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Grant Park - The Place Where It All Hapens

 

 

 Galena, IL 2014

 

kayaks weird 2

 

The City of Galena has done and continues to do an excellent job with our showcase park, Grant Park.  We are so fortunate to have this beautiful park which includes plenty of benches to enjoy an awesome view of the historic downtown, a railroad track, 3.5 mile walking path and Fever River for starters.  I do not know what this breed of "kayak" is called but they are pretty fun to watch go by underneath the bridge that leads to Main Street.

 

The local business "Fever River Outfitters" provides rentals for your enjoyment to include canoes, kayaks, bikes and scooters that you can drive out to a local winery. 

 

Great location and the site for Country Fair Weekend, Fourth of July Fireworks, Picnics, Music, Private Parties, Prom photos, Weddings, Family Fun and Romantic walks.

 

biking

 

 

canoe

 

bridge

 

This is the bridge that crosses over the Fever River and lands one block from Main Street.  Great photo ops here of downtown architecture as well as the aforementioned river bike path activity.  Show up here around dusk and you will see a bevy of bats coming out atop the buildings for their nightly dinner. I know it sounds icky but really - no mosquitos and the bats aren't interested in you at all.  I've never had one come close to me here.

 

Arbor

 

 

Here is the arbor which, in summertime, is covered in greenery. Very romantic for an evening walk!

cannon 4

 

 

And of course, being a town centered around General Grant and the Civil War, we have cannons.  I was just there yesterday and I can't remember if it's 5 or 6 of them but they are all different and very cool.  

 

cannon 3 wth kids

 

 

And of course you can climb on them.  It's not just kids that climb on them either.  Quite often, while strolling the park, I will see one or two adults posing as well!

 

gazebo

 

Ah, the Gazebo.  Lots of wedding ceremonies, Prom photos, Bands and engagements happen right here!  

 

 

gaelna vets monument

 

 

galena vets mon

 

This Monument is always a good reminder of what people have sacrificed so we can be right here right now enjoying all of this goodness.  And of course we have a stature of General Grant.

 

grant statue 2

 

 

The house he lived in when he became President is right up the hill, across from our inn.  It has a garden with a statue of his wife, Julia Dent, who is pointed towards his statue below.  Sweet!

 

fountain

 

 

We also have this gorgeous fountain.  In a couple of weeks the planters will be filled with flowers!  It is surrounded with benches so you can sit and enjoy a picnic lunch right there.  See the Pavillion and war monument in the background?  The Pavillion is used for many things including weddings, local group picnics, bands during country fair weekend, etc.

 

kids park

 

 

Great recreation for the kids.  We've enjoyed bringing out kids and now our granddaughters there often.  Gorgeous green space.  Always something for kids to do during the fairs.

 

walking path 2

 

 

This is one of the many paths leading to the breathtaking views of downtown Main Street.  I have sat and enjoyed these views many times.  Sometimes I take a good book and sometimes I take my knitting.  Great way to relax.  Back in the far distance is the top of the original High School.  It is now filled with condos.

 

 

grant park sign 2

 

 

Thank you for taking time to view this blog.  I hope it entices you to come visit Galena.  If you live here already, I hope it entices you to pick up a good book and your dog and come sit for a while!

The "Grant Park" sign is embedded on a hillside.  A couple of years ago, during the heaviest storm we have ever seen, the word "Grant" slid off the hill.  As you can see they are now replacing it and it looks better than ever!  Way to go Galena!

 

Come see us soon!

Bernadine & Dave

Bernadine's Stillman Inn

 

There is just no denying it, we are into Fall and it is beautiful here! Fall Festivals are beginning, we just had a civil war encampment event here down our hill and I'm taking what will most likely be the last pictures of this years gardens. All that work....!

We've just spotted our second set of baby squirrels for the Spring/Summer. They are just too cute and cause quite a bit of mischief around...not as bad as racoons though. We've taken the bird feeders down and set them on the ground since the squirrels end up getting everything anyway. Fun to watch our granddaughter try to say squirrel at 2 years old!

We'll start making pumpkin and apple pies, cheesecake, hot apple cider and by the way, a lot more people are have a smores fire these days here at the inn! Yummy!

I love the random sunflowers that come up around the garden, particularly under the bird feeder. It's just a pleasant surprise that I didn't have to plant!

Once the sedum blooms you know it's time to get your warm clothes out!

Galena IL has two to three civil war encampments a year. There was one this weekend across from Grant's home. You can see it from the Inn. As a matter of fact, I can hear the cannons going off right now.

Civil war encampments are a great thing for families to do. We used to go to them and was I happy when the guys told my son he couldn't use his phone or any other electronics while there. He loved it. He was usually a water boy during battle.

They regularly go through formations that were typical in the civil war encampments. Guests love to go down and ask questions, see how they make their food, look at antique artifacts from the time like uniforms, guns, old kettles, saddles, etc.

This is always my favorite. When they set up the little log cabin as it would have been in the 1800's. This particular weekend it was Set up especially nice with lots of knitting, quilts and sewing gadgets. I love the simpler arts. I won't say simpler life because it most certainly was not simple or air conditioned for that matter! There are a lot of artists in Galena that like to work with their hands especially in the area of fibers, mending and sewing, knitting, rug making...When I work on my projects I like to think what it would have been like for women in those days. It's kind of a touch stone for me like doing a family tree is to others.


By brother-in-law Donn is going to like this pic!

I had the rare opportunity of being able to leave the inn for a walk Saturday. I sat in Grant Park trying to finish up a knitted scarf when the train came by. Next to the train tack is a bike path. Lots of people riding bikes! And next to that is the Galena River. I was able to watch several canoes and kayaks go by. What a perfect day!

Then I walked to the farmers market. Tried to find "Pink Lady" apples. I've been trying to find them for pies because the description of them is so luscious. I understand they are an Heirloom apple and hard to come by. If you see any, send one this way!

Have a great Fall and stop on in! The colors are going to be spectacular in the next couple of weeks. Next weekend is Oktoberfest complete with wiener dog races and then the following weekend is our busiest weekend - Country Fair Weekend.

Mention this Fall 2011 blog and receive a complimentary bottle of wine with your two night stay!

-Bernadine & Dave

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