Ulysses S. Grant Home Historic Site
This was the home of Ulysses S. Grant, Union general and 18th President of the United States, from his return to Galena after the Civil War to his death in 1885. A fine example of a Victorian mansion done in the Italianate style, the home is now a National Historic Landmark and State Historic Site. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
Grant and his family continued to own the house throughout the rest of his life, but they often didn't reside there. After his election to the presidency in 1868 he moved to Washington D.C. and then New York, visiting the house only occasionally. He last visited the property in 1880, only five years before his death. Grant's children gave the house to the city of Galena in 1904, and Galena later sold the house to the state of Illinois in 1931. The state restored the house with 1860s decor and furnishings and turned the house into a museum.
Today, the Grant home is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galena. Visitors interested in Civil War history flock to it for Grant's life story, while people interested in architecture will love the style and design of the mid-Victorian era home. For a small donation to the museum visitors can be led on tours throughout the home, marveling at the period furnishings and learning about the life of this Civil War general and 19th century president.