missionThe 48th Annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes, held on a glorious, early fall weekend, provides a clear example of the value the Historical Society provides to the city of Galena.  The featured homes and their owners welcomed large, enthusiastic crowds. Many event attendees came from out of town just for the Tour event, and they spread their money all around. They stayed in local hotels and bed and breakfasts. They ate at Galena’s outstanding restaurants. They took tours and rode the trolley. Most important, they became advocates for Galena as a tourist destination, sure to recommend our beautiful town to friends, family and co-workers for their next getaway.

Telling Our Story

These stories offer important qualitative data as the Historical Society approaches several key benchmarks in planning a new, world-class museum. Over the coming three to six months, the Society Board will consider recommendations for the project’s design, focus and storylines. The information we glean from museum visitors and special event participants about their interests helps crystalize the stories for the new museum. We anticipate sharing these stories with the community before the end of the year. That is when we all will really get a sense for what the new museum — at its new location, with its expanded vision, and with professionally designed and executed exhibits — will look like.

Finding Data

On another track, Board members will consider study results from Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies measuring the economic impact of the new museum on Galena and Jo Daviess County. They’ll also participate in a feasibility study to evaluate the Historical Society’s capacity to conduct, and the community’s ability to support, a capital campaign to fund museum construction. In both instances, while additional qualitative information may surface, the emphasis is on uncovering quantitative data, the hard numbers that will demonstrate the viability of the new museum plan, its operations, the fundraising to build it, and its sustainability.

We understand and appreciate the community’s anticipation of our next steps. We’ve piqued Galena’s collective interest by talking about the possibilities. Soon we’ll be able to share what needs to be done to make these dreams reality.

“History Matters” Winter Programs