43rd Annual Tour of Homes Showcases Historic Galena

September Event to Feature 19th Century Architecture

GALENA, Ill. – Autumn is always a popular time to visit scenic Galena, but
add the chance to tour inside five private historic homes and the lure
becomes irresistible.  Architecture, interior decorating, antiques and
history are featured elements of the 43rd annual Tour of Historic Galena
Homes showcasing five private homes plus the Galena History Museum. A
signature event for the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, the
tour runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, both Saturday and Sunday,
September 25 & 26, 2010.

Built in 1870 by Otis Horton, a prominent local contractor, the Italianate
Horton-Eustice House cost $2,500 to build. Two generations of the Eustice
family, who made their fortune in the Galena Axle Grease Company, lived in
this home almost 80 years, beginning in 1910. The Eustices replaced the
narrow Victorian porch with a generous Craftsman-style porch, creating an
airy outdoor living space for wicker furniture, art and plants. The stucco
exterior was recently repainted in Victorian colors. After dreaming of
living in historic Galena for 13 years, the current owners purchased the
spacious two-story home in 1999, relocating from California. The interior is
decorated in proper Victorian style with Lincrusta-Walton wallpapers and
antiques. The spacious vintage kitchen features a 1923 monitor-top
refrigerator, Hoosier cabinet, bin table, St. Charles cabinets and an
antique stove. Recently restored sun porches face the river and provide a
scenic view of Galena.

In 1845 Andrew Telford built what is now one of Galena’s oldest homes,
Telford House, facing the Galena River. It has not been open to the public
for several decades. A graceful example of Greek Revival architecture, its
exterior has changed little since 1845. Previous owners carefully restored
and updated the interior and added a screened porch. The current owners are
committed to its preservation, and have undertaken minor renovations. The
interior houses British antiques appropriate to the original and current
owners, including English porcelain, brass candlesticks, and 18th and
19th-century watercolors. Hand-embroidered crewel fabric draperies, imported
from London, frame the tall windows. Near its Park Avenue façade, the
original covered well has a storybook charm. Nearby stands the oldest
surviving Galena street lamp.

Colonel Darius Hunkins arrived in Galena in 1838 to superintend the Illinois
Central Railroad. In 1842 he engaged in mining and smelting, and in 1847 he
built the Spring and Meeker Street bridges. He used part of his fortune to
build an elegant Greek Revival mansion named the Hunkins House in 1846. An
1877 addition on the back connected the house and its close neighbor through
a doorway (now bricked in) as the Hunkins’ daughter and her husband were
given the adjoining home as a wedding gift. The current owners purchased the
home in 1998 and turned it into an opulent, high Victorian bed and breakfast
named Annie Wiggins Guest House with seven guest rooms. Original wood trim,
fireplaces, and plank flooring—some 24” wide—present an historic ambiance
while new luxurious bathrooms and finest linens make this home casual and
comfortable for guests. Cozy side porches with wicker furniture and comfy
pillows are surrounded by lush gardens, fountains, and statuary.

The DeZoya House, a comfortable federal brick home, was built in 1838 by
John P. DeZoya and his wife Anna Maria. Mr. DeZoya came to Galena from
Switzerland, where he had been a lieutenant in Napoleon’s army. The current
owners purchased the house in 2008 and completely renovated the interior.
With the original floors uncovered and restored, this cozy home is
tastefully decorated with antiques, including Scandinavian and historic
items. A two story addition, containing a single car garage and master
bedroom suite, was added in 2009. The addition was one of the three
finalists for the 2010 Galena Annual Historical Preservation Award. The
house is set on a 1 1/4 acre park-like setting on the edge of town bordered
by Davis Creek. Visitors to the DeZoya house will likely agree that it is a
wonderful blend of old and new and understand why the owners affectionately
refer to her as “Windows and Spindles.”

Just five minutes from Galena, the Muchow Farmstead is a Craftsman-style
house with scenic vistas that has been home to four generations. Built in
1931, this home replaced a previous one destroyed by fire just sixteen days
after the first Muchow family moved in. Only the original limestone
foundation, which turned a lovely pinkish hue when exposed to the fire,
remains; it is now incorporated into the lower level family room. Like many
rural farmsteads, there was no electricity until 1941; no plumbing until
1951. The current generation has lived in the home for 20 years. The family
connection is palpable in photographs and heirlooms. Country antiques are
creatively displayed with a casual flair, anchored by original honey-colored
wood flooring. Cottage-style flower and vegetable gardens grace the spacious
yard dotted with red outbuildings and a pen of geese. A dedicated canning
kitchen preserves the seasonal abundance from this bucolic farmstead steeped
in family tradition.

A free shuttle service will operate between all tour homes and ticket
locations. Tour guides, many in period attire, will provide historic
narrative at each home. Free admission to the Galena History Museum is
included with the home tour ticket and will include a behind-the-scene
guided tour of the 1858 mansion/museum’s non-public areas. During the home
tour, the museum will be hosting a new temporary exhibit entitled “Citizen
Grant: 1860-61,” showcasing the Ulysses S. Grant family’s pre-Civil War year
of residency in their new home town.

The 43rd annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes is sponsored by the Galena -
Jo Daviess County Historical Society. Tickets are $14, $12 in advance
(before September 15); children under 10 are free with an adult. Tickets and
maps are available tour weekend at the Old Train Depot Visitor Information
Center at 100 Bouthillier St., the DeSoto House Hotel at 230 S. Main St.,
the history museum at 211 S. Bench St. and any home on the tour. Advance
tickets (non-refundable) are available at the Galena History Museum, or
phone (815) 777-9129 to purchase by credit card.

For further event information, contact the Historical Society at (815)
777-9129 or visit www.galenahistorymuseum.org. Additional area offerings and
visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention
and Visitors Bureau at www.galena.org or by calling (877) Go-Galena. While
in town, visit the CVB’s Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101
Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) for on-site assistance and
countywide information.

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