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.

  Share Belden School

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.

Scheduled 2021 Events

June 5th    OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon
June 19th  OPEN HOUSE and Fairy Garden Walk  10am - 2pm

July 3rd  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon
July 17th  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon  Special Event Program TBA

Aug. 7th  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon
Aug. 21st OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon  Special Event Program TBA

Sept. 4  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon
Sept. 18  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon  Special Event Program TBA

Oct. 2nd  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon
Oct. 16  OPEN HOUSE  10am - 12noon  Special Event Program TBA

Docents will be available for Open House events to tell about the school's history and legacy.
The Open Houses and Special Events Programs are subject to COVID-19 protocols and may be subject to cancellation.

The Territory Garage Sale, scheduled for June 12th as been canceled. The Belden School Preservation Commission,
sponsor of the event, wishes to thank all the property owners who have supported our fundraising efforts.


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.