October 29, 2016Galena is the first of only three Route 66 towns in Kansas. Hopefully you will have stopped for a couple of cold ones at Hogs and Hot Rods on the Kansas border.
Galena was named from a pure form of zinc ore called "galena" that was mined there. At one time, it had a population in excess of 30,000. It was the site of a violent strike by the International Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union in which many men were killed, including nine men at the Union's offices.
At one time, Galena had a rivalry with nearby Empire City. A stockade was built to keep people from Empire City coming to galena. It was burned down before it was completed. Eventually, Empire City became part of Galena.
Main Street has Cars on the Route Snack Shack, which is in a restored Kan-O-Tex gas station that features nice artifacts including some antique gas pumps. This used to be called "Four Women on the Route." It recently was sold. One of the original owners and most of the staff remain.
The Galena Murder Bordello, which is an abandoned whore house that was operated by serial killer Ma Staffleback, opened for guided tours and special events in October 2013. Ma, her husband and two sons supposedly robbed and killed over 50 Johns during the 1890's. The first was Frank Galbraith in 1897. Their modus operandi was to drug the target, whack him on the head with an ax, strip the poor guy of his valuables and dump him in a mine shaft. Galena's Bloody Madame died in 1909.