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Published on Jun 12, 2012
Illinois Adventure goes to the Belvedere Mansion and Gardens. The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens are open to the public from mid May to mid November. This 22 room private residence is truly lavish and has been a must-see attraction in Galena for more than 33 years. This treasure is one of the finest examples of Italianate architecture of the period. The house is truly a walk into the history of this great nation during the time leading up to, during and after the Civil War. Ambassador J. Russell Jones served this country as everything from shopkeeper to United States Marshall to Congressman, and was, throughout the Civil War, a champion of Ulysses S. Grant as Grant rose from his humble residence in Galena to the seat of power in the White House. Jones was also a loyal friend to Eliuh Washburne, an honored General of the War who later served as Secretary of State. Their communications are well documented and their friendship began in this very house. Lincoln called upon Jones when he wanted a report on Grant's progress, to learn what was happening in far away places such as Paris and Brussels, and when he suspected that Grant might eventually take his place in the White House. From a young age, Jones tenacity for business rewarded him with the finest luxuries that life afford, but also acquainted him with tragedy as well.