In the “Big House:” The Jail Hill Inn

GALENA, ILLINOIS – The big house becomes the boarding house. There is a new attraction in Galena, Illinois, adding to the already historical community.

Jail Hill SignThe Jail Hill Inn may look like rock and brick, but it has a heart of gold on the inside. Old and new furniture decorates the inside of the building, giving a cozy feeling to guests.BedroomDining Room

Looking at the inside, you may not think that this used to be the county jail, originally built behind the Galena courthouse in 1878 and in active use until 1977. The first floor hosted some of the offices, while the second floor was the home of the sheriff and his family. The third floor held the cells for male inmates, while the fourth floor offered spaces to hold the occasional female convict.

Carroll ImageGalena native Matthew Carroll is the most recent owner of the building, and created the Jail Hill Inn. He purchased the property in 2015, and opened the bed and breakfast in January of this year, 2016.

He feels that this establishment will add to the tourism and historical value of Galena.

When asked why he started the business, he said, “…Galena’s a very historic town, uh, bed and breakfasts do very well, uh, in this, uh, community, because people enjoy the history, and of course we have other hotel properties and things like that….”

Cozy RoomThe inn is capable of hosting six couples in its suites, and is located near downtown Galena. Carroll says that this is also a benefit to the inn, as it allows guests to visit sites close by, as well as the shopping center which makes up downtown.

To set up reservations or learn more, you can go to the Inn’s website at

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Levi Bernhard

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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