Galena IL: Civil War History Comes Alive in April

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Reenactors in blue Civil War uniforms by cannon in front of monument

Photo courtesy of VisitGalena.org

There’s no better time for Civil War buffs to visit Galena than April, when the town celebrates the birthday of its most famous citizen, Ulysses S. Grant. You’re invited to the 195th Birthday Party on April 21-23, 2017, when you can enjoy the festivities at the Historical Society & U.S. Grant Museum, plus a Lamplight Tour of the Grant Home, a Main Street Walking Tour, Civil War Artillery Encampment, Circuit Rider Church Service, and more. There’s free admission to the Museum that weekend, plus free birthday cake and lemonade to celebrate!  April 29-30, 2017, events continue with Civil War encampments along the river. While April is Galena’s busiest month for living history, walking tours continue throughout the summer and fall, and the Museum and Home are open all year.

Historical Society & U.S. Grant Museum
Holographic spirits of the Grants will welcome you to the Museum, where you’ll see paintings and memorabilia related to Grant’s battlefield exploits s as well as exhibits about Galena’s history of steamboating and mining.
Location: 211 South Bench Street, Galena IL Phone: 815-777-9129
Open all year Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Admission: Adults $10 Seniors 65+ $9 Ages 10-18 $8 Ages 9 & under Free Family (parents & dependent children) $22

Home of Ulysses & Julia Grant
A group of citizens of Galena honored the town’s Civil War hero with the gift of the furnished home. The public has been able to tour this home with its original furnishings since 1904.
Location:  500 Bouthillier Street Galena IL Phone: 815-777-3310
Days & Hours: March – October Wednesday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
November – February Wednesday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Main Street Walking Tour with U.S. Grant
Tour Galena’s historic Main Street with General Grant, while he tells you about the city’s history as a boom town and stories about some of its citizens. 
Location: Tours begin in the lobby of the DeSoto House Hotel
Days & Times: May – October Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00 am & 12:00 pm
Admission :Adults: $10 Children 10 & under Free.
Tickets may be purchased at Gateway to History or at DeSoto House Hotel – no reservations required.

Special Living History Events April 21-23, 2017

Friday April 21, 2017
Grant Home Lamplight Tour
History comes alive when Julia and Ulysses Grant show you through their home as dusk falls and lamps are lighted.
Location: 500 Bouthillier Street Galena IL Phone: 815-777-3310
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Admission: Goodwill donations to benefit Grant Home State Historic Site

Saturday April 22, 2017
Historical Society & U.S. Grant Museum
   Free cake and lemonade 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
   Historical Presentations
      Trial of the Nefarious Plot to Capture Grant 12:00 pm
      Lincoln on Leadership 1:00 pm
      Interview with President and Mrs. Grant 2:00 pm
      Women of Courage & Commitment 3:00 pm
Third Iowa Light Artillery Encampment 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
   Location: Gateway to History 403 South Main Street, Galena IL
Main Street Walking Tour with U.S. Grant 10:00 am & 12:00 pm
Home Front Pie Auction 11:00 am
   Location: Gateway to History 403 South Main Street, Galena IL
Trivia & Spirits Pub Quiz – not your grandmother’s Civil War history!
   Time: 7:00 pm
   Location: Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. 9380 Highway 20 W, Galena IL
   Admission: $10

Sunday, April 23, 2017
Historical Society & U.S. Grant Museum
   Free cake and lemonade 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Main Street Walking Tour with U.S. Grant 10:00 am & 12:00 pm
Historic Circuit Rider Church Service

Civil War Encampments April 29-30, 2017
Soldiers and civilians in period costumes reenact camp life and a battle as living history. Location: Galena River Bank 101 Bouthillier Street Galena IL Phone: 815-777-4100

Saturday April 29, 2017
Living History Camp 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Battle: 11:30 am
Sanitary Fair & Bazaar
Live music and dancing 

Sunday April 30, 2017
Church service 9:00 am
Living history camp 9:00 am
Battle – 11:30 am

While you step back in time to the Civil War era, there’s no better place to stay than Bernadine’s Stillman Inn, a restored French Italianate Mansion built in 1858. You can walk right down the street to Grants Home, and other historical attractions are nearby. The Inn’s public areas and many of the guest rooms blend Civil War era décor with modern amenities – the best of both worlds for history buffs. Just CALL DAVE  815-777-0557 today and book your stay for a unique living history experience!

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