New Roof for Ulysses S. Grant’s Historic Home

James Wirth bought the home that the 18th president and military commander, Ulysses S. Grant and his wife rented from April 1860 to August 1865 in Galena Illinois. In 1865, when Grant returned from the Civil War as a hero, the citizens of Galena gave him a larger house on the east side of town, now a state museum.

Wirth knew he needed a new roof in late July when the home had considerable leaking. He wanted to keep the house historically accurate, built in 1853 or 1854 it originally had a cedar roof. Later on it was replaced with a metal roof that lasted until the mid-1990’s and then again replaced with cedar. The house is covered with shade from many large trees, making it difficult to maintain the cedar.

501 (c)

Wirth turned the home into a tax exempt, nonprofit status. He sought out companies that would give tax deductible donations for the roof repair and recognize the historical significance of the home.

He researched and found a treated cedar shingle with a 50 year warranty, specially treated to prevent decay. Watkins Group and Anbrook Industries donated some of the shingles and sold the rest to Wirth at a discount. Western Wood Preservers donated the treatment of the shingles and BeeAre Holdings offered a reduced shipping rate.

Local Companies Stepped Up To Help

Waukegan roofing donated the work and installed the cedar shingles; they also provided the additional materials needed to complete the work such as the nails. The dumpster was provided by Montgomery Trucking and Cole-White Tree Service provided a fork lift to remove the bundles of shingles from the trailer.

Wirth said he is grateful to all the contributors and hopes to open the house for tours soon.

Roofing Quote

Get a free quote from a roof contractor in your neighborhood in seconds! We never share your information and only seek to put you in touch with the best local roofer in your area.