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.

2019 Events


Belden School open houses will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on:
July 6
July 20
August 3
August 17
September 7
September 21
October 5
October 19







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.