From Freeport, IL, where I’m staying, I drove west 55 miles to Galena. Thought it would be rainy, but by just after noon it cleared and was perfect weather. Difficult to find a parking spot but eventually found one on a side street and walked to the main street pictured above. Signed up for the trolley tour, a great way to see the city and hear the history of this unique community. After that I walked the streets, and though it was busy with many people, it didn’t feel crowded. It felt similar to walking in Stillwater, MN, if any of you have been there, but this main street was much longer.
A wide variety of shops and eating places to choose from, but not tacky and touristy. Many bed and breakfasts in the area and a few hotels on the edge of the city. Eventually I ate at Gobbie’s Sports Bar and ordered the gyros plate. Got breadsticks and a light, fine Greek salad before the gyros came, with fries. All for about $12.
US Grant’s father had a tannery in Galena, and Grant worked here for a time. On the trolley tour we saw where Grant lived, up the hill from the main street. Up lots of steps. The black and white photo below shows the leather shop, and some claim that the man standing in front is Grant. Not for sure, but you can see the shop along the curved frontage of main street.
Also after the Civil War, the city gave the Grant family a city on the east side of the city. Normally tours of the home were given but for some strange reason, on this busy Labor Day weekend, there were no tours. He and Julia are buried in Grant’s Tomb on the upper west side of New York City.