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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is breakfast like?
  • The best way to describe it is a full and flavorful country breakfast served in an elegant but relaxed dining room. We serve breakfast family-style so that you can enjoy a sit-down meal and you can have the freedom to pick and choose what goes on your plate. We will have plenty of coffee, tea, juice and water available. There will be fruit and toast /bread (such as English muffins, bagels, or home-made sweet bread). Local preserves will be on the table. A home-made main dish will be provided, such as granola French toast, cinnamon swirl pancakes, or apple waffles. There will be a generous side of meat, such as sausage links, sausage patties, bacon or ham. There will be a potato selection, such as hash browns, hash brown casserole, oven roasted potatoes, or potatoes and onions. We also always ask if you would like eggs cooked to order, just in case the main dish is not your favorite, you would like more protein, or you just love eggs!

2. Can you accommodate specific dietary needs?

Yes, we are happy to do this. For example, as long as we know in advance, we can prepare gluten-free dishes, vegeterian “meat,” or turkey meat instead of pork. When you make your reservation, just let us know of these needs or any food alergies we need to be aware of!

3. What time do you eat breakfast?

We have been eating at two different times — 8:30 and 9:30. Paul the innkeeper has been asking guests when they check in what time is best for them.

4. What is the history of the Cloran Mansion?

John and Ann Cloran were immigrants from Ireland who settled in Galena in the 1840s. John established a dry-goods store on Main Street that was there for decades, until about 1920. The building is still there today, currently occupied by the Great American Popcorn Company. Besides being a successful businessman, John volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1880, the Clorans built their home in the Italianate style of architecture, which was extremely popular at the time. The house went through a variety of purposes over the years. For example, the American Legion owned it from the 1940s until the 1960s (there were plenty of fish fries during that period). The house was converted into a B&B in the 1980s. Paul and Janet took over as innkeepers in July of 2018 and are the fourth owners of Cloran Mansion as a B&B.

5. What is there to do in Galena?

One thing we appreciate about Galena is that there is a variety of things to do depending on your interests. If you love to shop specialty stores away from “big box” retail, there are literally blocks and blocks of opportunity for this. If you are a foodie, there are great dining establishments to fit a variety of palates. There are also wine tasting rooms, drinking establishments and coffee shops. For nature lovers, Galena is situated in some of the most beautiful scenery in the Midwest, which you can take in via walking or bike trails or by taking a kayak or canoe down the very peaceful Galena River. Chestnut Mountain features wonderful skiing just 20 minutes from Cloran Mansion. History lovers have the U.S. Grant House, the Galena and Grant Museum, and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (just 20 minutes away in Dubuque). If you are interested in live entertainmnet, the P.T. Murphy Magic Show gets rave reviews, and there are plenty of ghost tours for those who like a little spookiness in their evening. This is just a sampling. Two suggestions: 1) keep in mind that some things are available only on certain days or certain times of year, so plan ahead. 2) the main website for the town is www.visitgalena.org. On the site, everything is broken down according to interests, and there is a wealth of information available!

6. Is Cloran Mansion open year round?

Yes! In fact, some people prefer coming during slower months (January to March) when there is less hustle and bustle on Main Street, particularly on weekdays.

7. Is Galena open year round?

Yes! In fact, some people prefer coming during slower months (January to March) when there is less hustle and bustle on Main Street, particularly on weekdays.

8. Is parking an issue at Cloran?

There is plenty of free parking available for all our guests on our very long driveway.

9. How far is Cloran from Main Street?

It is a straight shot down Franklin Street, where we are located, to Main Street, about 1.5 miles.

10. Is it walking distance from Cloran to Main Street?

Some people have walked it, but we don’t generally say it is walking distance. Galena is hilly, and it is a pretty good hike one way. We often recommend driving part of the way, parking on Franklin, and then walking the rest.

11. Why stay at a B&B?

There are a lot of reasons people prefer to stay at a B&B like Cloran Mansion. Many people like the charm of staying in a historical house (Cloran was built in 1880) with a nice, homey atmoshpere. B&Bs are more personal than staying in a hotel. You don’t have a 100 other people staying with you. You have an innkeeper who cares about you as a guest and wants you to enjoy yourselves. If you have a question about Galena, the innkeeper can help you. You can enjoy a nice, leisurely breakfast, home cooked and served to you. You can talk to other guests at the breakfast table. They can sometimes provide suggestions about Galena, as many of our guests have been here many times. Some people also just like the idea of supporting a small-time business owner rather than a large corporation. In sum, a B&B like Cloran provides a warm, comfortable atmosphere to help you decompress!

12. Do you accept pets?

We do welcome guests of the four-legged variety, but we restrict this to Antonio’s Cottage. This is because the cottage is its own separate space, about 100 feet from the house itself. Other guests, therefore, won’t be disturbed.

13. Are you handicapped accessible?

We have a couple of good options for guests with physical challenges. The cottage has no stairs and has a walk-in shower with a bench. To get into the main house for breakfast, there is only one stair. We are happy to help folks in wheelchairs to navigate that stair. Another option is Sara’s Suite. This room is located on the first floor, so, again, you have only that one stair to get into the house. There is a king bed in Sara’s. The only challenge in Sara’s is that the shower is not walk-in. Rather, there is a jacuzzi tub with a shower. There is a grab bar for assistance in getting into the tub.

14. What is the approach of the innkeeper?

We try our best to provide a warm, comfortable atmosphere in a house that is nicely decorated but not so “stuffy” that guests are afraid to touch anything. We want to be of assistance to you so that you can have an enjoyable getaway in Galena, but we don’t want to be intrusive or an annoyance. So, in short, we try to be there when you need us and to back off when you don’t!

15. Do the innkeepers live on property?

Yes, Illinois law requires innkeepers to live on property.

16. What are some suggestions for striking up a conversation at breakfast?

Start small. If you have not been to Galena before, ask other guests if they have and if they have any suggestions on places to visit or eat. If you have been to Galena, ask others if they have any particular plans while they are in town or share something you are looking forward to or something you really enjoyed in the past. Ask others if they have ever been to a B&B before. Share what you like about B&Bs. If you see somone wearing a shirt from someplace you have wondered about visiting, ask him/her if they have been there and what it was like. If they are wearing a sports jersey, ask if they are big followers of the team. Ask Paul the innkeeper what he knows about the history of the house or about a particular photo on the wall. For some people, striking up a conversation comes easily. For others, it takes a little thought. But either way, it can be rewarding to talk a little with other guests who may come from your neck of the woods or who may come from someplace very different!

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