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If not for the modern-day goods sold in the retail establishments, you might think Galena was frozen in time. The six-block Main Street boasts striking examples of various architectural styles, ranging from French Colonial to Greek Revival, and a whopping 85% of the town is a national historic district. General Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th U.S. President, lived here briefly before leaving to head the Union troops in the Civil War. Upon his triumphant return, the town presented him with an elegant mansion. That house and other restored historic homes are open to the public. There's much more here to fascinate the history enthusiast: the Old Market House and the Historical Society and Museum, housed in a stunning Italianate home. Before its Civil War glory days, Galena was a booming lead-mining town. Today, you can descend underground into the Vinegar Hill Lead Mine. But don't stay down there too long, or you won't get to enjoy the rolling hills and lush valleys of this charming getaway, which also offers fine dining, numerous bed and breakfasts, golfing and antiquing.
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