Cultural Heritage · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Mobility · Rivers · travel plan

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.

Downtown Galena IllinoisGalena is Named for a Mineral Mined by Native Americans for 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

Tourism until the late 1980s, Galena remained a small rural farming community. The Country Fair in Grant Park has helped the town’s transition to tourism. The craft show attracts visitors to the area and once boarded-up Main Street buildings have been preserved.

Galena Historic PropertyPresident Ulysses S Grant and Eight Other Civil War Generals Came from Galena

Geography the Galena River is part of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and Illinois. It is 52.4-miles – 84.3 km – long and flows through the city before joining the Mississippi. Because it escaped glaciation, this region is known for its hills, valleys, bluffs and exposed rock; Horseshoe Mound is located outside Galena and is 1,063 feet – 324 m- above sea level.

Galena FloodgatesEnvironment Because of the city’s proximity to the Galena River, buildings have been threatened on numerous occasions by flooding. In 2011, over a 12-hour period, Galena received nearly 15 inches of rain and he Galena River rose to more than twice its normal height. A dike and floodgates were built to prevent flooding of the city.

Main Street was among the first to require the architectural review of exterior building modifications. Also, zoning restrictions contributed to the prevalence of brick buildings and efforts to improve the existing infrastructure while preserving the character of this neighborhood. Trolley Cars follow parade routes north and south on Main Street and connect shopping to parks and wineries. Main Street in Galena has specialty shops, restaurants and is home to DeSoto House Hotel which opened in 1855 and is the oldest operating hotel in Illinois.

Main Street GalenaReduce Travel Times and Costs on Your Next Vacation or Business Trip

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America · destination management · Logistics · Travel

La Crosse Wisconsin

railroads ridges brews wines and a historic downtown

La Crosse is located at the intersection of the Black, La Crosse and Mississippi rivers in Western Wisconsin in a broad plain between the river bank and the tall bluffs typical of the Driftless area.

The Coulee Region is Characterized by High Ridges Dissected by Narrow Valleys

History French fur traders were among the first Europeans to travel along the Upper Mississippi River in the late 17th century; an American expedition reached what came to be known as Prairie La Crosse in 1805; La Crosse was named from the game with sticks – lacrosse in French – played by local Native Americans. Actively promoted in eastern newspapers, the city was further settled during the middle of the 19th century with completion of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad.

River and Railroad Infrastructure made it possible for La Crosse to become a center for lumber, as logs cut in the interior of the state were rafted down the Black River, as well as the brewery industry. Around the turn of the 20thcentury, the city also became an education center, with three colleges and universities established in the city between 1890 and 1912. It is now a regional technology and medical hub, highly ranked in the areas of wellness, quality of life and education.

The La Crosse Amtrak Station is Served by the Empire Builder Cross Country Passenger Service

Historic Downtown and local culture. La Crosse has one of the largest commercial historic districts in Wisconsin; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes 110 buildings built between 1866 and 1940. It is home to the Rivoli Theatre, the Weber Center for the Performing Arts and the Pump House Regional Arts Center, at the heart of La Crosse’s arts and culture scene.

La Crosse is a Green Complete Streets City

Local Wine and Brew Traditions date back to the 1858 founding of the G. Heileman Brewing Company; since its closing in 1996, local brewing traditions have been passed onto the City Brewing Company and Pearl Street Brewery, a craft brewery operating out of the historic La Crosse Footwear Building. Lost Island Wine has more than 30 varieties; in addition; several vineyards are in nearby counties and across the river on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi.