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Old Market House

Make this historic market building your first stop in Galena. Part welcome center, part museum, it gives you a perfect introduction to the city.

Visit Old Market House for a warm welcome to Galena, Illinois. This converted market offers practical information, historical facts and souvenirs.

Construction on the Greek Revival building began in 1845. Old Market House soon became the center of Galena’s community life. For decades, townspeople converged under its roof to shop, sell and socialize.

As the 20th century continued, the building fell into disrepair until its restoration in 1955. Today it is operated and maintained by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. See how it has been restored to its appearance from 150 years ago.

Old Market House operates as a welcome center for Galena, providing a great starting point for anyone visiting the city for the first time. Pick up maps of the area, brochures about local attractions and coupons for stores and restaurants downtown.

Learn about the town’s most celebrated resident, Civil War hero and President Ulysses S. Grant, in the U.S. Grant Exhibition. Peek into his life through the many personal artifacts on display, such as photos and paintings. Grant’s horse-drawn carriage is parked in the middle of the room.

A knowledgeable docent will take you through the exhibits. Ask questions, as these volunteers are passionate about Galena history and have plenty of additional background information. The building hosts varied events throughout the year. It is a popular venue for craft fairs, art exhibits and other showcases of local talent. Check with the front desk for a current calendar of events.

If you want to purchase a Galena souvenir, stop at the gift shop. Select from varied Grant memorabilia, postcards, books and other trinkets. The site has no entry fee, but a suggested donation is requested to see the exhibits. Visit Old Market House daily throughout the year.

Old Market House is in downtown Galena. Find a number of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance. Cross the Galena River to explore Grant Park and Grant Home, where the family lived before Ulysses S. Grant became the United States’ 18th president.

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