Saturday, August 7, 2010

Glamour, Ghosts and Grant in Galena


42N country's Galena, IL is a step back in time. Known as a home for Ulysses S. Grant, and a political stopover for a campaigning Abe Lincoln this NW Illinois town is now a shopper's destination. In one of the many, many shop windows is this colored wig display - a photographer's delight. Another distinction for the town was being a film location for Field of Dreams where Burt Lancaster and Kevin Costner appeared in the doctor's office scenes (Galena posed as Chisholm, Minnesota in that film.)

Nearby at the Desoto House Hotel previous guests include Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, and Steven Douglas. The hotel served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. In fact Lincoln, while running for a congressional seat gave a speech from the hotel balcony on July 23, 1856.

Today the hotel caters to the overnight travellers and weekenders, but also specializes in catering to small and large gatherings.

At the Green Street Tavern and Restaurant, one of three places to get a beverage and meal at the hotel, we were entertained by a young lady who took delight in describing the hotel, business and what to do and see in Galena.
She told us of the very popular ghost tours of downtown and nearby neighborhoods. Then she relayed stories of ghostly sightings featuring period dressed people seen in modern days at the hotel. While the bartender is studying for a business degree she may want to explore public relations. She is a natural. Know that.