The Galena Territory Foundation, Inc. (GTF) is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides education-based and fundraising activities for the benefit of the local community. Organized by property owners within The Galena Territory in August of 2000, the Foundation is focused on three primary initiatives: the restoration and preservation of Belden School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1859 located within The Territory; the Lend A Hand college scholarship program for local area students; and the Richard Peterson EMT Endowment Fund that provides financial assistance to people who wish to pursue certification as emergency service personnel or advance their EMT service level.
Belden School Preservation
Belden School: A Small School That Taught Large Lessons
Belden School was built in 1859. The school was placed near the center of Guilford Township, Illinois, and named after Thomas Belden, an early settler and a school trustee. It was the third one-room schoolhouse to be built in Guilford Township. The stone structure is located off Heatherdowns Lane in The Galena Territory on a thickly wooded hillside flanked by a steep gully on the downhill side. There was no electricity, no running water, and no bathrooms until 1880 when two outhouses were built at a cost of $17 each.
One teacher instructed all the students. All grades were taught at the same time. Often the teacher was not much older than the students. The last classes were held in 1943 when consolidation of small districts occurred.
The Belden School Restoration Committee was formed in 2004 by a group of Territory residents who raised funds and restored the building to how it appeared in 1936.
On September 5, 2009, Belden School celebrated its Sesquicentennial and opened its doors to the general public. The Belden School Preservation Committee volunteer docents provide tours and special events at the school on the first and third Saturdays in June, July, August and September, from 10 a.m. until noon.
To coordinate private tours, please call 630-254-4967. Visit BeldenSchool.com for more information.
Education and Scholarship
Our community is composed of people with a wide variety of interests and talents. The success of our community depends on this variety. Most students need some level of additional training in their chosen skill. The committee members truly hope that the efforts of the Galena Territory Foundation will help add strength to the fabric of the community, and will enable the young people of our school districts to enjoy success in their educational growth after high school.
The Galena Territory Foundation Education and Scholarship Committee established the Lend A Hand College Scholarship and Vocational/Technical Skills Education Scholarship for students in Galena, River Ridge and Scales Mound school districts to help with the cost of college or vocational/technical skills training
Applications are available each year in January and due in March.
The Galena Territory Foundation also encourages each student, whether or not s/he apply for this assistance, to remain committed to and involved in the community. This might be involvement in scouting, coaching, FFA, conservation, church, etc. The choice of how to help is secondary to the understanding of the need to help. The future of our community is based on the participation we can all offer.
The Richard Peterson EMT Endowment Fund
Our friend Rich Peterson was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He spent that part of his time helping people in distress and saving lives. We lost Rich after his valiant battle with cancer. His contributions to our community were many and he touched so many lives.
The Galena Territory Foundation and the Peterson family established the Richard Peterson EMT Endowment Fund to provide financial assistance to people who wish to pursue certification as Emergency Medical Services personnel or advance their EMT level.
Emergency service personnel are the first layer of response for the citizens in their district. They are often the first emergency personnel who walk through your door and arrive on the emergency scene. They arrive with the ambulance, render additional emergency treatment and transport to the hospital.
To encourage certification in EMT training and to help cover the costs, this fund was established to assist individuals in the Scales Mound Fire Protection District and the Galena Area Emergency Medical Services District in pursuit of higher levels of education toward certification as EMT personnel in these Districts.
The mission is to encourage others like Richard Peterson to serve as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).