Tour of Historic Galena Homes set for Sept. 28-29

Staff Report

GALENA, Ill. — The city of Galena, Ill., retains some of the most stunning examples of 19th-century architecture that are still around, and about 85 percent of the city is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It takes the contribution of many organizations and individuals to help preserve these cultural and architectural specimens.

The Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society is one such organization that helps to retain the story of Galena and preserve its cultural past. It is a not-for-profit organization that does not receive tax-based contributions, so it is holding its 46th Annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes, which acts as one of its major fund-raisers.

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29, the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, in conjunction with Galena River Wine & Cheese and First Community Bank of Galena, will host the 46th Annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and visitors can come and go to each property at their own convenience.

Included in this year’s tour are five unique properties: the Weber-Wilhelmi House, owned by Catherine Watson at 531 S. Dodge St.; the Schwartka Cottage, owned by Jess and Kathie Farlow at 411 Meeker St.; The Homrich Hosue, owned by Krista Ginger and Bill Grosshans at 418 Harrison St.; the John Fiddich House, owned by Dennis and Christine Baxter at 215 S. Prospect St.; and a condominium in the Galena Green (Old High School) Building, owned by Tom and Kathy Brusch. All of these properties have unique characteristics and distinctive charms that are sure to please and entertain as docents guide guests through the rooms telling the history of the buildings and the stories of the people who once walked in them.

Tickets are $17. The ticket price also includes a free admission to the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, in the Daniel Barrows Mansion at 211 S. Bench St.

Saturday, a trolley will be provided for guests with pick-up and drop-off points at the Old Train Depot, the Post Office-Custom House, the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, and each of the Home Tour Locations. Tickets will be available for purchase at all home locations.

In the evening Saturday, a special cocktail reception will be held at the home of former congressman John and Bonnie Cox at 906 Third St. The evening will include various wine and cheese pairings provided by Galena River Wine and Cheese, desserts provided by Wedding Day Bakery, an expert sommelier, a free open house and demonstration at the historic Congressman Washburne House (which is right next door), a performance on Black Jack Logan (Washburne’s congressional nemesis) by award-winning storyteller Brian Fox Ellis, and other social events to fill the evening. Tickets for this event will also include access to all Home Tour locations and free admission to the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum. Price for this Saturday evening event is $75.

For tickets or more information, call the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum at (815) 777-9129, or via e-mail at

Posted Sept. 25, 2013

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