Monthly Archives: April 2015

General Grant House, Pre-Civil War, Galena, Illinois

This modest structure was the home of the famous Civil War Army Commander, Ulysses S. Grant, before his rise to fame. He and his family occupied it until the end of the war.

Color Photo by Joe E. Clark

The description states:


GRANT’S PRE-WAR HOME. Captain U.S. Grant left this home to answer the call of his country in 1861. His wife and children waited here for his return.

–The family was of very modest means during this time before the war This house was rented by the Grant family. It has since had it’s porch removed.

This postcard likely dates from the 1960s.


Town and Riverfront, Galena, Illinois

This is an artist’s rendition of the Galena riverfront as it looked at the time, with the wide river and historic brick buildings that make up the historic district of Galena.

Curteichrom Reproduction by Curteich

The description states:


The first settlers came to Galena about 1820. By 1845 it was the most important commercial port on the Mississippi north of St. Louis. At that time the river was 200 feet wide and as many as 18 Mississippi Steamers and packets could be found tied on the levee at one time.

This view shows the river as it is today.

–There is another 21st century image of this from almost the same vantage point, as the landmark steeple, tower and brick building are clearly in evidence. The river is significantly smaller, likely a result of silt buildup and flood control measures.

This image was likely created in the 1940s.

Main Street, Galena, Illinois

This is a view facing north along Main Street in Galena Illinois, the main commercial street for the city at the time. This street was under 5 feet of water during a flood on the nearby Galena River in 1937.

Ektachrome by Henry Brueckner

The description states:

MAIN STREET LOOKING NORTH, GALENA, ILLINOIS, pioneer Illinois city reich in historical lore of stagecoach, river boats and early mining days of civil war era.

–Galena is named for the lead ore that was found and mined here during the early years of settlement. It resulted in the first mineral ‘rush’ which occurred in the 1820s, like the later gold and silver rushes.

The cars present in great numbers in this view point to a photo made in the 1950s.