Monday, October 6, 2008

T.........he Steamboat House

In Galena, Illinois, we were privileged to stay in the most wonderful B&B, The Steamboat House. Because we were interested in the Victorian architecture we decided to stay there and would certainly go back. The house was originally built in 1855, by Daniel Harris, who designed and built steamboats, and his wife, Sarah, a fascinating woman in her own right. At age 50, after raising 10 children, she obtained her medical degree in Chicago (after suing the school which did not want to bestow a degree on a woman), and became the first woman physician in Jo Davies County. She was also active in the sufragette movement and entertained Susan B. Anthony as well as other dignitaries, such as General U.S. Grant in the home. After their passing, the home fell into many hands and many stages of disrepair. The present owners, Glen and Char, completely restored this 9 bedroom, 8 bath mansion from the walls on in, in the style of the period. They now offer a 5 guest room B&B complete with hundreds of pictures and antique furnishings. The concessions they made to modern life (heating, bathrooms, queen size beds, gas fireplaces,and TVs) are unobtrusive. They are also very gracious hosts. Glen gave us a private tour of the home when we arrived and Char served us and the other eight guests a most elegant and relaxing breakfast in the morning. They also have a wine and cheese gathering every evening. The pictures are of the outside of the house, the dining room set for breakfast, and the upstairs parlor where guest may also avail themselves of hot tea and cocoa in the evenings and coffee early in the morning. We would highly recommend staying with them if you are in the area or as a destination for a charming night!

1 comment:

Merily said...

Oh wow, that place is so pretty! I love Victorian houses. :) And it's so cool that it has such a great history behind it!