It may surprise you to learn that thousands of irreplaceable Galena - Jo Daviess County artifacts are at risk of being lost forever. We, the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, need your help to protect these precious artifacts before it is too late. We are building a new museum to collect and share local stories through engaging and relevant experiences. Your gift will help make this vision a reality!

"We enthusiastically support this campaign because the unique history of Galena and this Driftless is of national importance and has relevance especially today. It is so much more than just U.S. Grant."

— Dennis & Christine Harris, Retired -Law Enforcement & Educator.

Project Details

Since 1938, the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society has been a place for history, education and preservation. Limitations of our current facility–located in a former residence on Bench St. (one block north of downtown)–prevent us from properly sharing and displaying our area’s stories and one-of-a-kind collections. The idea of a new history museum has existed for nearly two decades. 

In 2017, the Society purchased 3.6 acres on Bouthillier Street in Galena, up the road from the Grant Home State Historical Site. The property includes the Nelson Stillman House which will become the administration building and venue space for the new museum. The new museum will be built near the Nelson Stillman House and will expand to 8,500 square feet and is estimated to cost a total of $12 Mil, including the creation of new exhibits.

The new museum project will be completed in three phases:

     1. Construction of the new musuem. Estimated opening Summer 2026!

     2. Development and installation of our new exhibits.

     3. Rehabilitation of the historic 1858 Nelson Stillman House.

Now is the time to seize this long-awaited opportunity to transform how history is shared in Galena-Jo Daviess County. Join us in making this project a reality!

"Our current facility is owned by the City of Galena and lacks essential climate controls and fire protections. The Museum's priceless treasures are in desperate need of a new home.
Tucked away in cramped storage rooms throughout the three story building, the memories of our community are at risk of being lost forever.”
— Tessa Flak, Executive Director of the Galena- Jo Daviess County Historical Society.