Thursday Doors: Day-Trippin’ in Galena, Illinois

Before I start flooding your eyeballs with images of doors and a short discourse about Galena (Illinois) and galena (the mineral), I have to lay the groundwork by mentioning Canadian Thanksgiving. (I trust Norm will gently correct me if I get the last part wrong…)

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to two events. The first Canadian appearance of the holiday dates back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher and his crew came together for a communal meal to thank God for reuniting the crew after they were separated due to bad weather. The second appearance dates back to 1606, when Samuel de Champlain organized the Order of Good Cheer to boost settler’s spirits after a dreadful winter. Under British rule, the holiday differed in theme and dates until January 1, 1957, when the Canadian Parliament officially declared the official date of Thanksgiving celebrations to be held on the second Monday of October. This date coincides much better with the actual date of Canadian harvests due to the arrival of winter. (More info at Canadashistory.ca) .

Over the years, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend has become the annual holiday get-together time for my family. This year, 4 out of 5 of my siblings & I (& spouses and children) gathered in northern Illinois where we grew up. On Sunday the 13th we drove to Galena, Illinois for the day. Before the doors though…

Galena, also called lead glance, is the natural mineral form of lead(II) sulfide (PbS). It is the most important ore of lead and an important source of silver. (Young, Courtney A.; Taylor, Patrick R.; Anderson, Corby G. (2008). Hydrometallurgy 2008: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium. SME. ISBN 9780873352666.)  Lead in the Galena, Illinois area was originally mined by members of the Sac and Fox tribes for use in body painting. French trappers in the 1690’s mined small quantities of lead. Retired US Army Colonel George Davenport shipped Galena’s first boatload of lead ore down the Mississippi River in 1816. Three years later a trading post was built in Galena that led to the first steamboat arrival in 1824. By 1845 Galena was producing nearly 27,000 tons of lead ore and Jo Daviess County was producing 80 percent of the lead in the United States. (http://miningartifacts.homestead.com/Illinois-Mines.html)

Ulysses S. Grant, future 18th President of the United States, was born in 1822 in Ohio. He enrolled at West Point in 1839, and made a career of the military until 1854. After resigning from the Army, he and his wife (Julia) and 4 children moved to a farm in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Farming was not Grant’s strong suit. They moved again in 1860, this time to Galena so Grant could work at his father’s tannery and leather goods store. With the outbreak of civil war in 1861, Grant was appointed Colonel of the 21st Illinois Volunteers. Following the cessation of hostilities, Grant returned to Galena in 1865. The citizens of Galena presented him with this wonderful home…

Grant home

On the backside of the house, to the right, is a small building with a smattering of displays relevant to the Grants, the US Presidency, etc. This door is a side door to this place.

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After a quick tour of the Grant Home, we all headed down into town, through Grant Park where we split up to groups intent on discovery, or food, or warmth, or restrooms…

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The Mrs. and I had wonderful meal at a restaurant called Fried Green Tomatoes. We sat at the table to the left, against the wall in this photo. I was sitting in the chair just under the “2”.  Across the street from us we admired a tall, and seemingly 2-D building. I noticed what looked like a white horse watching out over the street from a vantage point on the 3rd floor. Interestingly enough, there was a “For Rent” sign on the same floor…

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At this point, we headed over to the Galena Visitor Center for a quick bathroom break before we headed up the hill for an orgy of doors… The hill excursion will have to wait until next week (soooooo many doors!)

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A little used door in the side of the Visitor Center.

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Finally, the side view of the Lemfco, Inc building, a foundry that opened in 1912 under the name Leadmine Foundry. The business was all about making iron based products to be used by the prosperous lead mining companies in Galena!

Until next week, you can see alot more doors from all over this planet by visiting Norm2.0 HERE….

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: Day-Trippin’ in Galena, Illinois

    1. Not sure what the horse tale is…. trying to get more info, but either nobody knows, or nobody is talking! And believe it or not, the #1 appetizer in the restaurant was… fried green tomatoes! Go figure!
      😀

      Liked by 1 person

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