Historic Galena: Little Brick Houses

One of my favorite weekend trips is a visit to historic Galena, Illinois. Even Midwest Living magazine has featured it on many occasions. Home of Ulysses S. Grant, Galena’s main street is a shopping mecca of boutiques, antique stores, and many restaurants. But what I love most about Galena is its rolling hills and historic architecture.

Brick homes abound in Galena. My uncle used to live here before retiring to Arizona.
He lived in one of the many old brick homes and was the local dentist.
Painted wooden shutters and white trim seem to be the norm around town.
Hubby and I enjoyed a day trip to Galena, wandering the streets and snapping photos.
And dodging the trolleys that kept passing by with tourists.
Stupid trolleys kept running me off the street, interfering with my important photo shoot.
Galena is riddled with Bed and Breakfasts … like this grand one.
This is the Victorian Mansion, an Italianate home where you can spend the night.
Not all of the homes are grand. But they’re still charming!
Even the simplest of homes have unique details like this front porch.
Some aren’t so simple. This one sits atop a hill with a charming lamp post to light its walk.
I can only imagine the magnificent hilltop views from the cupola’s little arched windows.
I would love for this to be my bedroom window.
Wrought iron details are quite common along the cobblestone streets.
Notice the shutters protruding outward on the small 3rd floor window.
Several homes had shutters positioned like this.
A two-story porch! I’ve always wanted a two-story porch like this.
Right across the street from this house on the hilltop ….
… is this long, steep staircase that takes you to the center of town.
This photo gives a better perspective of the length of the staircase.
See the trolley down there at the very bottom in the heart of town?
When we got back down to the bottom of the hill, we spied this yummy little truck!
I want it!! Wouldn’t it be great for hauling flea market finds?
Here’s a view of the countryside just outside Galena. Those black specs in the lower right are cows!
I took a lot more pics but will share them in a future post.
For today, it’s all about the little brick houses in Galena.
Hope you enjoyed the tour of this charming Illinois town in northwestern Illinois.

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  1. Beautiful brick houses, I love them all! Funny, but I grew up in a house just like the one with the truck in front of it..back in Astoria- Queens, NY. That house is still standing up, my brother told me. Back than it was an Italian-Irish neighborhood, now all Astoria is pretty Greek. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh Jennifer, one of my favorite towns is Galena! We’ve gone to their fall craft fair for a few years now. The homes really are quite special. Believe it or not, my kids love it too because we’ve stayed just outside of town in cabins on an alpaca farm! (Small price to pay to be able to feed my vintage shopping habit!) So glad you had a nice visit.

  3. Jennifer we were just there too! We came back on Friday! We ALWAYS stop at Grants house.It is one of our favorites.This time we also stopped at another house tour.I will share that on my blog.Oh how I love those old homes!Someday I hope to convince my hubby to find one to live in.I think I could live in that charming town.But it does get quite hot in the summers!Beautiful photos!!!

  4. Just LOVED this post – I live in Montreal ( in the heart of the city ) so have never lived in anything but a brick house – the ones you showcased are gorgeous – especially loved the itty bitty one 🙂

  5. Oh my, I’ve been so busy with visiting grandchildren I almost missed this wonderful post! I have to say the simple little brick cottages stole my heart. Love them all!

    Thanks for sharing another home tour. You know I’m always along for the tour!

  6. Your post made me feel like I was there and it gave me a much needed respite :). All the houses are just lovely, even the tiny one is adorable!! Brick houses are built to last, and have so much character. Thanks for sharing your little getaway!

  7. We live in western Illinois by the river and spent a mini vacation in Galena. It was so much fun from the excellent B&B called the Avery House and the quaint shops and oh the food was so good. Thanks for letting me relive my trip!

  8. My wedding was in Galena, Illinois and we just celebrated our 20th. I love this area of the country so much. Especially right now in the beautiful autumn. So much history & quaint shopping.

  9. What a beautiful post, Jennifer–all of the houses are charming, but I think I like the littlest one the best! (I am a sucker for cute little houses!) I love the details in the shutters and porches, and even two porches–swoon!

  10. Oh thanks for sharing Galena, Illinois with us, love the brick homes, such a quaint place to live. I grew in Southern Illinois but have never been to Galena.

  11. Beautiful pics! Totally my kind of fall day outing. Leaves changing, old architecture. What a lovely little town. I just found you through Debbiedoo’s. I’m your newest follower.

  12. Wow, I missed this post until now. What a pretty little town! I love the brick houses, especially that tiny one. So cute! The view from the top of the steps is fantastic and also of the fields. Beautiful!

  13. Hi Jennifer, I am your newest follower. Your historic town tours are what caught my eye. I have read about this town in a Victorian magazine years ago. It looks like a wonderful place to visit. I live in mid Missouri, so I wouldn’t think it would be too far away. I love that large brick house on the hill with the blue shutters and cupola! I have several posts on my blog featuring historic homes, museums and festivals that you may enjoy. Gina

  14. You’ve made me home sick for a place I’ve never been. I would love any of those houses. Maybe some day I will go and visit. Thanks for the pictures. Yours truly-Elaine in Luray