Front Street     |     Galva, Illinois

Downtown - North Exchange Street
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This is an etching of the Opera House on Front Street in Galva as it would have appeared shortly after it was built.  For many years it was host to traveling performing groups.  The graduations for Galva High School also took place here until 1932.  On its first floor it currently houses the local State Farm Agent Office.


Currently Front Street in Galva maintains much of the appearance that it had a little over 100 years ago.  The red building at the far right is the IOOF building, shown as an etching below the information about the J.W. Olson Block.  The next two story building to the left, currently painted in blue, is the J.W. Olson Block, with information shown immediately below this section.  The next building, which is slightly taller than the rest on this street, and also red, is the Opera House. Historical and current information about the Galva Opera House is shown at the top of this page.


The historic significance that this building has is that it was the building in which Olof Krans did most of his paintings of the people of, and everyday life of the people of Bishop Hill.  During the 1970's and 1980's it housed the Galva Furniture Company after it left the south room of the LeClaire Hotel. This building currently houses the Family Health Clinic of the Tri-County area on the first floor, and apartments occupy the second floor.


As with the other etchings on this page, this was done sometime between 1880 and 1890.  This building was originally called Hempstead's Block, and is now home of the local I.O.O.F.  The first floor houses Jacobsen's Bakery, which makes rusks that are distributed through much of the region, and the local Country Insurance agent.


This picture of the Loomis Building along Front Street was taken in what appears to be the 1910's or early 20's.  The building is still recognizable today, but it lacks the bay windows shown on the second floor, which were removed sometime before Galva's Centennial in 1954.  Currently this building and the one immediately to the West (left in this picture) house B&W ceramics.


This picture, of what was then known as North Central Park, was taken in 1900 shortly after the downtown area had undergone an extensive beautification project.  The right hand side of the picture shows front street and the buildings shown in the etchings, and the left side of the picture shows North Exchange Street.  The fence shown along the perimeter of the park was a hitching post for horses.

The photo below was taken a couple of years ago, and depicts the park in its most current incarnation.  The park recieved a complete renovation in the late 1990's, giving it an appearance similar to that which it had at the end of the 1800's.

LINKS:   E-mail Site Owner        City of Galva Website       Village of Bishop Hill