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The Aldrich Guest House

The Aldrich Guest House

The Aldrich guest house is located in Galena, Illinois, near the Mississippi River. The town has a half-mile main street with 130 shops and different restaurants for guests to browse through. The house has five rooms with queen-sized beds and private bathrooms. The owners, Robert and Douglas, strive to give guests a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. The bed and breakfast serves breakfast, and the meals change every day to give visitors variety. The property also has a small area known as the potting shed. The area is cannabis-friendly and is an area for lounging and relaxing. The home was originally built in 1845 and has hosted several important figures such as Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant, along with other politicians. Robert and Douglas are the 6th innkeepers of the property and were the owners to add the potting shed making them the first cannabis-friendly bed and breakfast.


The Aldrich Guest House is located in northern Illinois, a couple of hours from Chicago and a couple of miles from the Mississippi River. Situated on half an acre, the house is two stories and has a federal style architecture. Most of the house is original woodwork, flooring, and even some furniture. There are a total of five rooms. The rooms follow a similar style and are considered by the owners to be modern but have a classical feel from the early 1900s. Found in the rooms are individual heating controls, robes, and linens from Comfy, soaps and shampoos, internet, and Wi-Fi. All rooms have a private bathroom and a queen-sized bed. Inside the home, guests have access to a library with various books, games, and a place to relax. There is also a parlor and dining room where guests can eat, socialize, and lounge. Outside the home, patrons have access to the "potting shed," which is more of a small home than a shed, and the lounging area is cannabis friendly area where guests may smoke inside, but nowhere else on the property. Guests may socialize, watch TV, eat food provided at the snack bar, or relax. Much of the outside of the property has been described as having an atmosphere similar to a park. Many of the plants are local, and small shrubbery and foliage surround the yard's edges. Large Black Walnut trees give shade in the backyard that are over 100 years old. A small area is a garden with a birdbath and flowers where guests may read a book or simply sit outside. A covered porch can be found on the side of the house where guests may relax or eat a meal.

There are various activities in the surrounding area. On a half mile section of the main street in the city of Galena, there are over 130 shops with various items and products. A river runs through the city, and visitors have often canoed or tubed sections of the river. The City of Galena is considered a historic site and has several museums and historic buildings that guests can visit along with historic architecture throughout the city. Several native American sites are close to the area, as well as hiking and biking trails and other outdoor activities. There are wineries and breweries in the area, and the town of Galena is just under 15 minutes from the Mississippi River. A couple of hours away are the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee and one of the great lakes, Lake Michigan.  


The owners of the Aldrich Guest House desire to give guests a great start to their day and offer a hot breakfast generally served at 8:30 in the morning. With over 30 recipes, they try to give guests a different experience as they alternate meals each day. One day is traditionally sweeter and the other more savory. They accommodate dietary restrictions with advanced notice. For early risers, coffee is put out early. Much of the coffee comes from a local roaster and the meat from a local butcher. French Toast and potato waffles are a couple of popular meals at the bed and breakfast. To help guests relax and socialize, the owners offer wine, beer, and cocktails around five in the evening.

The owners, Robert and Douglas, enjoy getting to know the guests and hearing the stories they tell. They want guests to feel comfortable and laid back while staying at the property. The owners also try to help the environment in small ways. One of the ways they try to be eco-friendly is by putting the soaps and shampoos in refillable bottles. Individualized heating in rooms to help with power, using local foods, and working with the local markets help them in their goal to do their part. The owners strive to make the property as eco-friendly as possible and encourage their guests while staying there to do the same. Guest have often mentioned the interactions and experiences they've had while staying on the property. One patron said, "Robert and Douglas made our experience in Galena a true pleasure. Our conversations in the evenings and mornings were wonderful. The bed was comfy, and the food was amazing. They made us feel at ease and gave great recommendations for dinner and places to hike during the day."

The Aldrich guest house has a mature environment as guests must be 21 or older to stay at the property. Children and pets are not allowed on the property, and smoking is not permitted inside any room except the potting shed. The property is open year-round and is often busiest during May through October due to events and weather in the area of Galena. The city is mostly visited from April to December. Occasionally the Aldrich guest house will also host cannabis friendly events on the property. They are "the first cannabis friendly bed and breakfast in the state of Illinois."


The Aldrich Guest House has had many owners throughout the years, and several important figures have visited the property. The home was first built in 1845 by Jay Russel Jones. He lived in the home for multiple decades, adding to the house during while there. Jones was a politician and sold the home to the McLellans, another politician, around 1880. McLellan was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant. The two visited the home on several occasions, and Grant even trained troops on the front lawn and the backyard during the civil war for several months. After a while, the McLellans decided to sell the home as well. The home then changed hands with various residents until in the mid-1900s when the home was purchased by the city and became a country club. The home was then bought by a family who intended to turn the house into a bed and breakfast. They renovated most of the home adding bathrooms and making things more private but decided to sell the home before ever officially starting up the business. The next owners bought the home in 1984 and officially opened the home as a bed and breakfast to the public. Since then, the house has been purchased by several innkeepers, and around 2014 The current owners purchased the property, renovated portions of the home, and added the pottery shed, becoming "the first cannabis friendly bed and breakfast in the state of Illinois." They are the 6th innkeepers to have hosted at the Aldrich Guest House.

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900 Third Street
Galena, Illinois 61036
United States


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