500 Bouthillier Street
Galena, IL 61036
Mar-Oct: Wed-Sun 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Nov-Feb: Wed-Sun 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
ANDROID USERS ONLY: The donation payment processing function in the Illinois History mobile application for Android devices is currently down. Donations are still being processed through the web site at
https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/Experience/Sites/. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Teachers in Illinois schools (grades prekindergarten through 12) can apply for grant funds to visit this site on a field trip with their students.
Click here for the details.
The Italianate structure known as the U. S. Grant Home was built in 1859-60 as a residence by Alexander J. Jackson of Galena. When Ulysses S. Grant returned to the city in 1865 as a Civil War hero, he was presented the house—purchased by a group of prominent local Republicans, including
Elihu B. Washburne—as part of the city’s celebration. Grant used the home as his official political and voting address, living there with his family during his 1868 presidential campaign, then for a few brief periods during his presidency (1869-1877) and retirement. He visited for the last time in 1880.
The “restored” U. S. Grant Home is a two-story brick structure. The first floor consists of entry hall, parlor, dining room, library, kitchen with pantry, and staff room. The second floor contains five bedrooms, one with a connecting dressing room. All of the rooms are decorated and furnished to represent a mid-1860s appearance. Many of the furnishings belonged to the Grant family. In 1960 the Home was designated a National Historic Landmark and in 1966 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Grant Home site includes several small mid-19th century homes comprising the three-block “Grant Home Historic Neighborhood.” “Grant State Park,” a tree-shaded area south of the Grant Home has picnic tables for public use. Also in the park is the Long House, a log building constructed ca. 1851 and moved to the site from Elizabeth, Illinois in 1976, representing a typical settler’s home of mid-nineteenth-century Jo Daviess County.
Visitors are provided with an interpreter-conducted tour of the Grant Home. Interpreters are dressed in historic costumes from April through October. The tour emphasizes Grant as the victorious war leader, the 1868 candidate for president, and the eighteenth President of the United States. The adjacent building contains exhibits on Grant’s life and history of the Grant Home. The first floor of the Home is accessible to persons with disabilities, as are the exhibit room and restrooms in the building next door. The Home’s second floor is not accessible.
The Grant Home hosts or co-hosts a number of special events including the Boy Scouts of America “U. S. Grant Pilgrimage” in April, “Lamplight Tours” in June, and the “Fall Tour of Homes” in September. Special tours are offered from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when the Home is decorated for the holidays.
For more information on the site and programs visit:
www.granthome.com , and
Galena Country Welcome Center, 123 N. Commerce St., Galena, Il. 61036, 815-776-9200,
The following are available for the visitor to the site:
Three parking lots on site. All three are concrete or black top with accessible spaces in each lot. One lot is directly across the street from the Grant Home. The upper lot is approximately 200 feet from the home and the walk to the home is a brick sidewalk. Some bricks may be uneven and slippery when wet or icy. The third lot is approximately 300 feet from the home. The walk to the home is on a wood boardwalk. Some boards could be uneven and the boards are slippery when wet or icy.
Sidewalks are brick and wooden boardwalks. Total distance of boardwalks is approximately 300 feet.
The Grant Home is wheelchair accessible from the upper parking lot. The sidewalk to the home is brick and some bricks could be uneven and slippery when wet or icy.
Wheelchairs and scooters are welcomed in the Grant Home, on the main level, and welcome in all outdoor areas.
There is a trail, in the small park, next to the Grant Home. The trail surface consists of a hardened small rock surface, which could be loose in some spots, uneven and slippery when ice. Total distance is 400 feet.
Harnessed and leashed service animals are welcome in the Grant Home. There are no outdoor water fountains to accommodate service animals.
Doorways to the Grant Home are accessible for wheelchairs. There is a brick sidewalk ramp into the back door that avoids stairs. There are stairs to the second floor, but an informational booklet is provided to guests that are unable to climb steps. The tour lasts approximately 20-30 minutes. There are benches outside to sit and a chair is provided for anyone needing to sit once inside.