Sunday, June 12, 2016

Exploring Goldmoor Inn and the Grant Home

It was the last day in Galena for my friend Courtney and I. We filled the day with more exploration of the lovely inn we were staying in, as well as a look back into history.

We were down to the dining room at The Goldmoor Inn for another delicious breakfast.

Breakfast is part of the stay for all guests and the chef does it right, with a special feast each morning. For our last day, that meant yogurt with peaches, warm scones, and freshly made waffles with blueberries.

The meal was delicious and we walked it off with a tour of the property with Birgit Radin, who owns The Goldmoor with her husband, Slovo.

Within the beautifully manicured 23 acres is a spa, log cabins, two cottages (one English, one French), and walking trails.

The main house, which reminds me of a European castle, has 13 suites, including the Chef’s, where you can have a private meal prepared and enjoy views of both the sunrise and the sunset.

After the tour, we bid our hosts goodbye and headed to Grants Home, a national historic site.

The tour was quite informative. We learned all about Ulysses S. Grant, who was originally from Iowa, lived for a while in Georgetown and West Point, before serving as a General.

Grant then moved to St. Louis for a while before his family requested he move to Galena, Illinois, and help with their fur trade business.

Galena was where General Grant, his wife Julia Dent Grant, and their four children created this beautiful home.

The home is completely recreated, with mostly authentic pieces, to match what the Grants lived in until he was elected President of the United States (1868). 

In fact, the green chair from which he announced he had won the election is in the house, though he did take it with him to the White House during his term.

Cortney and I also learned about the children and Julia Grant, who was the first First Lady to be given that title, and the first President’s wife to have her own press secretary. 

She was involved in her husband’s life, and a friend to Susan B. Anthony.

After the tour, we had lunch at Otto’s Place, a popular spot by the railroad track in Galena.

It was Sunday afternoon and the place was packed with locals. After we tasted the food it was easy to see why. In addition to the “down home” atmosphere, everything was delicious.

I had the quiche with potatoes and their special coffee cake. Cortney went for eggs over easy, potatoes, fruit, and a piece of ham. It was more food than we could possibly finish.

After lunch it was time to depart for home. It had been a wonderful first trip to Galena, a place I will definitely return to. 

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