The Galt House was, in the early 19th century, the residence of Dr. W.C. Galt. The house was located at the corner of Second and Main Street.
In 1834, the first instance of the Galt House as a hotel was established and in 1835 was opened by Col. Ariss Throckmorton as a 60-room hotel on the northeast corner of Second and Main streets in Louisville. During the nineteenth century, The Galt House was acclaimed as Louisville's best hotel. Many noted people stayed at the original Galt House, including Jefferson Davis, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
During the Civil War, the Galt House was utilized for meetings of Union generals. In September 1862, it was the scene of an unusual murder, when General Jefferson C. Davis (not to be confused with Confederate President Jefferson Davis) shot Union General William "Bull" Nelson after a dispute. According to a historical marker for the original Galt House, in March 1864,
Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman met at the Galt House to plan the invasion that led to the successful capture of Atlanta, Georgia and Sherman's March to the Sea. As of 2014, this claim has fallen into dispute.
What was to be the first Galt House burned down in 1865. Four years later, in 1869, a larger Galt House was established on the corner of First and Main streets. Known as being the center of Louisville's social community during this time, the hotel subsequently fell on hard times in the next 50 years and was closed in 1919 due to financial difficulties. Soon after, in 1921, the building was demolished.
Twain and Cable stayed here January 5th and 6th of 1885.