. The room now used for massages, just off the kitchen, was a spare bedroom for visiting grandkids. For many years the Gabers owned Galena’s Dairy Dreem ice cream parlor and restaurant along with the Triangle Motel.

Their grandchildren came from around the area as well as California and Idaho to stay here this weekend and relive some of the old memories. A great many thanks to them for making this such a s special weekend by sharing photos and recollections of the Cloran Mansion!

The Cloran Mansion was eventually sold in the 1980s to Bill Lozeau, who turned the house into the bed and breakfast it is today. We are reminded each day that we are part of an unfolding, living history by operating this special building, but never as clearly as this weekend!

Christmas bells…and wedding bells!

December 26, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to Karly and Zach from central Illinois on their lovely wedding here at Cloran! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together!

“Fall”ing in Love

November 8, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Holmes! Ohdonna and Troy were married Saturday at the Cloran Mansion on a beautiful fall day in a ceremony attended by close family and friends. The couple traveled from Ottawa, Illinois, to Galena for their special day. We wish you all the best as you begin a new journey together!

Galena Shuttle Is Here!

August 31, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Starting Labor Day weekend, guests can take advantage of the Galena Free Ride transit service every Saturday in September and October, from 11am–7pm

Avoid the congestion of trying to park on Main Street. Instead, park in the Depot Park remote lot, hop on the transit and be dropped off just steps away from Main Street.

Service runs in a continuous loop, loading every 20 minutes from 11am–7pm. Transit stops are located at Depot Park and Green Street/City Hall. Depot Park is located along the Galena River by the old train station.

Golden Day

August 5, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to Karen and Charles Ginn, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary over the weekend with a renewal ceremony here. All the best to a great couple and two very loyal guests! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share in the moment with your family.

Corkless, 2021

July 11, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

AFter a Covid-induced dry spell, Galena looks forward to the return of this great event!

Tower Room Updates

May 12, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

In addition to Alice’s Room, we have also been doing some work on Tower Room to try to enhance the experience for guests.

A new king bed is in place, and by removing a dresser, we have made room for two comfortable chairs for relaxing. A bachelor’s chest and a glass table with lamp are on either side of the bed to provide a convenient place to place personal belongings at night.

A new chest for the TV is next to the gas fireplace, which can now be operated via a remote control that also acts as a thermostat. Along with some new wall decor is a “fandelier,” a ceiling light with a fan that retracts when off and that can also be operated via remote control.

No worries — up the stairs in the bathroom, in the old tower of the house, is still the double jetted tub that so many have relaxed in over the years.

Next to Tower Room, between Tower and John’s Room, is a grandfather clock that we located at a consignment shop in Galena. It was made by Ithaca Calendar Clock Company, which was creating these grandfather clocks at the time John Cloran was living in the house at the turn of the last century. The face is modern, but the wood case and brass finials appear to go back more than one hundred years. Don’t worry — the clock is not operating so as not to disturb any guests.

We do hope that the updates will help make the experience of guests in Tower Room more comfortable than ever. We thank all of you who have been coming out to get away for a bit — you help keep these vintage places going! Please know that we will continue to work to live up to our motto, “Modern Comforts, Historic Charm.”

Renovations to Alice’s Room

May 11, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

We have been doing some work here over the past few months to enhance the experience of guests. One of our projects has been Alice’s Room.

Alice was the daughter of John and Ann Cloran, and she took care of her father after Ann passed away. Alice’s Room is our smallest, but we have been doing our best to make it feel open and warm. The pedestal sink that had been near the bed is now removed. A small vanity is now in the bathroom, and the bathtub there has been removed to make room for a shower stall.

A recessed electric fireplace (with all kinds of color options) now adorns one wall, whether you want some extra heat on a cold winter’s night or just some neat ambience without the heat on a warm summer’s evening. The closet door also got a bit of an upgrade, but the closet still has water and soda, along with a couple of comfortable bath robes.
So we couldn’t make Alice’s Room any bigger — but we do hope that people looking for a nice, cozy B&B room in a historic home, full breakfast included, will find a good deal of charm to enjoy there! Tomorrow, I will post an update on the work done in Tower Room.


May 4, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Really wonderful to host Derrick and Candace as they visited Galena for the first time from downstate Illinois. On a beautiful spring day, they said “I do” here at the Cloran Mansion. We were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate with them on their special day, and we wish them nothing but the best as they begin a new life together!

Candace and Derrick pose for wedding photo in front of Cloran Mansion.

Look, up in the sky…!

April 16, 2021 by Paul Kolimas

Congratulations to Alex and Maria, who had a super wedding ceremony here on Wednesday! The happy occasion included each taking a turn reading a letter to the other in their native language, Russian. Apparently, Alex waited until their wedding day to reveal his true identity. All the best to this fun couple from Janesville, Wisconsin!

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