This renovated site was home to popular Congressman and political adviser to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, and ambassador to France (1869-1877). Grant's election night news was received here via telegraph.
Washburne's house was completed in 1845. The temple-like front portico with its large pillars were characteristic of the Greek Revival style, which was popular in Galena from the 1820s to the 1860s. Washburne closely supervised the house's construction, and when it was enlarged while he was away in the nation's capital, he followed the work in numerous letters.
The interior was organized into distinct formal, informal, and servant areas. The hallway separated the public and private rooms at the front of the house. Guests were received in the parlor, while the sitting room was reserved as a place for family members to read, study, and sew. The servants' work area was confined to the rear of the home where such housekeeping functions as cooking and laundry were conducted.
The exterior is restored to its appearance as sketched in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1866. Inside, the home has been restored as a model of Victorian age middle-class gentility. Some wall coverings in the library and dining room have been restored.
Admission: Suggested donation : Adults: $2.00 Children: $1.00
Hours: F-Su: 10am-noon, 1pm-4pm. Closed major holidays.
Address: 908 3rd St.
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Come visit us in Galena, Illinois