During the first major mineral rush in the US, Galena, IL was the epicenter attracting people from all over. In 1845, Irish immigrant John Dowling and his son Nicholas built The Dowling House. The family lived upstairs while downstairs served a trading post. The house bears the title of “oldest in Galena,” and it’s considered to be the oldest stone structure in Illinois. The building is open to the public. The original fireplace remains, and Galena pottery is seen throughout.