Holiday Housewalk

Holiday Housewalk 2023

2023 Holiday Market and Holiday Housewalk in The Galena Territory
Looking for that perfect gift? Look no further! Venture out to The Galena Territory on Dec. 2 for the annual Holiday Market with Territory Farmers Market vendors for seasonal decorations, gift items, art, baked goods and much more from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in The Galena Territory Association’s (GTA) Owners’ Club. Then take a self-guided tour of five beautifully decorated homes located throughout The Territory and absorb the splendor of holiday decor during this year’s Holiday Housewalk, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Are you ready to celebrate the holidays Western style? Come and explore five unique Western-themed homes during the Holiday& Housewalk. Take a step into the Wild West and get lost in amazing holiday decorations in these one-of-a-kind homes. You will not be disappointed! Holiday Housewalk tickets and maps (with addresses) are available at the Owners’ Club the day of the tour for $18 per adult. The GTA Owners’ Club is located at 2000 Territory Drive in the heart of The Territory. Just follow the signs upon entering The Territory from U.S. Highway 20.

Buy housewalk tickets in advance and save!

Holiday Housewalk proceeds are donated to five local non-profit organizations as designated by the participating homeowners, including: Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, The Academy of Readiness and Character, The Galena Territory Fire Station, Safe Haven Humane Society, and United Churches of Galena Food Pantry. There is also an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets on a colorful quilt and placemats made by the Quilters of The Territory and Sew 'n' So's. For more information, please call the Owners’ Club at 815-777-2000.

One home may be modern, another one rustic. One may be older, the other newer. However, the common denominator among all homes in the Holiday Housewalk, is that their owners wish to support a worthwhile charity in Jo Daviess County by opening up their homes to you. Be our guest and enjoy the day visiting each home, talking with the owners, and making a difference in Jo Daviess County!

The Territory Farmers Market is sponsored by the Greenspace Advisory Group of The Galena Territory Association, Inc. This volunteer group helps oversee the preservation and maintenance of the GTA's 1,900 acres of common grounds, trails and natural areas located in The Galena Territory.
Originally from the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, Sharon Cholewinski and her husband purchased Vel Terra Campground and horse farm in Woodbine in the early 1990s.

A few years after her husband passed away, she moved out of state. But, two years later the rolling landscape of the Driftless Area, the smell of fresh-cut hay and plowed fields, the atmosphere of small-town living and her friends beckoned her back. So, in 2018, she purchased her townhome here in The Galena Territory.

Her townhouse may be small, but it is packed with memories, unique items and art pieces she has gathered over the years. She celebrates her own style of a Western Christmas. From the cactus outside the front stoop to the third floor of her townhome, every wall has the most interesting collection of Western life and her love for horses. Her late husband’s collection of highly polished police, sheriff and U.S. Marshals Service badges are on display.

Cholewinski has picked Scales Mound Fire Protection District Station 2, otherwise known as The Galena Territory Fire Department, as her charity. She wants to recognize the men and women who put their lives on hold, any time of day or night, to help others in need.
On the far eastern edge of The Territory is a cottage belonging to Mike and Nancy DuCharme. It was the tenth cottage built by Woodland Homes in 1997 and it is still the original floor plan with no room additions after all these years. Coming from the Crystal Lake area, the DuCharme’s purchased their home in 2015 and then became full-time residents in 2019.

As soon as you cross the threshold from the covered porch, you get a strong sense of American history with an emphasis on the American West. The home tells a story with photos, paintings, miniature sculptures, costumes and framed articles about the early settlers of the West. Every object and piece in the home has a memory and story attached to it. Come the Christmas season, they will have a large tree on the main floor that is covered with over 100 ornaments from their travels to 80 different countries.

The DuCharmes have chosen to donate their proceeds to the Galena – Jo Daviess County Historical Society.
Mike and Jana Johns purchased their nearly 24-acre ranch as a second home nine years ago. Having lived their entire lives in the Quad Cities, neither were certain how retirement life would be in The Territory. They were pleasantly surprised by how quickly they settled in and the community welcomed them.

The Johns have four horses and have created and maintained their own private riding trails. In addition, they joined the Jo Daviess County Mounted Patrol and are training for search and rescue should a need arise. While at the ranch, Mike takes care of the horses and farm/maintenance and Jana enjoys woodworking, along with beekeeping and gardening. They ;truly have created quite the establishment for their family along with their animals and hobbies.

The Johns will be donating their proceeds to the United Churches of Galena Food Pantry because they know there is a great need in this community.
Phil and Leslie McCloud, originally from Sleepy Hollow, purchased their first home in 2000 and have since purchased the home they currently live in. Originally built in 1910, it is one of the oldest establishments in The Territory. On this 6-acre farm, there is a horse barn and several stone and rustic wood cottages, which were originally a shed and chicken coop. One is now a spa with a sauna and hot tub.
Their home has rich, dark amber wood timbers for support and ;matching wooden walls. Although there is a rustic feeling, there is a modern high-end kitchen with stainless steel appliances and amenities, which contrast with a stone hearth and a cast iron potbelly stove atop. The dining area has a massive custom-made table with beautiful hand-carved pews for large groups. Horse paintings and statues abound. In the loft area, there is a round coffee table supported by a hand-carved carousel of horses. There are so many unique items, all of which add to the character and personality of this eclectic-designed home. And, you have to see the garage – it will be a special treat for everyone who stops by as the weather gets colder!

The McClouds will be donating their proceeds to The Academy of Readiness and Character, a private K-12 school in Stockton.
Nestled in the trees is the log cabin home of Scott and Diana Olson, who come from Spring Grove. Purchased in 2011, they split their time between both homes. According to Diana, three weeks of every month are here in The Territory. It was the beauty of The Territory with its rolling hills, active lifestyle and friendly residents that attracted them.

Their log cabin is a total reflection of their passions and lifestyle. Scott has his office and private retreat where he is surrounded by golf memorabilia, photos and a sizable collection of golf balls. Diana has her special place where she has everything about horses. The dining room stays with a Christmas theme year-round but gets seasonal additions of color with garlands or baskets. The kitchen has clusters of woody trees above the cabinets, which will be embellished with the wintery season colors. The loft area overlooking the large family room and fireplace has glass showcases filled with a wonderful collection of Byers’ Choice Carolers and other collectibles showcased all year round. Come Christmas, Diana promises the home will explode with holiday colors, garlands and trees of all sizes.

The Olsons will be donating their proceeds to the United Churches of Galena Food Pantry.
Have we got a treat for you! To go along with our Western holiday theme, Horsepower Farm, LLC and Shenandoah Riding Center (SRC) are also participating in the Holiday Housewalk this year!

You’ve driven by it, no doubt, if you have explored the southern end of the Shenandoah section of The Territory – a horse farm with miles of white fences, a ranch homestead with barns, stables and sheds all in white with green roofs. Horsepower Farm, LLC is nestled in the valley just southeast of Brodrecht and Glen Hollow Roads. Ray and Carol Scarpelli have owned and renovated Horsepower since 2005.

Explore the tack room, which is a log cabin-styled room built within the utility barn. This room is the hub of activity at the farm. The theme of this room is dedicated to horses. The walls and tables of the tack room are filled with framed pictures of horses present and past, horse sculptures, framed art and more adorn walls and tables. Each memento provides a little piece of history that has meaning to Horsepower. Stop and take a photo at one of the photo booths in the barn to capture a memory.

The Scarpellis have chosen to donate their proceeds to Safe Haven Humane Society, which Carol has been involved in for several years.

The first amenity built in The Territory, SRC will be transforming into Candy Cane Stable Lane for the Holiday Housewalk. Years ago, the Chicago Tribune advertised Shenandoah as a “Western” destination for those seeking to satisfy their inner cowboy/cowgirl; overnight trail rides seemed to provide the perfect opportunity. While overnight trail rides are no longer offered, Shenandoah offers plenty for visitors and boarders!

The horses hope to see you at Candy Cane Stable Lane. Elves will be busy decking the stalls and the horses will be decked out in their holiday garb. Grab a hot chocolate to keep warm as you stroll down the aisle taking pictures of your favorite stalls and horses. If you have time, stay for a quick wagon ride complete with holiday lights.

Shenandoah has chosen to donate its proceeds to Safe Haven Humane Society.
Quilt raffle
Two Galena Territory groups combined once again to create some beautiful items to raffle for the Holiday Housewalk charities. Sew ‘n’ So’s (SS) created four placemats and a table runner in holiday style and the Territory Quilters (QTs) worked together on a quilt. Purchase tickets for the raffle at the Holiday Housewalk ticket sales table on Dec. 2. From left, Eva Dubowski (QT), Carol Smith (SS), Dorothea Shaffer (SS) and Carola Connor (SS). Sew ‘n’ So’s not pictured are Monica Burgos and Edie Jones. Quilters not pictured are Diane Beemster, Valerie Herrmann, Myra Linton, Phyllis Ortman, Pam Perry, Mary Ann Schaffer, Bonnie Smith and Valerie Walker.
Holiday Market
In addition to your favorite Farmer Market vendors, join local crafters, artists and more inside at the GTA Owners' Club to welcome the holiday season with fall and winter decorations, gift items, art, baked goods and much more from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

The Territory Farmers Market is sponsored by the Greenspace Advisory Group of The Galena Territory Association, Inc. This volunteer group helps oversee the preservation and maintenance of the GTA's 1,900 acres of common grounds, trails and natural areas located in The Galena Territory.