Explore the home of James A. Garfield. Garfield was elected as the United States' 20th President in 1881, after nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. His Presidency was impactful, but cut short after 200 days when he was assassinated. As the last of the log cabin Presidents, James A. Garfield attacked political corruption and won back for the Presidency a measure of prestige it had lost during the Reconstruction period. Garfield lived here from 1876 until early 1881. His widow, Lucretia, owned this home and property until her death in 1918. The site visitors see today is more reflective of her many years here after the President's death than the few years he lived here before becoming the nation's 20th President.
This view shows the west side of the Garfield home. The porte-cochere and back part of the home were added by Mrs. Garfield after the President's death in 1881. Route 20 running in front of the home was a dirt carriage road in Garfield's time.
This room is now known as the reception hall, but when James Garfield was alive this was the kitchen. Mrs. Garfield converted this room to the entry hall and moved the kitchen to the home's rear in 1885-86.
The dining room still looks similar to how it appeared when James Garfield lived here. The family had many meals here, and Garfield loved to quiz the children on their schoolwork during dinner. The family had a celebratory dinner here on the night Garfield was elected president.
The parlor was the equivalent of the modern family room. This was the room in which the family often gathered in the evenings to chat, read, play music, and spend time together. During the 1880 presidential campaign, Garfield hosted former President U.S. Grant in this room, as well as the famed Jubilee Singers of Fisk University.
This is the downstairs "summer bedroom," where James and Lucretia Garfield slept in the warmer months of the year when it was a bit cooler downstairs. After the President's death, Mrs. Garfield used this room for various things-including as a smoking parlor for guests-but did not use it as a bedroom.
This is the entry hall, the first stop on a guided tour of the Garfield home both today and during the 1880 presidential campaign. When thousands of well-wishers and citizens descended on the Garfield property during the campaign, Mrs. Garfield often stationed herself in this hallway to keep an eye on the front door.
When Lucretia Garfield built a Memorial Library for her husband's books and other items in 1885-86, she included this vault (or "memory room," as she called it) in her plans. In here she stored James Garfield's papers, letters, and diaries, making the library into something of an archive of her husband's life and career.
This beautiful Memorial Library is the highlight of a Garfield home tour. Mrs. Garfield added this room in 1885-86 to have a room in the house specifically dedicated to preserving her husband's books and his memory. This is considered the birthplace of the idea for presidential libraries.
This hallway takes visitors from the Memorial Library addition (where the Garfield Civil War portrait is visible) toward the older (front) part of the home that Garfield would recognize and that holds many of the home's bedrooms. The bedroom at right was used by Lucretia's father, Zeb Rudolph, who came to live with the family following his wife's death in 1879.
The Garfields' two youngest sons, Irvin and Abram, shared this bedroom. The Garfields had five children-four sons and one daughter-that survived to adulthood. They also had one daughter and one son that died in childhood.
Of the five surviving Garfield children, Mollie was the only girl. This was her bedroom and is a relatively stylish, trendy room for a teenage girl in the late nineteenth century. Mollie was particularly close with her father and was just 14 years old when he died. She later married Joseph Stanley-Brown, who had served as President Garfield's private secretary.
This upstairs hallway leads to Garfield's study, a room his wife jokingly referred to as "the general's snuggery." Garfield spent many hours in the study reading newspapers, writing letters and speeches, and, after his election as president, putting together his cabinet.
This is the so-called "winter bedroom," the room James and Lucretia Garfield shared during the colder months and that Mrs. Garfield used exclusively following her husband's death. On the walls are portraits of the two Garfield children that did not survive childhood--daughter Eliza and son Edward.
Text adapted from https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/jamesgarfield