Old Market House
123 North Commerce Street
Galena, IL 61036
Year-round, Mo-Su 9-5 p.m.
NOTE ANDROID USERS ONLY: The donation payment processing function in the Illinois History mobile application for Android devices is currently down. Donations are still being processed through the web site at https://dnrhistoric.illinois.gov/experience/sites.html.We apologize for the inconvenience.
Teachers in Illinois schools (grades prekindergarten through 12) can apply for grant funds to visit this site on a field trip with their students. Click here for the details.
The Old Market House, erected by the city of Galena in 1845-1846, served for sixty-five years as the city market during the decades of Galena’s greatest prosperity as a river port, lead-mining center, and commercial hub. Many towns erected market buildings in the pre-Civil War era, but few remain today. The Old Market House also served as the seat of Galena government and for years had two jail cells. The building was almost completely reconstructed in 1954-1955 and in 1973 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Old Market House is a handsome Greek Revival building composed of a two-story brick central section topped with a frame cupola. One-story frame wings, projecting from the north and south, include covered porticoes. The central section’s first floor consists of an entry hall with staircases to the basement and second floor, and a large room providing exhibit and meeting space. The wings hold temporary local history exhibits and provide meeting space for community groups. The second floor contains the former city council chamber and city surveyor’s office.
Located south of the Old Market is an information center staffed by the Galena-Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The large lobby contains a visitor services information desk and exhibits provided by the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society. The building also contains accessible to persons with disabilities public restrooms.
Visitors can view exhibits on the first floor of the Old Market House. Site interpreters describe aspects of the building’s history and architecture. The first floor is accessible to persons with disabilities; the second floor and basement are not. The grounds are used frequently for community events.
The Old Market House hosts or co-hosts numerous special events, including the Boy Scouts of America “U. S. Grant Pilgrimage” in April, “Farmers Market” weekends May-August), and “Old Market Days” in June.
The following are available for the visitor to the site:
There is no parking lot for the building. There are parking spaces along the streets by the building. There is a accessible parking spot behind the building. Sidewalks are along the street next to the parking spots.
Sidewalks are brick and can be uneven and slippery when wet or icy.
Wheelchair accessible entrance located on the South side of building.
Wheelchairs and scooters are welcome in the Old Market House, on the main level, and welcome in all outdoor areas.
Accessible restrooms located in building next to the Old Market House.
Harnessed and leashed service animals are welcome in the Old Market House. There are no outdoor water fountains to accommodate service animals.
One accessible doorway to the Old Market House is accessible for wheelchairs. This door avoids steps. There are stairs to the second floor, but that is not open to the public at this time. The tour is self-guided, so guests can spend as much time in there as they want. There are benches outside to sit and several chairs are provided for anyone needing to sit once inside.