About Our Historic Inn in Galena, Illinois
Brian and Michelle Heurung purchased the Mansion in July of 2016. Their priority was rejuvenation and restoration of the home and grounds to reflect a vision of warmth and refinement, while respecting the historical and regional character of the property. Having visited Galena regularly for decades, becoming permanent residents was a dream come true. Their prior work experiences, along with passions for decorating, gardening, history and cooking are the foundation for the ongoing contributions to the legacy known today as Lamberson Guest House.
You may see our dogs Jack and Murray, our official “greeters,” on the property. They stay in our private living quarters, but can come up to say “hello” if you would like to meet them.
In January of 2017, Brian passed away, but was able to see the finished renovations, grand opening of Lamberson Guest House and fulfillment of our dream. I continue to strive to ensure that you, my valued guests, experience the most comfortable, pleasurable visit possible at this treasure overlooking Galena.
Michelle Heurung, Innkeeper
David Harvey Lamberson was born in Hampton, IL on September 24th, 1840. He received his education in the schools of Keokuk, Iowa, where he also began business as a clerk in a wholesale notion store. Being ambitious to make business for his employers, he made trips with a four-horse team through southern Iowa, selling goods.
His family, however, moved to Galena, IL, and he soon followed. During the late 1850s he was employed in the sewing machine business in Galena, next door to the photograph gallery of George Johnson. Mr. Lamberson saw the potential of the business and decided to learn the trade. By 1860, he was advertising “Photographs of the city of Galena” in the Daily Advertiser. His gallery was located at 167 Main Street (now 100 S. Main Street, above the VFW).
On December 10, 1863, he married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rachel James, and a son, George, was born to them the following year. In that same year he formed a partnership with Elizabeth’s brother, J. E. James, of Galena. The two men carried on an extensive business advertising the most up-to-date photographs, including many stereoview photos of scenery, residences, and public buildings.
Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, Jessie, in 1865.
In October of 1868, the firm of Lamberson & James dissolved by mutual consent, and Mr. Lamberson became an agent of the Asbury Life Insurance company, headquartered in Chicago, eventually becoming Supervisor of Agencies for Illinois.
Mr. Lamberson purchased the land atop “Quality Hill” in April, 1870, and at the age of 30, proceeded to build this magnificent home for his wife, Elizabeth, and their children.
In a letter archived in the Chicago History Museum dated October 11, 1871, Lamberson writes to his brother, Frank, after traveling to Chicago from Galena to deal with the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire: “Thousands are coming from every direction to see the remains of this once magnificent city.”
The Lamberson family moved to Chicago in 1873 and another daughter, Mary, was born to them that same year. In 1875, they welcomed their 3rd daughter, Maud.
In the mid-1870’s, the Remington Manufacturing Company gave Mr. Lamberson sole authority to sell their products out of Louisville, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Washington, and placed him in charge of the Boston and New England business. Later, he became manager of the western territory of the Remington Company. He soon became owner, buying out the western territory of the Remington Company and, partnering with H. Furman and E. Lathrop, controlled the entire product of Remington & Sons until Mr. Lamberson sold out his interest and retired.
Because of his extensive knowledge of finance, he was chosen to be Chairman of the Finance Committee and superintendent of stock subscriptions of the Chicago World’s Fair.
The following letter from Mr. Lyman Gage (President of the Board of Directors) speaks for itself: “As your term of services for the World’s Exposition of 1893 is about to expire by reason of the accomplishment to the great work of raising $5,000,000, I think it due to you that I acknowledge the energy, tact and devotion which you have exhibited in the work.”
Mr. Lamberson served as the director of the Evanston Library from 1893-1897 and as the Director of the Children’s Aid Society.
On January 5, 1909, Mr. Lamberson collapsed and died in a cab, after giving the driver instructions that he be taken home with all possible speed.
David and Lizzie Lamberson sold their home to Henry and Anna Wallace in 1875. Henry Wallace owned a men’s clothing store located at 100 N. Main (today’s Kandy Kitchen is at this location). The Wallaces lived in this home for 50 years, raising 4 children, entertaining and hosting their daughters’ grand wedding receptions in the formal dining room and library.
The Lamberson home was sold 6 times between 1925 and 1990, and in July, 2016, Brian and Michelle Heurung became the very proud 9th owners of this beautiful home.