At Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages, we invite you to relax, restore, and explore. When it’s time to explore Galena, Illinois’ rich history, we have you covered. Step outside our cozy haven and embark on a captivating journey through time as you explore the rich history of this charming town. Here are some must-visit Galena Historical Sites:

man and boy looking at history museum exhibit.

Galena – U.S. Grant History Museum

Dive into the archives of Galena’s past at the Galena – U.S. Grant History Museum. Conveniently located on Bench Street, on block up from Main Street. Discover artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that chronicle the town’s evolution from its early settlement to its bustling community.

U.S. Grant House

Pay homage to one of America’s most renowned figures at the U.S. Grant House. Explore the former residence of Ulysses S. Grant and his family. This house was gifted to Grant by the community after his victory in the Civil War. Daily tours take you back in time and share some of Galena’s historic past.

The Belvedere Mansion dining room

Belvedere Mansion

Experience the opulence of Galena’s Gilded Age at the Belvedere Mansion with a tour of The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens. This 22-room, 1857 Italianate mansion is filled with Victorian furnishings and is considered by many to be the finest historic mansion in Galena, Il.

Dowling House

Step into Galena’s oldest home, the Dowling House, and journey back to the early 19th century. Admire the preserved furnishings and hear tales of the pioneering spirit that shaped the town’s foundations.

Elihu B. Washburne House in Galena Il

Elihu B. Washbourne House

 Immerse yourself in Victorian-era splendor at the Washbourne House. Explore the ornate interiors of this historic residence and learn about the influential Washbourne family’s legacy in Galena. Elihu B. Washburne was a prominent local attorney, U.S. congressman, Secretary of State, U.S. ambassador to France, and political adviser to both Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

 Apple River Fort, Elizabeth, IL

 Venture beyond Galena to Elizabeth, Illinois, and visit the Apple River Fort. Step back to the 1830s and experience frontier life at this meticulously reconstructed fort, offering insights into the challenges and triumphs of early settlers.

Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages History

While we are known as a retreat in nature’s beauty, we have a proud history of our own. Originally farmsteaded by the Garver Family in 1836, our property was a working farm through the mid-1980s. The Cording family purchased the property in the 1890s and farmed this land for multiple Generations. At one point, more than 500 acres made up the Cording Farm, and this land helped to feed historical Galena. 

Galena Historical Sites

Each historic site offers a glimpse into Galena’s vibrant past, from its early days as a frontier outpost to its heyday as a bustling mining town. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the stories woven into the fabric of this picturesque town, Galena promises an enriching journey through time. Plan your stay at Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages and embark on an unforgettable exploration of Galena’s captivating history.

A view of the Cording farm circa 1905