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DeSoto House Hotel History
 
 
   
The DeSoto House was named for Hernando DeSoto, the European discoverer of the Mississippi River.
As you step back in time at this wonderfully Restored hotel, you'll see why it has greeted such Notable guests as Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and William Jennings Bryan.
Once the principal river port of the upper Mississippi Valley, Galena
reached its economic peak during the 1850s. With the coming of the
Illinois Central Railroad, a group of local investors formed the Galena Hotel Company,” and built a grand hotel to reflect the growing prosperity of this “Metropolis of the Northwest.”
The hotel opened its doors on April 9, 1855. Thus, the DeSoto House has been a Galena Landmark for 150 years. It is now the oldest operating hotel in the State of Illinois.
During it long history, the DeSoto House has been the hub of Galena's social and political activity. Undoubtedly its most prominent visitor was Abraham Lincoln, who spoke from the hotel balcony on July 23, 1856.

Lincoln's political adversary, Stephen A. Douglas, was a guest of the
DeSoto House on the eve his famous Freeport debate with Mr. Lincoln in 1858.

150 years have witnessed many changes at the DeSoto House. Despite fire, floods and economic downturns, the DeSoto House has survived. It continues to welcome Galena visitors, and remind them of gentler days gone by!
   
 
       
         
   

DeSoto House Hotel
230 South Main Street  -  Galena, IL  61036   
815.777.0090  email: desoto@galenalink.com
For reservations call toll-free 800.343.6562

   
         
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