James A. Garfield National Historic Site

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James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Lawnfield front 2007.JPG
Garfield's home, restored to original color, 2007
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is located in Ohio
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is located in the United States
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Location8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, Ohio
Coordinates41°39′50.256″N 81°21′3.2652″W / 41.66396000°N 81.350907000°W / 41.66396000; -81.350907000Coordinates: 41°39′50.256″N 81°21′3.2652″W / 41.66396000°N 81.350907000°W / 41.66396000; -81.350907000
Area4.9 acres (2.0 ha)
Built1876 (1876)
Visitation15,334 (2005)
NRHP reference #66000613[1] (original)
15000675 (increase)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966
Boundary increaseSeptember 29, 2015
Designated NHLJanuary 28, 1964
Designated NHSDecember 28, 1980[2]

James A. Garfield National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located in Mentor, Ohio. The site preserves the property associated with the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, and includes the first presidential library established in the United States.


James A. Garfield acquired the home in 1876 to accommodate his large family. The home, named Lawnfield by reporters, was the site of the first successful front porch campaign in 1880. That same year, Garfield had 11 rooms added to the building to accommodate his large family.[3] Garfield was President from March 4, 1881 until his death on September 19, 1881. Four years after his assassination, Mrs. Garfield and her family added the Memorial Library wing, setting the precedent for presidential libraries.

Garfield purchased the Mentor residence for several reasons. Until this time, he had been a resident of Hiram and represented the 19th Ohio congressional district. The Democratic Ohio Legislature had redistricted and removed the Republican Party counties of Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Trumbull from the district, leaving only the Democratic Party counties of Ashland, Stark and Wayne.[4]

Garfield also wanted a place where his sons could learn about farming, as well as a permanent residence where he could spend his summers while Congress was on recess.[4]

Lucretia Garfield lived in the house at least part of every year until her death in 1918. Her brother, Joseph Rudolph, lived there until he died in 1934. In 1936, Garfield's children donated the house and its contents to the Western Reserve Historical Society for use as a museum. On December 28, 1980, the United States Congress declared the Garfield home a National Historic Site.[5]

The site was operated by the National Park Service with the Western Reserve Historical Society until January 2008, at which time the WRHS transferred the site's land, buildings and operation to the National Park Service. As of February 2015 the site is managed by Cuyahoga Valley National Park.[6]


In the 1990s, a $12.5 million, six-year restoration of the Garfield house took place, with a grand reopening in 1998.[5] The house was redecorated with authentic furniture and household items of 1886–1904 acquired through extensive research by the Denver Service Center of the National Park Service.[7]

The Garfield Historical Site is one of the most accurately restored and highly detailed of the 19th-century U.S. presidential sites. Of its hundreds of examples of antique Victorian furniture, over 80% was owned by the Garfield family themselves in the 1880s. Many others were acquired or recreated by the National Park Service to supplement the collection. Ten wallpapers were also reproduced from photographs, and from samples found under layers of wallpaper applied through the subsequent decades.[8]



  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ National Park Service FAQ
  3. ^ Garfield Home Undergone Restoration Archived 2006-11-20 at the Wayback Machine, Moreland Hills Historical Society.
  4. ^ a b Lawnfield Historic Structures Report, James A Garfield National Historic Site; National Park Service; January 1990
  5. ^ a b Lawnfield, James A. Garfield National Historic Site Archived 2007-12-07 at the Wayback Machine, Western Reserve Historical Society.
  6. ^ Hutchison, John Arthur (2015-02-13). "Cuyahoga Valley National Park named new manager of Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor". The News-Herald. Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  7. ^ The James A. Garfield National Historic Site, National Park Service, Denver Service Center.
  8. ^ James A. Garfield: Lawnfield Archived 2007-11-03 at the Wayback Machine, North-East Ohio: Mentor, Touring Ohio.com.

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