Description - James A. Garfield National Historic Site preserves the property associated with the 20th President of the United States. 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. James A. Garfield was President from March 4, 1881 until his death on September 19, 1881. Four years after his assassination, the Memorial Library wing was added by Mrs. Garfield and her family - setting the precedence for presidential libraries. James A. Garfield NHS is operated by the National Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
James A. Garfield
- Visitors are invited to enjoy the home and grounds that obtained national recognition during James Abram Garfield's presidential campaign. Named by reporters that literally made camp in the yard, the home became "Lawnfield." As the last President to be born in a log cabin, Garfield purchased this home in 1876. Winning the election of 1880, President Garfield was shot and killed within several months of taking office.
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, a farmer's daughter and former student of Garfield's gained national admiration for her quiet strength while James clung to life. After his death, Lucretia, added a memorial wing to the home. This was the birth of the Presidential Libraries in the United States.
In addition to the historic home, a carriage house, campaign office, pump house, barn, chicken coop and tenant house may be viewed. The visitor center is housed in the carriage house, circa 1893. Exhibits about the 20th President and his family are depicted through exhibits and a short film.
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is largely accessible. The exception is a small section of the house tour. This area can be viewed by video.
Recreation - Recommended activities include taking a 35-minute tour of James A. Garfield's restored home, touring the visitor center exhibits, and watching an 18-minute video about the life of President James A. Garfield.
Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, noon to 5 PM. The site is closed New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Daily entrance fee is $6 adults, $5 seniors, and $4 children 6-12 years of age. NPS passholders are $3. Members of the Western Reserve Historical Society and children 5 years and younger are admitted free.
The last house tour leaves at 4:15 PM daily. Tours may be limited.
Climate - Mentor, Ohio can be frightfully cold and windy in winter with deep accumulations of snow. In general, Ohio has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
This historic home is located in the northeastern area of Ohio in the town of Mentor. Travel Interstate 90 (east of Cleveland) to the State Route 306 Mentor - Kirtland exit. Travel north on SR 306 for two miles to Mentor Avenue (US 20). Turn right and travel east for two miles. James A. Garfield NHS is located at 8095 Mentor Avenue, on the north side of the road.