Another Tale of Two Galenas

Galena Presbyterian Church, Galena, VA    Image: Google

We’re blessed to have a unique place like Galena, Illinois, here in the tri-state area.  The name Galena is not unique to the beautiful northwest Illinois town, however.  There are more than two dozen places in the U.S. which go by that name, and from time to time we like to take a look at how various Galenas compare.  This time around we’re comparing Galena, Illinois to Galena, Virginia.

attachment-Galena Mapx2IL-VA
Images: Google

Galena, Virginia isn’t really a town at all, it’s more like a wide spot in the road.  The road on which that wide spot sits is U.S. 52, the same highway that goes through Dubuque and allows occasional views of the bluffs across the river near Galena, Illinois.

Image: Google

Like most places named for the mineral form of lead, both of these communities were founded as lead mining areas.  Galena, Illinois is located on the Galena River, while Galena Virginia is located along Galena Creek.  These two Galenas are a little more than 700 straight-line miles apart.  The drive between the two is estimated at about twelve and a half hours.

Grant's Home, Galena, IL    Image: Google

Civil War history is significant to both areas.  Galena, Virginia is located in Wythe County, home to the Civil War Battle of Cove Mountain.  Central to that battle was a Union Army attempt to damage a rail line connecting a lead mine.  Galena, Illinois is famous for being home to nine Civil War generals, including U.S. Grant.  

Galena Presbyterian Church, Galena, VA    Image: Google

Today in Galena, Virginia you’ll find the charming Galena Presbyterian Church, a handful of houses, and not much else.  

Main Street, Galena, IL    Image: Google

To both of these fine American Galenas we offer a hearty salute!

RELATED: Galena vs. Galena Round One.

RELATED: Galena vs. Galena Round Two.

See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

More From AM 1490 WDBQ