Charles Galigher House


Magnolia Manor History


One hundred forty-two years ago the Galigher family—Charles A., his wife Adelia Lippit Galigher, and their three sons, Frank, Albert, and Charles Frederick—moved into a new home, “a stately fourteen-room mansion of brick on upper Washington Avenue.”

Mr. Galigher, a prominent citizen of Cairo, was a milling merchant, whose fortune was accumulated through selling flour for hardtack to the government during the Civil War. Through business transactions, he became a friend of General U.S. Grant who made his headquarters in Cairo while planning and launching his siege of the South.

After the war, in 1869, Charles Galigher began construction of his four-storied, red brick Victorian mansion, which was completed in 1872. Comprising two acres, the building site was in suburban Cairo in the vicinity of four or five beautiful postbellum mansion. From the cupola, a view of both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers could be enjoyed.

Through the years, from 1872 until 1952, only four private owners held the deed to this mansion: Charles Galigher, H.H. Candee, P.T. Langan, and Fain W. King.

In 1952, the Cairo Historical Association was formed. Because the Galigher house was the scene of the Grant visit and reception, and because it is an outstanding example of Italianate architecture and typifies a fine Southern Illinois home of the period, it was included in the Illinois Section of the Historic American Buildings Survey. In 1969, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.



Hours and Holidays

Luncheons are served the first Tuesday of April, May, June, September, October, and November. These are by reservation only. Reservations may be made by calling 618-734-0201 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. A Mardi Gras brunch is held each year the Sunday before Fat Tuesday. The brunch includes an all you can eat buffet and entertainment. This, too, is by reservation only.

Holiday House begins each year the day after Thanksgiving and continues for nine days. The house is adorned in Christmas finery and the decorations may be purchased. Proceeds are used for the continued upkeep of the house. The hours for Holiday House are 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Holiday House luncheons are served the week after Thanksgiving. They include a sit down meal as well as a tour of the house. Reservations must be made by the end of October each year for the Holiday House luncheons.

Magnolia Manor is open to the public daily. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The Museum is closed each year on Easter Sunday, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

Group Tours may be arranged by calling 618-734-0201.