2637 Knox Road 2300 E, La Fayette, IL 61449

Discover the Rich History of Galva, Illinois: A Hidden Gem Near Our Farm

Discover Galva, Illinois—a hidden gem rich in history, Scandinavian roots, and vibrant community. Explore its railroad beginnings, festivals, landmarks, and the charming Bishop Hill. Uncover the essence of this heritage-filled town.

Welcome back to our ongoing series on Cities and Towns near our farm! In this edition, we’ll be exploring the fascinating history of Galva, Illinois. Located in Henry County, Galva offers a unique blend of Scandinavian heritage, railroad history, and vibrant community events. Whether you’re planning a camping trip to our farm or looking for a charming destination to explore, Galva has something for everyone. Join us as we delve into the past and present of this remarkable town.

Scandinavian Roots and Railroad Beginnings: Galva owes its name and rich Scandinavian heritage to the Swedish immigrants who settled in nearby Bishop Hill. The town’s founders, cousins William L. Wiley and James Wiley, established Galva in 1854. They named the town after Gävle, Sweden, the sister city of Bishop Hill. To this day, around 80% of Galva’s population has Scandinavian ancestry, reflecting the town’s proud cultural heritage.

The development of Galva as a railroad town played a significant role in its growth. The first rail line, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route), was laid out in Galva with the help of Bishop Hill trustees. Later, the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad (Rock Island Railroad) also passed through the town. The presence of these rail lines not only facilitated transportation but also contributed to Galva’s status as an important transfer site.

The Back Roads Music Festival: Every August, Galva comes alive with the annual Back Roads Music Festival. This event, initiated by two lifelong friends, has transformed the town and attracted thousands of visitors. The festival offers a unique experience with its natural amphitheater setting, surrounded by cornfields and windmills, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the countryside. It’s a community-driven festival that fosters a sense of belonging and supports various charities. By attending the festival, you’ll enjoy fantastic country music, mouth-watering food, and a family-friendly atmosphere while contributing to a good cause.

Exploring Galva’s Historical Gems: Galva boasts several historical landmarks that offer glimpses into its past. Wiley Park, named after the town’s founders, provides a beautiful green space where the idea of Galva was born. While the founding cousins initially wanted to establish a college, their decision to create a town led to the vibrant community we see today.

Another notable historical site is the Glidden Brothers building, which was formerly part of Hathaway’s True Value Hardware store. Built by the Bishop Hill colonists, this brick building served as a storage facility and played a crucial role in the commercial activities of the time. It stored goods such as grain, pork, and brooms made in the colony and facilitated their transportation by rail.

Conclusion: Galva, Illinois, offers a captivating blend of history, Scandinavian heritage, and community spirit. From its railroad beginnings to the annual Back Roads Music Festival, this hidden gem has much to offer. Whether you’re exploring the town’s historical landmarks or immersing yourself in the vibrant festivities, Galva is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover this charming town near our farm.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

This Headline Grabs Visitors’ Attention

A short description introducing your business and the services to visitors.