Bernadine's Stillman Inn

513 Bouthillier Street, Galena, Illinois 61036
Innkeeper(s): Dave & Bernadine Anderson

Beautiful Gardens Everywhere in Galena Illinois 1 Jul 2016, 10:20 am

The weather has been absolutely perfect here in Galena this Spring for some beautiful flower displays not just here at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn but anywhere you walk or drive throughout Galena.  Must be the right amount of rain, humidity, etc.  Even the bleeding heart bushes are not burned back yet!

We planted some ditch Lilis around an old tree stump in the lower courtyards last year.  Well they are full and tall and beautiful right now.  I was even able to get babies breath to grow.  I’ve never been able to get that to grow – like poppies.  Should have tried them again this year.

We have re-landscaped the front parking lot grassy area.  Makes the property feel bigger, it is just terrific.  We also have two fairy gardens this year and a gnome garden.  Those are such great fun to do!

Come on buy and check Galena out this season.  It is just so beautiful!


Beautiful Weddings in Galena at the Galena Wedding Chapel 9 May 2016, 3:30 pm

Beautiful Weddings at the Galena Wedding Chapel
at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn

We have enjoyed the most amazing wedding couples here at the Galena Wedding Chapel.  This couple are sharing their first dance just after making their vows.  Just precious!

All of our wedding couples have a chance to review their vows, take things out, add things in to include their own personalized vows.  We are thrilled to accommodate your special needs to make your day just perfect!

Our favorite thing to photograph, next to the Bride of course, are the adorable children.  Some are happy and content with the event – others, not so much!  But they are ALL so cute!

Indoor or Outdoor – it’s going to be a great time!

We keep the Wedding Chapel open for outdoor weddings in case the weather doesn’t hold out – so, no problems here!

Call today to set up your perfect day!

You can arrange all the details yourself or we can help!

Sixteen years of experience of helping people make their special day just Perfect!

What’s Being Renovated in 2016 at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn 21 Jan 2016, 10:18 am

Exciting Renovations taking place now at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn 

for 2016

The Honeymoon Suite has an updated bathroom with new, very cool, shower stall.  This is a panoramic image so you can see the most but it does make the bathroom look bigger than it is, just so you know!  The shower doors are glass and curved!  The new vanity is gorgeous and works well with the new vanity cabinet Christian built for this space last year.

The Romance Room is being renovated as I type.  It used to be a dark merlot color.  Because we are getting such a huge and positive response to the color of the new “Penthouse Suite” we are going with that color in the romance room as well.

This is a step away from our traditional 1858 civil war style decoarting into a more refreshing “spa like” feel.  These two rooms are separate form the rest of the mansion which, for now we are leaving in the Victorian style.  We will be polling our guests this year to see if we should move forward in updating the rest of the inn to this new fresh color.

This is the Penthouse Suite bathroom – new in 2015.  This is the color we are using in the Romance Room.

Up Next: A Massage Room!  This is an exciting addition for the Inn.  Guests have enjoyed massages here in their rooms over the years which has been great – but – having a separate room for our our massage therapists will bring more options and a more complete experience to serve you best!

New Breakfast Menu Items

We are reviewing our breakfast menu selections to keep things fresh but it’s hard to replace the long time favorites: Love Cakes, Ham and Cheese Omlettes, Veggie Quiche and the most favorite Banana Bread that my Mom makes.  It is lightly griddled with pinwheel bananas down the center, covered with chopped nuts and Caramel Syrup!  Oops, don’t forget the dollop of whipped cream!  Yummy!

We are proud to offer our guests a flexible breakfast time schedule allowing you to sleep in if you feel like it!  For more details talk to Dave!  815 777-0557

Looks Who Is Getting Married in Galena Illinois 7 Jul 2015, 9:50 am

Look Who Is Getting Married Here at the Galena Wedding Chapel!


To our First Spring 2015 Outdoor Wedding!

What a delight to work with our excited couples.  From beginning to end we have a great time!  This ceremony was held next to our multi-level water feature.  We would show the water feature but she was irresistible!  Look at that smile!

And Congratulations

To our first Spring Indoor Wedding!

They enjoyed the warmth of the inside of our beautiful and historic Wedding Chapel.  This picture was taken during the candle lighting portion of the ceremony.

Just last week we had the privilege of holding the Wedding Ceremony for this lovely couple.  It was just the two of them, outdoors, with us!  Sweet as could be.  What a pleasure to serve them!

And last week – our first DOUBLE WEDDING!

The brides were Best Friends and both of their fellas work together.  It was absolutely delightful and we hope we can experience a double wedding again some time!

However, it was a bit confusing for Dave to keep the names straight but guess what…it worked and they are married!

Way to go Dave!


We can’t wait!

There is a lot to do in Galena involving Art – You’re going to love it 13 May 2015, 8:13 pm

“Artist” or “Crafter”

This is an interesting question.  I default to calling myself a Crafter (until recently that is) because I’ve always held Artists in great high esteem.  You know, those people who can pic up a pencil and draw something spectacular, anything, without much thought.  Or who can pick up a lump of clay and turn it into something beautiful and remarkably accurate to form.  Now those are “Artists”.   Certainly they are “Gifted” artists.  Seems to come easy to them.

Knitting: I consider this to be an “Art” now for me.  It wasn’t an art when I was simply following a pattern but now I am into making my own patterns and with the addition of the shrinky dink man with an umbrella charm I feel I am a full fledged knitting “artist”!  That and I spin too!

There is a subtle inference that being a “crafter” is somehow less than being an “artist”. I’ve been calling my studio my “craft room” until I heard myself say it to my granddaughters who love to go into the “studio”.  I don’t want them to see themselves as “crafters” but as “artists” so now we call it the “Art room”! They are 3 and 5 and they are artists!

I have learned with my recent journey into the world of mixed media art journaling that I am an “artist” and you are too.  We each have something in us that no one else can do.  The fact that my flowers look more like a rock means nothing – it’s simply “my” style!  I have come to appreciate my rocks/flowers, even though I continue to try to draw them better.  It’s all a part of the process!  Not being satisfied with being anything less than Georgia OKeefe as an Artist has kept me from fully realizing who I am as an artist!  Had to let that go!

Here is a project I just did for my daughters birthday.  It’s an outpouring from what I’ve learned in doing mixed media art journaling over the past year. I LOVE YOUTUBE!  I will do a blog on more of this type of thing in the near future.  If you stay with us be sure to mention your love of Art and I’ll show you around my art studio!

Now I will focus on what Galena has to offer in the way of Art.

In October we celebrate the largest art fair, Country Fair Weekend, that I have ever been to.  It is a “juried” art show so everyone there has been chosen because they are considered to be “true” artists.  You are sure to find a large variety of high quality art work.  It is always the second weekend in October.  The town fills up to overflowing so if you can make it be sure to reserve a room as soon as possible!

And there are a variety of “Art” stores in town.









Ink and Stamp with Sue:  An excellent selection in a large variety of art supplies for the artist in you.  We are so lucky to have her here in Galena!  Rubber Stamps, Paints, Art Books…it’s a “must see”.









Mangelsen: – You know, the stunning nature photos to include the fish jumping into the bears mouth.  It’s at the entrance to downtown.  Great place to visit









Artists Annex: This is a wonderful pottery studio.  My husband and daughter took a pottery class there with Charlie and loved it.  At one point you could make your own plate and take a cooking lesson and eat off of your very own plate.  He is one of many potters who put together a pottery tour each year.  Well worth the journey!










The Milagro Studio:  Jewelry making is definitely an art and here you can have whatever you want made.  My sister received a special gift from here and just loves it.











Carl Johnson:  The man who refuses to retire!  Fascinating artist offering all kinds of beautiful artwork from local architecture.  We have his “Stillman Inn” art hanging in the inn.  A friend had bought it and we talked him into handing it over!  It was commissioned by a couple who was getting married at the Stillman but then did not want it.  Glad we have it.  Stop by and see him soon before he really closes! (“Don’t do it”!)


Hello Galena:  A lovely collection of local artists work.  One street down from Main Street!







Phat 1/4’s: Yes, quilting is an art.  Go to a large quilt show and you will see spectacular quilts  I believe Japan leads in the area of detail work.  Wow, spectacular.










Fiber Wild:  A great variety of quality fibers to knit or crochet with.  Some finished items to buy and lots of kits! Great book selection as well.










ART: A fun and exciting store to see some great painted canvas art.  Love the balloons outside the door.

There is a new pottery store across the street from ART and down the road a few blocks is “Clayworks”.

My biggest fear is leaving something special out of my Blog.  And in fact I can think of a couple of other art stores that I don’t have pictures for here.  I think I will do a “Part II”!  Keep an eye out for it!

If Architecture can be considered an “Art”, and I think it certainly can be, you will be delighted at the type of architecture we have here in Galena.  Downtown is exquisite and the entire town is filled with mid 1800 homes to enjoy as you walk around.

Hope you can stay with us on your next visit to Galena to explore the arts!

Bernadine & Dave Anderson

Bernadine’s Stillman Inn

“It’s Been A Pleasure!”

2014 Year In Review At Our Bed and Breakfast 29 Dec 2014, 8:31 am

2014 Year In Review Here At Bernadine’s Stillman Inn

Becca, Phil, Bernadine, Dave, Miss Lili and Cupcakes!

We’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has stayed with us or who are planning to stay with us soon.  2014 has been a blast and we so much appreciate all of your love and support.

Grandkids are getting older, we’re adding an 8th room on the third floor of the Stillman, and Dave has been super busy keeping all the dead bushes spray painted green.  They actually don’t look that bad!

We’ve had some of the most beautiful weddings here this year and the weather for outdoor weddings was perfect!  The gardens were showing the fruit from having such a humid and moist Spring!

We have a new and fabulous website this year with a lot of new packages for you to choose from.  Hope you enjoy!

Many fun breakfasts shared with guests!  Yes, we are open 365 days a year and probably serve 357 of those days!  There is nothing else we’d rather do.  We’ve made so many new friends and have enjoyed so many good stories with you all!

And we can’t forget our newest addition to the family – Drago!  We brought him home from a shelter in June.  He is two years old and just the most perfect dog we could ever imagine being blessed with.  Some of you have enjoyed watching him run around the lower courtyard and others have actually taken him on walks!  What fun!  Welcome Drago!

We’ve enjoyed helping our guests explore Galena and all the great options available.  Iowa Wine Tours was a big hit with the guests this year!

And the Holidays!  What fun!  We had more guests visiting over Thanksgiving and Christmas than ever before and they were such a pleasure.  How great it is to be able to share this beautiful and decorated mansion with you all!

And in our spare time – what better way than to spend it with the grandkids?  This is the only snow we’ve had to date this winter.  Glad she got to have fun in it.

Many of you are interested in my Craft Room and what I’m whipping up now.  Well this year we have a new advent calendar for the grandkids to enjoy…and they certainly have been enjoying it.  Mom and I made a second one for her place too!

What’s up for 2015?  Well, we will finish “The Third Floor Pent House” room and ask our daughter if she will begin offering facials here at the Stillman Inn.  She is attending school now and I had the privilege of getting a facial.  Oh My Word – it was fabulous.  She is also a makeup artist and Dave is a photographer  – so there you go.  Come, be pampered, get all dolled up and have a photo shoot!

So, from our home to yours

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hope to see you in 2015!

Bernadine Anderson

A Place Where You Are Considered Royalty 3 Dec 2014, 7:39 am

A Place Where You Are Considered Royalty!

 Okay, here is how this all got started…We had an inspection one day and the gentleman said we needed to have our rooms “themed”.  So we proceeded to do just that.  Each room has a different theme…

Love’s First Touch has a cute little statue of a couple hugging on the fireplace mantel and there are some antique pictures of couples together experiencing what we could believe was their “first touch”.

“Dreams of the Past” has a framed list of questions meant to get you to think about fond memories from your past!  And so on…

Then there is the “Royalty II and III”.  these are the two standard rooms. Of course, we would put in a royal crown and tiara along with “keys to the kingdom” hanging on the wall, etc…

People in the Royalty II and III just loved the photo ops that presented themselves when you have a crown and tiara in your room.  Guests even began wearing them to breakfast.  One woman put her tiara on at check in and never took it off until she checked out.  She wore it downtown and everywhere.

Much to our surprise the guests from other rooms began to ask why they didn’t have a crown and tiara in their room.  So, off I went to the party store to buy more crowns and tiaras.  Guests LOVE them.  We take more pictures of our guests festooning the royal bling than without and it’s not unusual to have a breakfast table full of Kings and Queens at the Inn!

So, there you go.  that is how we got started with the whole crown and tiara thing!

Years ago we had a guest stay with us who wrote en enchanting tale about the Inn.  That has worked out nicely with the props!

“Once upon a time, there lived a handsome prince and a lovely maiden They traveled the countryside searching for magic. By happenstance, they arrived at a palace called Stillman Inn. They were greeted by Dave the gatekeeper who promised to create pleasant moments and lasting memories. Dave (the wizard that he was) used his clicky pen to magically change the matron from her lowly existence as Mary to a lovely laughing creature dubbed “Emilee”. Hearts, bells, dreams and the occasional unicorn filled the minds of the prince and “Emilee” during their stay at Stillman Castle. Thank you so much.” Rick & Mary – hailing from Wisconsin Dells

Enjoy, Have a Great Day and Come Visit

For your chance to become Royalty!

Bernadine Anderson

Bernadine’s Stillman Inn – Galena, IL  815 777-0557

Halloween is the Perfect Time to Visit Galena, IL 22 Oct 2014, 12:13 pm

Halloween Is The Perfect Time to Visit Galena, IL

This pumpkin art was made by Dave and Granddaughter Cara.  It was a small gourd actually.  I was surprised how well it photographed.  Way to go Dave and Cara!

This Saturday at 6pm is the largest Halloween Parade you could imagine seeing right downtown.  There will be 100 decorated floats to include Hot Air Balloons blowing out fireand lots of people in crazy costumes!  It’s a great time and it’s supposed to be 70 degrees outside!

 We had a beautiful and long Fall Colors season here in Galena.  We still have a large amount of color.  A few days ago Dave took me to Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort.  We ate at the Sunset Grill which has a beautiful valley view of the Mississippi River.  All of the tress were screaming gorgeous still!

This is a super cool picture Dave took right across our street.  It is the entrance to the St. Michael’s Cemetery.  By day it is a beautifully landscaped area, by night with a full moon it can be pretty spooky.  Perfect for the time of year!

This looks like Dave, our son Phil and Granddaughter Cara are getting ready for trick or treat but they are really just having some fun with cake frosting.  How cute are they?

Hope you all had and are continuing to have a GREAT FALL!  Now it’s off to Gays Mills Apple Orchard for some apples, pumpkin butter and fresh fried donuts!

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy our blog!


Bernadine’s Stillman Inn

Galena, IL  815 777-0557

Wedding Planning Can Be Care Free at the Galena Wedding Chapel 29 Sep 2014, 7:57 am

Wedding Planning Can Be Care Free at the Galena Wedding Chapel

Planning a wedding can turn from excitement and joy into anxiety and frustration for sure.  But we are here to help with all of that!  We offer an online “Wedding Planner” form on our website.  It helps you think through many of the steps in preparing for your special day.  Simply print it out and start checking things off that you like and crossing off the items you are not interested.

We believe the best first step is to create your own three ring wedding planner binder.  In it you can put the form mentioned above along with pictures and articles from various wedding magazines. Check out “The Knot”, it is a great resource magazine. Tear out pictures of bouquets that you like. Don’t forget pictures of cakes, gowns, bridesmaids dresses, tuxedos…anything goes here.

After a short time you will start seeing a pattern in what appeals to you in the way of style, color, etc.  This is a great way to get started.  And don’t forget to check out Pinterest for some really great ideas!

Quilts at the Stillman Inn Part Two 19 Aug 2014, 8:25 am

Quilts at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn


Part II


August 19, 2014


Wow – thank you everyone for your interest in the, Part II of the Quilts at the Inn.  On the previous blog I posted about the antique quilts and unfinished quilts I bought and finished over the years.  This one is even more fun because it’s about, as I promised, the quilts I’ve made!


You may notice that a lot of them are decidedly Civil War period style.  The patterns and fabrics are more muted but still interesting.  I think I’ve leaned this way because 1) we live in Galena IL and 2) I love thinking about women as they sat around hand sewing with fabrics they had, usually from clothes they’ve worn out.  They would have quilted with these shades of fabrics.


I have, however, pushed myself out of the box on a few occasions to use brighter colors.  That was fun but not what my natural bent is.  I’m working on that!


So, here we go.  Hope you enjoy!  Mostly I hope it inspires you to give quilting a try!




This quilt is from a book, as most are, that commemorates women throughout history that did “big things” that women just didn’t do back in the days.  For example, one block represents a woman who owned real estate and rented out homes.  I used striped fabric as the background and hand appliqued all the pieces on.  These were all from my stash of civil war era fabrics.  I used the needle turn process and it took over 1 1/2 years to finish.  It was a great take-along project and I started keeping track of all the places I worked on this quilt but lost the paper I was writing on.  One place was on a riverboat ride down the Mississippi River.  Nice to sit out on the deck quilting away.  Another place was Walnut Ridge, a log cabin bed and breakfast in Platteville.  Worked on it twice there during our stays.


I entered this one into the local Fair.  Almost won best of show but the judge did not like the fact that I “quilted” over the applique.  This was a choice I made after much thought and I was proud of that decision.  Oh well.



Here is another sample of the quilt above.  I believe the house is the one representing a woman from years past who owned real estate.



This was my first “Lone Star” quilt.  Piecing drives me crazy.  This was done using a fusible background that makes all of your points perfect.  What makes this special is that my husband saw this and wanted to hang it on his office wall right away! Awwww!  Dave, you are just tooo cute for me and soooo very smart!  I made this one in 2003



This Lone Star was made in 2012 using the same technique as above so I couldn’t mess it up.  I added the eagles in the corners using a die cut from Accucut.  What fun.  There is a light colored background under this quilt.  I chose to quilt with a dark thread on the top and bottom of the quilt – not so smart.  You don’t notice it on the top but the back looks kind of terrible.  Should have used a lighter bobbin thread.  Oh well…live and learn as they say!



Several years ago I decided to perfect piecing.  I have a “how to” book that was actually quite wonderful.  Can’t find it now though.  I especially like the middle motif.  That is called “card trick”.  Turns out I have not been using an accurate 1/4″ seam.  You actually need a “scant” 1/4″ seam because when you open the seam it uses more fabric to make that turn.  I had these squares laying around for about 8 years wondering what to do with them.  Then my friend Susan decided to teach us one of the “quilt as you go” methods which was fascinating.  Now my squares are a table runner and I just love it.  Thank you Susan Hunter!



Then Susan decided to teach a group of us how to make a “Bargello” quilt.  Bright colors here that I just love.  It was a bit complicated but fun.  The more seams I had the more “unstable” the piece was so it’s far from being in perect alignment but I don’t care.  it’s beautiful!



I found this pattern around Valentines day in a quilt mazagine and as if I didn’t have enough projects, I decided to throw it together.  Glad I did.  I used all scrap fabric and I love it!  Back to the muted colors we go!  I guess I love the “homespun” look of these fabrics.



Halloween is not my favorite Holiday.  In fact I just don’t like it.  The very theme of it is dark and, well, I guess I don’t like dark.  So, I found this pattern for bright and perky pumpkins.  Helped me to enjoy the season a bit more! This was a kit. Everything was appliqued on by machine and I used some fancy stitches from my embroidery machine to decorate the background squares.  My friend Rosie inspires me to do this.  She does it on everything!



“Paper Dolls” quilt design.  Last year my New Years resolution was to work only on projects I had waiting to be put together.  I broke that promise just once for a small table runner.  I had this quilt kit sitting around waiting to be made for about two years.  I had purchased it at the Paducah quilt show, the first one I ever went to (thank you Susan) and I’m so glad for my resolution because it’s done and cute as can be.  Again, civil war, homespun colors.  Glad I bought it. This was pieced and pretty easy to do.  It would be a good quilt and more precise if I had paper pieced it.



Here is my “Grandma’s Garden” quilt.  All hand pieced hexagons from fabrics in my stash.  Wow, this one took years.  A great take-along project but wow what a lot of work!  Don’t think I’ll be making another one so this is quite special.  Have you ever done these hexagons?  Jo Quilter in Bellvue IA has a quilt store and she is THE QUEEN of hexagon quilts.  Check it out!



Table runners are fun because you can actually finish one in less than a year or two!  This one was paper pieced.  Again, my dear friend Susan taught a group of us how to do it.  Love, love, love the precise points you get with this method.  Give it a try!



I’m cheating now because this is actually a quilt my friend Rosie is making.  She saw a picture of a Lone Star quilt that looked like an Indian with headdress on.  She asked me to “figure out” how they did it.  That was not easy and I still don’t have it right but they are turning out just great!  I think she’s ready to quilt hers.  I still have to finish piecing mine!



Paisley Cats!  This was made in 1991?  So it was probably my third or fourth quilt.  It’s a lap top quilt and I adore the paisley fabrics and I used denim for the hearts.  I was brave from the beginning of my quilting life as you can see I tried the interesting border on this one.



And last, but not lease, in fact this was my first ever quilt.  I made this for our daughter, Becca.  I had no idea what I was doing but just had to do it.  It’s actually my own heart design.  you can hardly see it but I added lace around the hearts.  Again, being “brave as a bear” I used the prairie points around the outside edge.  I quilted a heart in the blank squares.  Not bad for a first time, do it yourself project!  It’s been in protective custody for years because Becca is afraid of ruining it.  I’ll have to give it to her now that she has a daughter!



Okay, so this is technically the “last” example.  I just have to share it.  I went on my first “shop and hop” about 7 years ago.  I bought a book at one of the first stores that had his pattern in it.  I used the rest of the stores to find all the various fabrics.  That was smart.  Always go on a shop and hop with a project in mind to buy for otherwise you buy a bunch of mismatched, “what did I buy this for” stuff!  Believe me, I know!  Also a good idea if you go to a large quilt show.  Know what you want before you go!  I used machine embroidery on this one with the Poppies.  It’s an applique pattern so the possibilities are endless with it and I just love that!


What fun I have had over the years, what friends I have made and what places I’ve been all because of this lovely art!  Want to come quilt with me?  Just make your reservation at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn and let me know you’d like to quilt and we’ll sit down with a cup of tea and a UFO and get it done!


Happy Quilting,