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The Galena Illinois Historic District

History Tourism Geography the Environment and Main Street

History the French arrived in the 1650s and called Galena La Pointe; the early American settlers who reached the area in 1821 adopted this name as The Point; by 1828, it became the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi between St Louis and St Paul, with shipments of lead ore and control of the mines by the US Government as local native tribes permitted settlers to mine in established areas in Galena.

Galena is Named for a Mineral Mined by Native Americans for over a thousand Years

However, the growth of the city led settlers to encroach on native land claims, seeking new veins of lead, resulting in the Winnebago War. Following a sharp decline in the demand for lead, Galena’s population dropped from 14 thousand in the mid-19th century, to 3,396 in the early 1900s.

The Galena Historic District is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

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