The Dowling House is the oldest building in Galena, Illinois, United States, now a historic house museum.For Dowling House and beyond, use our Galena trip itinerary planner to get the most from your Galena vacation.
John Dowling arrived in Galena with his son Nicholas in 1826. The limestone house was built in 1826-27 in the single-pen style. The first floor was used as a trading post while the Dowlings lived upstairs. Dowling was an important early resident of Galena. He served on the 1834 fire committee and was elected to the 1838 town board of trustees. He also sold the county a plot of land for its first court house. Nicholas was elected alderman in 1841, serving until his election as mayor in 1843. Though he resigned after only a few months, he was again elected to the office in 1851, serving for two years.
The building sat abandoned for several decades, It was rehabilitated by William McCauley in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the building was opened to the public. Thirty minute tours of the building, furnished with period supplies and furnishings, are now offered from May to November. It was recognized as a contributing property to the Galena Historic District on October 18, 1969.
Dowling House reviews
great stories and a fun tour! Learned so much about the town and the house as well as the Dowling family more »
Lots of history here and the building is historical. The guide we had was very knowledgeable about everything in the house and pointed things out quite often with lots to say about it. A great place..... more »
Great, informative guide/host. Interesting site/area history. Truly marketing genius to package an old lead-mining/smelting backwater town into a pleasant tourist destination.
It's the oldest home in Galena and it's so well restored and preserved. I found the tour guide enjoyable
Plan your trip to Galena
Get a personalized tripA complete day by day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Galena
Hidden gems in Galena
Side trips from Galena
World heritage site
Taliesin Preservation: Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center
Duration: 1h 30 min
Shopping in Galena
Nearby attractions in Galena
Trips to Dowling House by other users
13 days in Great Rivers Country BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Galena · Fulton · Peoria 27 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Galena · Rockford · Utica 4 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Harrisburg · Utica · Galena 22 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Chicago · Rockford · Galena 4 days in Iowa & Galena BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Des Moines · Dyersville · Galena 52 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Badlands National Park · Deadwood · Custer