Once the busiest port between St. Louis and St. Paul, Galena features hundreds of eye-popping homes built in the early to mid-1800s by shipping magnates and heavy-hitters in the area's lead mines. Today, 85 percent of the town is a National Historic District, with many homes overlooking the Galena River. The town boasts what the Chicago Tribune dubbed “The Best Main Street in the Midwest,” thanks to its well-preserved commercial buildings. With one of Illinois's top-performing public school systems, Galena is a great place to raise a family. The 15-minute commute to Dubuque, Iowa's five colleges and universities makes Galena a draw for academics as well.
Styles include Neo Classical, Federal, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate, the most famous of which is the former home of Ulysses S. Grant.
A sturdy Greek Revival or Second Empire home can be had for as little as $130,000.
Why Buy Now?
Galena is perfectly positioned as a bedroom community to Dubuque, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Midwest. The homes here are in demand and unlikely to drop in value.