Visit Galesburg, Illinois
Galesburg and Knox College were founded in 1837 by anti-slavery advocates who came to Knox County from upstate New York. George Washington Gale and many of the early founders were abolitionists and set the tone for the new town and neighboring communities. Galesburg was home to the first anti-slavery society in the State of Illinois founded in 1837 and was also home to the “Freedom Station,” a stop on the Underground Railroad, an informal network of safe houses and people who assisted thousands of slaves escape to freedom in Michigan or Canada. Due to broad community support against slavery, the Galesburg Freedom Station became a prominent stop on this secretive rail path.
Next stop - Galesburg, Illinois.
A visit to Galesburg is a celebration of a time when the pace was a little more leisurely – when half the reason for going somewhere was in the getting there. A visit to Galesburg is like a reawakened memory – familiar and comfortable yet with surprises both welcome and rewarding.
Your visit to Galesburg, experience the best sort of Americana – that which excites the imagination with visions of a once and future nation and inspires with the promise that our best days are all ahead of us. Click here to view our online Visitors Guide.
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Six miles east. Historic buildings—including a log cabin, old school house, jail, and the 1830s Walnut Grove Barn.
Twenty miles north. Restored Swedish settlement from the mid-1800s, with restaurants, shops and historical buildings.
Completed in 1885, the church has a 150' spire and neo-Gothic architecture. Only ten Catholic churches in the U.S. have a saint’s body, and Corpus Christi houses the holy relic of St. Crescent, taken out of the catacombs in Rome in 1838.
The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1916 after a construction cost of $135,000. Originally built as a vaudeville house, the Orpheum hosted many early stars of stage and screen, including Jack Benny, George Burns, Harry Houdini, Al Jolson, Edgar Bergen, Fanny Brice and Blackstone the Magician.
The cornerstone of this sandstone building was laid in 1884 and construction was completed in 1886 at a cost of $150,000. The ornate details are typical of the Romanesque period. To the west of the Court House is Standish Park Arboretum with over 170 trees and shrubs.
Experience railroading of the early 1900s at the new Galesburg Railroad Museum building that sits next to the Amtrak Depot. The building holds an extensive collection of railroad memorabilia on view for the public to see. Take a tour through the restored passenger engine built in 1930 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, a fully-outfitted car used by the Railway Mail Service and Railway Express Agency, a Pullman parlor car, caboose and two 1950’s inspection cars outfitted with track maintenance tools.
Galesburg is an Amtrak city with daily service to downtown Chicago and many other destinations. For Amtrak fares and reservations, call your travel agent, or Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit www.amtrak.com.