The Ulysses S. Grant Home is located in Galena, Illinois. It has a rather interesting history. On August 18, 1865, the town of Galena celebrated the return of its Civil War hero General Ulysses S. Grant. Following a procession throughout the streets, a group of Galena citizens presented Grant with a lovely furnished home on Bouthillier Street. Today, the Ulysses S. Grant Home is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galena.
The current historical site was not the first home of Ulysses S. Grant. When Grant and his family arrived in Galena in the spring of 1860, they rented a small Federal style brick house. Although Grant had ended a fifteen-year military career six years earlier, he did not enjoy much business success as a civilian. He had hopes of reversing his economic misfortune by moving to northwestern Illinois, where he would work in the Galena store that was owned by his father and managed by his younger brothers. Until he left Galena in the spring of 1861 to serve in the Civil War, the home of Ulysses S Grant was a small brick cottage, which he and his wife rented for $100 a year.
The post-war home of Ulysses S. Grant was a brick house that is typical of the Italianate style. Well-defined rectilinear shapes, projecting eaves supported by brackets, low-pitched roof, and balustrade balconies over covered porches, characterize the Ulysses S. Grant home in Illinois.
Following his election as president in 1868 he only occasionally visited the Ulysses S. Grant home in Illinois. However, the caretakers, in anticipation of the President's visits, constantly maintained the home of Ulysses S Grant. When Grant made his final visits to his Galena home in 1880, he found that several changes had been made. A new sidewalk laid in front of the Ulysses S. Grant home in Illinois. The outbuildings repaired and the trees had been trimmed. A new washhouse had also been built. In 1904 Grant's children gave the home of Ulysses S. Grant to the City of Galena. However, when it proved to be too expensive to maintain, the city gave the house to the State of Illinois.
Today, you can take a tour of the Ulysses S. Grant home, which is conducted by guides in historical costume.