The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens are open to the public from mid May to mid November. This 22 room private residence is truly lavish: the finest and "most often visted" Italianate mansion in Galena for more than 33 years.
The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens
1008 Park Avenue
Galena, Illinois 61036
This house is truly a walk into the history of this great nation during the time leading up to, during and after the Civil War. Ambassador J. Russell Jones served this country from shopkeeper to United States Marshall to Congress and throughout the Civil War as a champion of Ulysses S. Grant from the General's humble residence in Galena to the seat of power in the White House. Jones remained a true friend to Eliuh Washburne, himself an honored General of the War and later Secretary of State throughout his life. Their communications are well documented and their seeds of friendship began in this very house. Lincoln called upon J. Russell Jones when he wished to know of Grant's progress; and, the fortunes of war as far away as Paris and Brussels, as well as when Lincoln suspected that Grant might eventually take his place in the White House. From a young man, Jones tenacity for business rewarded him with the finest luxuries that life can afford (including this Victorian mansion) as well as with tragedy.
You can read more about the mansion and its builder, J. Russel Jones at the Belvedere Mansion History of this site.
The Belvedere Mansion offers a guided tour about every fifteen minutes from late spring to late fall. No reservations are necessary. Just ring the bell! You are always welcome! Your tour will begin after a short wait on the air conditioned grand Victorian wicker veranda .
Meet Joey, one of our "kitties in residence" to learn more about our recent happenings! Joey writes so well!
The Belvedere has been considered the finest mansion in Galena since it was built in 1857. Come experience its majesty for yourself. Special pricing is available for groups. Inquire within about discounts offered. Don't miss this experience of a lifetime!
A MODEL HOUSE
"We have visited and thoroughly examined the house, on the East side of the river, just erected by J. R. Jones, Esq. of this city--and it is such a perfect model of a House, that we propose to devote a little space to its description."
"...We think it is the finest and best built house in the North-West, and all who have visited the house confirm us in this opinion."
"...The drawing and specifications were executed by Messrs, Nicholson & Wadskier, Architects, 110 Dearborn Street, Chicago, and give evidence of their skill in the Art. The brick work was done by Thos. Scott of this city. The plastering was done by Mr. Duncan. The carpenter work, pronounced the best job ever done in Galena, is by A. Dodds, of this city; Ornamental and Stucco work by Hiram Wilson, of this city--this work is as good as we ever saw; Stone Work by Rousch & Dietz; the Painting and Glazing by S. W. Swift, of this city, done in his good style, and is hard to excel by any one."
"The entire house is heated by Gold's Patented Steam Heating Apparatus, which is pronounced the most economical plan yet invented."
From the Galena Gazette, December 25, 1857