20 - James Garfield

James Garfield was born November 19, 1831, in a log cabin in Moreland Hills, Ohio.  This remained his home throughout his childhood and early adulthood.  The original cabin is gone, but there is a marker and the cabin has been reconstructed.  I have not yet visited the James A. Garfield Memorial Cabin.

Garfield began attending college in his hometown, but left in 1854 for Williamstown, Massachusetts, to attend Williams College.  While at Williams, Garfield lived in room 16 in South College (now known as Fayweather Hall) and in room 23 in East College.  I have not visited this site.

In 1856, Garfield graduated, returned home to Hiram, and began teaching at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College).  In 1857, he became Principal of the Institute.  In 1858, he got married and the Garfields moved into two rooms that they rented in a boarding house on the campus of Western.  I am unsure of the location of this home.

During his tenure as principal at Western, the Garfields purchased and moved into a home at 6825 Hinsdale Street.  This served as his official residence throughout his service during the Civil War as well as his early years in the United States House of Representatives.  This home is privately owned and not open to the public.  I have not visited the site.

During his tenure in Congress, the Garfields purchased a farmhouse in Menor, Ohio, and renovated it into a thirty-room mansion.  Lawnfield remained his official residence for the duration of his life.  I visited the James A Garfield National Historic Site in 1975, but sadly, I have not located any photos from this visit.  

In 1869, during Garfield's service in Congress, they built a home in Washington, DC, at 13th and I Streets.  This building no longer exists.  In 1881, the Garfields moved into the White House.

On July 2, 1881, Garfield was about to board a train to Massachusetts to deliver a speech at his alma mater when Charles Guiteau, a disillusioned Federal office seeker, shot him twice as he walked through the train station.  The building no longer exists and site is unmarked.  In 1936, a group of DC engineers determined that the spot of the shooting was in front of the National Gallery of Art near the center of what is now Constitution Avenue, about 35 feet west of the curb on the west side of Sixth Street.  I visited the location in the summer of 2014:

In early September of 1881, Garfield was taken to a cottage in Elberon, New Jersey, with the hopes that the ocean air would help him recover.  Garfield died there on September 19, 1881, and the cottage no longer exists.  The spot remained unmarked until an eight-year-old boy petitioned the city to mark the spot in the 1950s.  The marker is located on a very narrow street, in front of the garage at 6 Garfield Road.  I have not yet visited this site.

Garfield is interred in the Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.  I visited the James A Garfield Monument in the summer of 1975:

 There are a few memorials built to honor James Garfield that I would like to visit:

The Garfield Monument - On the grounds of the United States Capitol, this sculpture was dedicated in 1887.  It stands in the circle at First Street SW and Maryland Avenue.

The Garfield Tea House - When the dying president was transported to Elberon, New Jersey, special tracks were laid to take him from the train station to the cottage where he spent his final days.  After his death, this track was removed and the railroad ties were used to build a tea house, which now stands on the grounds of the Church of the Presidents in Elberon.

The James Abram Garfield Monument - Dedicated in 1884, this is the oldest monument in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. 

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  1. The house Garfield lived in in Hiram is at 6825 Hinsdale St. I was there in December 2016. It's still standing, and I believe it's a private residence. Loving your blog!

  2. Is there some memorial of Garfield (or of his son) in Williamstown?