Thursday Doors – Galena Wrap-up

As promised, I am posting photos of some wonderful doors on some gorgeous houses from our Siblings’ Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday Adventure and Roadtrip to Historic Galena, Illinois, circa 2019.  I was going to have t-shirts printed up with that moniker, but we are all kinda too skinny to fit it on a single t-shirt, and there aren’t enough of us to print 1 word per shirt…. okay, Onward and Upward!

After The Mrs & I enjoyed a delicious repast at restaurant “Fried Green Tomatoes”, we decided to sally north from the historic downtown area and explore the residential area on the hillside above. On the map, you will note the Compass graphic in the lower right-hand corner, and you should also be able to locate Fried Green Tomatoes…

Galena Map

Up… This is the side of a cement stairway on Hill Street leading to the residential area. It was constructed in 1931.

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And the view back down the stairs to downtown…. This stairway took us to Prospect Street where we conducted our residential doorway safari.

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Our First Stop was in front of the Grace Episcopal Church because: 1) The Mrs is named Grace; 2) It has a wonderful red door; and 3) It illustrates the slanty-ness of the street!

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West of there, and up the hill, we passed by the Lamberson Guest House. We both thought it looked inviting for a stay!

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And we also admired the Edwards House;

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house

and the Felt Manor Guest House;

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and the quaint little Osprey’s Nest;

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and this (apparently) unnamed home;

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next to this (apparently) unnamed home;

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next to THIS (apparently) unnamed home;

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which took us to this “doubly-named” building, which WAS the High School, but is now apparently apartments/condos, “Galena Green Luxury Lofts”.

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At this point, I was certain we were done with doors for the day, but as we walked down a wonderful little pathway to the west end of downtown, I spotted this door with a  fabulous companion round window hidden amongst trees and behind a huge stone wall and other obstructions. I stood on tip-toe and raised my camera over my head to get this image…

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This little journey through Galena’s Door Land is inspired by Norm 2.0 and all the other Door-o-philes throughout the world who celebrate doors every Thursday. You can see Norm’s Doors and links to everyone else’s doors HERE.

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…

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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….

 

 

 

 

The Origin of the Illinois State Highway Patrol – Excerpt

The following is a short excerpt from my History Master’s Thesis at the University of Illinois – Springfield. An original copy of this work resides in the UIS Archives, the U.S. National Archives, and in the archives of the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation and Museum. If you would like to read more, let me know, and I’ll post more next Sunday…

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The Origin of the Illinois State Highway Patrol

Copyright 1998 © Kevin E. Hughes

Introduction

It had been raining hard for three days, and the dark, slowly churning clouds held no promise of relief.  Governor-hopeful Lennington Small sat in the back seat of his son Leslie’s 1919 Paige Touring Car, Illinois license number “8251”.  Len was a handsome, stocky man of 44, with balding head and bushy moustache.  He watched the rain collect into rivulets on the side window.  He could easily have been thinking to himself, “This trip should have taken me two-and-a-half hours at best!  Now I’ve been trying to get to Kankakee for almost a full day.”

How relevant seemed the haunting words of the journalist J.C. Burton, “… is the supposition correct that there are no highways winding through the fertile fields on which a speed of 20 miles an hour can be maintained without pounding a motor car to pieces and inviting Trouble to jump from Pandora’s box to the bonnet of the machine?”[1]

Candidate Small was headed home to Kankakee following a campaign tour by rail and airplane of Illinois. The Small campaign had shifted into high gear on October 18, 1920, the day in which presidential-hopeful Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding’s campaign train made its first Illinois stop at Kankakee’s Illinois Central Railroad depot.  An enthusiastic crowd greeted Harding, and he assured the assembled crowd “…that he and Len Small would carry Illinois.”[2]  Harding was voicing the campaign slogan, “Return to Normalcy.”  Small was promising to “pull Illinois out of the mud” by building hard (paved) roads throughout the state.

In 1920, Illinois was readily traversed in all directions by railway.  It was a reliable method of travel, although not particularly fast.  For example, in the early 1900s, three eastbound and three westbound trains stopped daily in Oregon, Illinois (100 miles west of Chicago) on the route from Chicago to Minneapolis, plus there was twice-daily service northwest to Galena. “It took from one-and-a-half to three hours to get 22 miles from Oregon to neighboring Rockford by rail, four-and-a-half hours to return on the 5:15 p.m. train… to get 16 miles from Oregon to neighboring Dixon took an hour-and-a-half by rail…”[3]  The Rockford to Oregon trip via horse and buggy, by comparison, took only four hours.  Illinois in 1915 had 12,157 miles of steam railway, and 3,760 miles of electric railway.  Yet by 1918, Illinois only had 427.77 miles of paved roadway.[4]  The main advantage of rail was that trains could run year-round, whereas the dirt roads of the day were impassable much of the year. In spring or fall they were merely mud-bogs and in winter were mostly deep frozen ruts sunk into the rural landscape.

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State road near Mount Carroll, Illinois

[1] J.C. Burton, ”The Rock River Valley and Its Cities” (1913), in Paul M. Angle, ed. Prairie State: Impressions of Illinois, 1673-1967, by Travelers and Other Observers (Chicago, 1968), p. 455.
[2] Mary Jean Houde, Of the People: A Popular History of Kankakee County (Chicago, 1968), p. 300.
[3] James J. Flink, The Automobile Age (Cambridge, 1992), p. 137.
[4] Louis L. Emmerson, ed. Illinois Blue Book: 1917/18 (Springfield, 1917), p. 383.

©Kevin E. Hughes  and http://www.msgt3227blog.wordpress.com, 1998 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin E. Hughes and msgt3227blog.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Note: I have decided that publishing the entirety of my thesis would exhaust/fill my storage capacity on my blog, so I have opened a dedicated site just for this history. It is located at:  https://illinoishighwaypatrol.wordpress.com/.