Its most notable visitor was President Abraham Lincoln, who spoke from its Main Street balcony on July 23, 1856. Just two years later, on July 25, 1858 Senator Stephen A. Douglas spoke from the same balcony. Ulysses S. Grant’s return to his hometown of Galena following the Civil War, brought 25,000 citizens to the streets to welcome him home, after which a celebration for 2,000 people was held at the DeSoto House. Grant later used rooms 209 and 211 of the hotel as his presidential campaign headquarters.
Take a self-guided, historic walking tour of the hotel and enjoy an informative historic video in the ‘Quiet Room’.