Category Archives: architecture

Cumberland County Courthouse

This past weekend I took a trip to the southern part of Illinois to watch my nephews motocross race and along the way passed through Toledo, Illinois. Toledo has a nice little town square where the Cumberland County Courthouse is located.  I couldn’t resist stopping to take some photographs.  Each image is a composite of 3 photos combined in Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.  Click on each image to view larger.

DSC_6692_HDR by . DSC_6695_HDR by . DSC_6701_HDR by .



Galena, Illinois

A recent visit to Galena, IL. took me by many beautiful Civil War era homes and Mansions. Galena was the residence of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals, as well as several entertainers and politicians. Once one of the most important cities in the state, Galena was a hub on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Paul. It is rich in history and architecture not to mention a multitude of shops and dining choices.  Below is a shot of Galena’s Main street where most of the shops and restaurants can be found.

DSC_6568_69_70 by Christopher L. Nelson.


The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens

This house is truly a walk into the history of this great nation during the time leading up to, during and after the Civil War.  Ambassador J. Russell Jones served this country from shopkeeper to United States Marshall to Congress and throughout the Civil War as a champion of Ulysses S. Grant from the General’s humble residence in Galena to the seat of power in the White House. Jones remained a true friend to Eliuh Washburne, himself an honored General of the War and later Secretary of State throughout his life. Their communications are well documented and their seeds of friendship began in this very house. Lincoln called upon J. Russell Jones when he wished to know of Grant’s progress; and, the fortunes of war as far away as Paris and Brussels, as well as when Lincoln suspected that Grant might eventually take his place in the White House. From a young man, Jones tenacity for business rewarded him with the finest luxuries that life can afford (including this Victorian mansion) as well as with tragedy. (Taken from the Belvedere’s website)

DSC_6611_2_3 by Christopher L. Nelson. DSC_6617_8_9 by Christopher L. Nelson.

McLean County Museum, Bloomington, IL.

Several exterior shots of the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington, IL.  This used to be the McLean County Courthouse and is an American Renaissance style structure that was built from 1901-1903. The dome and drum were restored in 2004 and as you can see are quite interesting.  Hope you enjoy!

Museum by Christopher L. Nelson.


Museum 2 by Christopher L. Nelson.


Museum 3 by Christopher L. Nelson.


Museum 4 by Christopher L. Nelson.