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“A piece of history”

Ulysses S. Grant Home
Ranked #3 of 45 things to do in Galena
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This Italianate-style brick house, with original furnishings, looks very much as it did in 1865 when a group of townspeople presented it as a gift to Ulysses S. Grant on his victorious return from the Civil War.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A piece of history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2014

We enjoyed our tour of the Grant home, and the informative guide. I loved hearing all the details of their life in this beautiful home.

Visited March 2014
Thank ninag647
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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862 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Middleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
113 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“free trip back in history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

you can almost see Grant in the home, very nice. the kitchen is not the original that was destroy in a storm.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank theorginalsuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“U.S.Grant home”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

The tour was very interesting to us since we like history. It did not take long -- maybe 15-20 minutes tops. The tour guide was a little unfriendly, but she said she'd been ill so maybe that was why.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Blarney825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
226 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“New insights into Grant; sweet tour guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents' Day! A good way to celebrate is to visit a place like the Grant Home. You'll get new insights into not only Ulysses, but Julia and the kids, as well.

Not easy to find at first (we drove past Bouthellier Street twice); it has a modest parking lot. The distinctive Italianate-style house is perched high on a hill facing downtown Galena across the river. What a view! Nice statue of Julia, gazing at the town that some say never truly accepted her. Crank the 19th-century doorbell to enter. Admission is free, although a $5 donation is requested (and well worth it).

Our tour guide - Georgina - was stellar. She was very knowledgeable about the Grants and the house itself, as well as quick-witted and enjoyable.

She showed us the library, parlor and a dining room with roast beef and corn about to be served. Upstairs, you see all of the bedrooms. We noticed that each had a wood-burning stove except the eldest son's room (which had a door to Ulysses Jr.'s room). We also noticed water damage in the ceiling of Junior's room.)

Back downstairs, we saw the well-stocked kitchen and pantry. Georgina pointed to some of the gifts the Grants received during his post-White House world tour, such as an urn from Yokohama and "paintings" of birds made out of bird feathers by Mexican children. Georgina also noted the bathroom with the huge copper tub, explaining that every Saturday, water has toted in and heated, then each family member would would bathe. The baby was always last, hence the phrase, "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water." Never knew that.

Upon leaving the house, visit the other building on the property, which offers unusual displays of Presidents' pets (one guy actually had a hippo), White House plates and painted rocks featuring each First Couple. Also public bathrooms, possibly in the exact same site where the Grant Outhouse was.

I've visited the homes of Lincoln, FDR, LBJ, Carter, Reagan and Clinton, and have stood outside Obama's Chicago house (before Secret Service shooed me away). Grant's Home is right up there. Don't miss it if you're in NW Illinois, and see the Galena/Jo Daviess Historical Museum, too.

Visited February 2014
Thank cdub333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
“Charming and interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

Great guide and very neat home to visit. Liked the period furniture and the guided tour. Affordable and easy to walk through

Visited January 2014
Thank DeniseDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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