Take tea and tarts with General Grant's wife, Julia Dent Grant, as portrayed by local historian Lucy Miele. "Julia is wise and wry and proud," says Miele. "This is the most romantic love story in all of American History. Julia and the general were together more than 37 years." Miele's Saturday afternoon costumed performances take place throughout the summer from June 16 through December 8, at the DeSoto House Hotel on Main Street.
"She was effortlessly sunny," says Miele. "I think she was born with extra endorphins. She has nothing but pleasant and kindly memories of the time she and the general lived in Galena."
Call (815) 777-0090 or 1-800-343-6562 for the price of admission.
And don't miss these Galena events:
Country Bicycle Ride: Join locals Roy Hunter and Ray Soltys for a two-hour scenic ride, Mondays and Fridays from May 4 through October 19, around the Galena hillsides. Bring your own gear and bikes to the north parking lot of Spikes Bar & Grill, 109 Eagle Ridge Drive. The ride is free, weather permitting. Call (815) 492-0235 or (815) 777-3433.
Visit an authentic blacksmith shop: See "Fire in the Forge," an interpretative tour of the Old Blacksmith Shop, 245 N. Commerce Street, (815) 777-9129, weekends beginning May 4 through October 26.
Main Street Walking Tour: Guides from the Galena Historical Society explore the town's architectural and historic points of interest. Tours are $5, depart from the DeSoto House Hotel Lobby on Saturdays, beginning May 5 at 10 a.m., call (815) 777-9129.
Historic River Tour: A two-hour canoe or kayak tour on the Galena River, May 26 through 28, includes tales and more about the impact the early lead mining district had on the town. Leaves from the Galena boat launch on Saturday and Sunday, at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., call (815) 777-9129 for reservations.
Market House Arts Festival: Juried art fair: August 18 and 19 at the Old Market House Square, 123 N. Commerce Street. Call (815) 777-1448 or (563) 588-7570.
40th Annual Tour of Galena's Historic Homes: See four private homes, including the 1858 Daniel Barrows Mansion on September 22 and 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the Galena/Jo Daviess County History Museum (815) 777-9129 for maps and the price of admission.
Galena Country Fair: More than 150 vendors sell farm market delights, includes live entertainment, on October 6 and 7 at Grant Park, Park Avenue. Call (815) 777-0817.