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Galena

Trip Planner USA  /  Illinois  /  Galena
(3.9/5 based on 5,500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, breweries, nightlife
Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, with a population of 3,429 at the 2010 census. A 581acre section of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Galena Historic District. It is named for the mineral galena, which was mined by Native Americans in the area for over a thousand years. Owing to these deposits, Galena was the site of the first major mineral rush in the United States. The first American settler arrived in 1821, and by 1828, the population was estimated at 10,000. The city emerged as the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. Galena was the home of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals. Today, the city is a tourist destination known for its history, architecture, and resorts.HistoryPrecolonial and colonial historyThe city is named for galena, the natural form of lead sulfide (PbS) and the most important lead ore. Native Americans mined the ore for use in burial rituals. The Havana Hopewell first traded galena in the area during the Middle Woodland period (c. 1–400 CE). However, the use of galena in the Havana territory is uncertain; very little has been identified in burial mounds. During the Mississippian period (900–1500 CE), galena saw use as body paint.
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