Preserving the schoolhouse

The story of how this limestone school building was saved.

Educating todays school children

Summer writing camps have been held in the one-room schoolhouse.

Historic destination in NW Illinois

Learn what life was like for students in the 1800's.

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About Belden School

Belden School is a short walk up trail 2b in The Galena Territory, Galena, IL. It is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, June through October. Tour guides are available to explain the past, present and future of this beautifully restored one-room limestone schoolhouse.

2018 Events

Belden School is ready to welcome visitors as it opens its doors again for another season of Open House Saturdays. The one-room limestone schoolhouse is located at 52 Heatherdowns Lane in The Galena Territory. The 2018 Open House schedule will be available soon!

June 9, 2018

Territory Garage Sale

June 2018 Open Houses

Information Coming Soon

July 2018 Open Houses

Information Coming Soon

August 2018 Open Houses

Information Coming Soon



Follow Belden School's journey, from teaching to closing to silently waiting to rediscovery to restoration spanning three centuries. Belden School is again teaching to all who visit.

  • Deep in the woods, set up on a steep slope surrounded by woods, trails and a creek, sits Belden School, a limestone one-room schoolhouse built in 1859.

    The Early Years

    Over the years the empty schoolhouse was sheltered by the woods and forgotten in time. The building remained unaltered so it became a snapshot in time allowing the occasional visitors to see and feel its history.

    Silently Waiting

  • The Belden School restoration committee was formed in 2004 by a small group of Galena Territory residents. Active efforts, using funds contributed by many interested and generous people, resulted in the restoration of the building.


    In September, 2009, Belden School reopened its doors as an interpretive center and visitors were welcomed inside. A grand rededication celibration and open house were held to herald the school's restoration.