The mission of the Belvedere Mansion and Gardens is to engage the public in the history, tradition and ongoing preservation of the City of Galena and the mansion itself. Steeped in mid 19th century history, the Mansion and gardens offer a glimpse into a bygone era!
The Belvedere Mansion
A MODEL HOUSE
"We have visited and thoroughly examined the house, on the East side of the river, just erected by J. R. Jones, Esq. of this city--and it is such a perfect model of a House, that we propose to devote a little space to its description."
"...We think it is the finest and best built house in the North-West, and all who have visited the house confirm us in this opinion."
"...The drawing and specifications were executed by Messrs, Nicholson & Wadskier, Architects, 110 Dearborn Street, Chicago, and give evidence of their skill in the Art. The brick work was done by Thos. Scott of this city. The plastering was done by Mr. Duncan. The carpenter work, pronounced the best job ever done in Galena, is by A. Dodds, of this city; Ornamental and Stucco work by Hiram Wilson, of this city--this work is as good as we ever saw; Stone Work by Rousch & Dietz; the Painting and Glazing by S. W. Swift, of this city, done in his good style, and is hard to excel by any one."
"The entire house is heated by Gold's Patented Steam Heating Apparatus, which is pronounced the most economical plan yet invented."
from the Galena Gazette, December 25, 1857
Steeped in history, HIS LEGACY LIVES ON...
"J. Russell Jones became a man of means and stature from humble beginnings to the Belvedere Mansion on the east side of the River and on to Washington and the cities of Europe without a formal education or affiliations of means. His time in Galena was the serving ground for his later years of service to his country from US Marshal, to Chairman of the Republican Party, to businesses of steamboats, cotton and railroads. He was instrumental in carrying support for Grant's campaign and triumph during the Civil War and Grant's eventual place as President of the United States. His friendships are the hallmarks of a life well spent. We are proud to be the stewards of his legacy."
- Owners of the Belvedere Mansion
Other noted collectibles for viewing at the Mansion:
"As your tour guide begins to tell you about the mansion's history, your mind will fill with pictures of Scarlett O'Hara when she pulled down her mother's green velvet drapes to make a dress to see Rhett in jail. You will be surprised to find that the drapes from the movie 'Gone with the Wind' are right in front of you. They were purchased through the MGM auction and have become a favorite of the visitors that stop by the mansion."