Port of Galena: 1858 Is A Museum Favorite


Since its opening in 2015 at the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, the Port of Galena: 1858 exhibit has captivated visitors and local residents alike. The scale model presentation of Galena as it existed in its 19th Century boom times – thoroughly researched and skillfully crafted – has inspired many to re-visit and ask about the exhibit’s progress as it moves closer to completion at the hands of local artisans and volunteers.

The Port of Galena: 1858 diorama is in 1:120 scale, meaning one inch equals 10 feet. Local model maker Rich Ticker and Galena artisan Yvonne Larson, assisted by a host of local volunteers directed the project and created most of the exhibit’s features including the Galena River (in its current and mid-1850s width), the Key City and Itasca steamboats, most of the completed and lit buildings, and the miniature Galenians that populate the exhibit.

“The Port of Galena: 1858 exhibit touches at the hearts of many Galenians because it is about us and our ancestors,” says Nancy Breed, Historical Society executive director. “We see the origins of Galena on this scale model and then walk out on the street and see many of these same structures continuing to play a vital role in the community just as they did over 150 years ago. That makes it personal.”

Push the buttons on the exhibit kiosks and learn about this beautiful downtown. Or, step behind the steering wheel in the lifelike boathouse and navigate the Itasca up and down river, dock it to take on cargo and passengers for the trip down the Mississippi.

All aboard!!!!