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              YOU CAN VISIT ON LINE THE GARFIELD FARM AND INN MUSEUM AT:                                                          




Someone sent me a picture the other day with two deer breaking a path through the snow and it said that spring was just around the corner. Been quite a winter for the people living in the northern part of the country, Florida had some strange weather but nothing compared to them. Got quite a bit of information in this letter but I am always looking for more history, pictures and stories. Last week I turned back over to the State of Florida the quartermaster inventory for the Korean War Veterans Association. I have been doing this for the past 2 1/2 years, volunteering 20 to 30 hours a week, its time for someone else to take over. I hope that will leave me more time to get back on the Garfield Family Genealogy.

Dale K Smith,
Saturday, 12/6/08, 3:42 PM A cousin of Simon Newcomb, astronmer, Washington DC., grandfather of Hassler Whitney. Email:

Susan Friday,
11/14/08, 2:51 PM Hi, I'm related to John GARFIELD from the "Unidentified Family Members" link here on your website. John was born GARFIELD, but buried as GAFFIELD. He married Elizabeth ALDRICH 29 SEP 1794, and they had 13 children. They were both born in MA, but lived in Vermont also. Their 12th child, Laura Ann GAFFIELD b. 1815 in Bradford, VT is my 3rd great- grandmother. Laura married Calvin HONEY in Lowell, MA in 1843, and sometime between 1851 and 1853 they sailed around the horn to California, settling first in Tuolumne County, and later in Calaveras County. They are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Copperopolis, Calaveras Co., CA. I would love to hear from any GAFFIELD descendents, and my family tree can be viewed on Ancestry under RFloundersTree. My email is j3zf4yg at -- Susan From: Bay Area, California Email:

Art Harris
Friday, 10/17/08, 11:47 PM From the Garfields of Schroon Lake, NY From: Esparto, California Email:

Otto O. Anderson U.E.
Sunday, 9/28/08, 2:42 PM I like your web site. From: Madison, Wisconsin Email:


Here is an extract or close of a vote passed in a town meeting in Weston on Monday, the first day of March, 1730/1, relating to a Town way leading from Lexington through ye lands of Dean Benjamin Brown and Lt. Thomas Garfield and others. The above said way to be Two rods wide saving at ye Causeways above mentioned and to be opened at ye expiration of three years from the date above mentioned in ye meantime hang convenient Gates. The above said way Confirmed by the Town on the 1st day of March 1730.


The road from Lexington to Weston would seem to have been laid out as early as 1730, as will be seen in the following:

An extract for a particular and private way marked out by the Selectmen of Weston in the Northerly part of Said Town from Lexington line to the Town road by Josiah Brewer's. The Selectmen judging it necessary. Beginning at Lexington line, so running Southerly over John Headley's land and through Joseph Brooks' land the said Brooks to have liberty to hang a gate on the said way at his Southerly bounds, till such time as there is a way laid out in Lexington to accomodate the said Joseph Brooks, so through other land of said Headley, so through the land of Joseph Peirce, through a piece of Judah Clark's land and through the land of Jonathan Jackson to Deacon Benjamin Brown's and Thomas Garfield's corner, so entering at the corner on said Garfield's side of said corner and running on the Devission line Southerly to the next Squadron Strait and coming out at said squadron half on the one side and half on the other side of the said Division line, so along still Southerly one rod on each side of said line to the causid and over said causid but one rod wide, so unto the Drawbara one rod in each then turns South easterly on and through said Brown's land as marked, viz., a gray oak tree on the cast side thence to a walnut tree on the West side, thence to a pine on the West, then bowing about to another pine on the east side, then to another pine on the east side, through to another pine on the east side. The turning about toward the east under the hill side to a gray oak tree on the north, then turning Southerly to a white oak tree on ye east side, thence to the end of the two rods reserved by Deacon Brown between Josiah Brewer & Daniel Carter. So along Southerly on said

Two rods to the squadron line to a heap of stones on a rock on the said squadron line. (So over Brewer's land and Jackson's land to the Town road first mentioned.) The way upon record out of which this is extracted was brought to the Town for confirmation at their annual meeting on the 1st day of March 1730/1 and voted in the affirmative. Extract from the Weston Book of Records, pages 130, 131.

Examined per NATHANIEL GODDARD, Town Clerk.

It would seem at this period, when a road was made through land of owners, such as that of the above-mentioned Brown and Garfield, instead of the town paying damages, the owners were allowed to erect gates and charge toll. There seems to have grown out of the above privilege granted to Brown and Garfield a complaint made to the Selectmen in 1734/5 by both Brown and Garfield. As is probable (there being no paper to show by whom), a petition had been made to the town to have the gates removed, etc. Both Brown and Garfield protest against any action being taken by the town. This matter of the Brown and Garfield gates seems to have come up continuously until 1735, when, at a town meeting held May 13 of that year, the town voted to reconsider the privilege granted to Brown and Garfield, but that the road should not be laid open till after the first day of December next ensuing.

The action of this meeting is attested by Ebenezer Allen, town clerk.

The road of which mention is made in the following presentment before the Court of Sessions was probably a part of the Lexington road before mentioned. This road over Lamson's Hill has no longer any existence. It was a narrow rod-wide road, running from the meeting-house past Richardson's farmhouse, formerly the dwelling of John Lamson, along the wall north-east through the meadow, over the hill now heavily wooded, still belonging in part to the Lamson estate, and coming out on the old road near house of Jesse Viles. It was over this road, still traceable, that Captain Samuel Lamson marched his company to Concord on April 19, 1775. A part of this old road still has a wall on each side.
From: History of the Town of Weston, MA 1630-1890 p43-44 by Daniel S. Lamson

The John Garfield House
Farmington Hills, MI

The Family
The Garfields were among the first settlers to come to Farmington Township in 1824 just after the Powers made the first permanent settlement here in March. Orin Garfield, the 17 year old son of Myra Garfield, is listed in the 1877 History of Farmington Township as having arrived here in 1824 in the first wave of immigrants. He may well have acted as a scout for his Father, Aunts, and Uncles in selecting land for them to purchase. On May 29, 1826, Orin’s uncle, Welcome Garfield bought an 80 acre parcel of land from the U. S. government on what would be today’s 12 Mile Road. Orin’s Aunt, Betsey Garfield Gage, bought land nearby in July 1827. Orin’s Uncle (Deacon) William B. Garfield bought two parcels of land about 5 miles away in August 1827, and February 1828 but never moved there. Orin’s father, Myra Garfield, purchased land in section 5 in November 1828 and was living here for the 1830 Michigan census.

John Garfield, another of Orin’s Uncles, was the last member of his immediate family to immigrate to Michigan Territory from New York arriving about 1830. He bought a quarter section (160 acres) in the southeast ¼ of Section 5, Farmington Township (Town 1 North, Range 9 East), and built a substantial house and barn and developed the farm significantly before selling it in September 1838 to his nephew William Halsted and moving to nearby Hartland, Michigan. John’s land was next door to brother Myra’s farm.

                                              John and Mary Garfield ca. 1860

When John sold this property, he was seemingly following his Baptist minister, Rev. Aroswell Lamb. It appears he was following him when he came to Michigan originally, then followed him on to Hartland after he moved there, where John settled on land next door to Aroswell. While living there, his wife Mary died in 1862 and she was buried in the Parshallville Baptist cemetery. After Mary died, John sold his property and moved north to Fentonville in 1862, where he lived on a small city lot near his adopted daughter Helen (Garfield) Walton and her family. He died there in 1870 and is buried next to his wife.

Lacora (Laura) M. Garfield, another of Orin’s Aunts, married David Halstead. She died in 1825 and apparently never came to Michigan, but family tradition indicates David came to Michigan briefly, and that he lived with his son William Halsted and his new wife Hannah Boorn when William bought the John Garfield house in 1838. Family tradition says they were in partnership in running the farm and that David became homesick and returned to New York in 1839, whereupon William was forced to sell the John Garfield house to John McDole in November of that year.

Garfield women married into a number of well-known Michigan and Farmington area families, many of whom carry their blood line to this day. These family names include Alger, Baker, Ball, Benson, Brown, Chapin, Comstock, Coomer, Crawford, Edgar, Ewing, Gage, Halsted, Hogle, Hovey, Johns, Johnson, Matthews, McCrindle, Morrison, Rall, Simonds, Smith, Sperry, Troop, and Worcester.

The Land
The southeast ¼ of Section 5 was originally sold by the U. S. Government in two 80 acre halves. The east half (where the Garfield house and barn would eventually be built) was sold to Zolman Pettibone and the west half was sold to his brother Milton Pettibone, both on June 20, 1829. The Pettibones were originally from Genesee County, New York. They built a small cabin on the western edge of the west half which is believed to be at the core of a house that still exists at that location today, and they started clearing the west half for farmland. The original selling price of this land was fixed by law at $1.25 and acre, so each brother paid $100 for their 80 acre parcels.

John Garfield bought both Pettibone parcels on July 12, 1831, paying $150 for the undeveloped east half and $300 for the developed west half. Land sale records indicate John was a resident of Farmington Township when he made the purchase, even though he didn’t own any land there at the time. Also, the Pettibones were shown as residents of Panama, Washtenaw County, MI. and as such had already vacated their land. Because the Pettibone brothers were relatives of John, he could have already been living in the Pettibone cabin at the time of the official land transaction. Census records show that John Garfield was still a resident of Genesee County, New York in 1830, so he would have been a recent arrival to the area when he bought the land.

The House
John Garfield and new wife Mary (Newell) Garfield decided to change the location of the dwelling to the high land on the east half of his property, where he built a Greek Revival farmhouse in the latest style. He also built a substantial barn just west of the house, and this barn survives on its original site as a residence today. Since the earliest tax records for this area are missing, it is impossible to establish the date the house and barn were built with certainty, but land sale records surely indicate the barn and house existed by the time of the 1838 sale. Furthermore, the style of the buildings and their method of construction are consistent with early1830s local practice.

The John Garfield house is a braced frame post and beam structure using hand hewn oak sill beams with first floor joists consisting of oak logs with the bark still in place. The remaining horizontal beams are also hand hewn oak, and the remaining vertical posts, wall studs, second floor joists, and roof rafters are all rough cut oak members manufactured locally on a water powered vertical saw mill. Posts and beams are joined using wood pegs, and floor joists have tenons which are let into mortises in the beams. The house sits on its original field stone foundation and has a full basement which is an unusual feature of houses in the area at that time.

The house is essentially an 1820s Federal style farmhouse, with roof pitch and gables revised to the latest Greek Revival designs. It is constructed long and thin with the longest dimension (the 2 story wing) parallel to the road, and a kitchen (a one story wing) on the east end of the house. In this area, the primary 2 story mass of Greek Revival farmhouses became squarer in floor plan, with the gable ends facing the road starting in about 1835. By 1837, this was the only way these houses were designed. They did this so that all the expensive carpentry work in the gable ends could more easily be seen from the road, compared to the earlier Federal based houses.

I bought the house in 1980 and have been restoring it ever since. It still retains all of its original foundation and structure, siding, and most of the window frames. I have removed evidence of the massive 1917 makeover the house endured, and have restored its original floor plan, doors, and details, removing a large stone fireplace and chimney from the west end along the way. Before my work on the house began, it had a definite “presence” that was easily felt by many visitors at the time. After removing the chimney and fireplace, and rebuilding more than half of the west wall, the invisible visitors left.

I have included a map showing the land ownership of the Garfields in the Farmington/Novi area in the 19th century as a separate document. The photos of John and Mary were supplied by Jayne Pawlisa.

John Willyard

Jayne is doing a wonderful job with the Garfield Society which now has 33 members.
Anyone who can trace their lineage back to Edward Garfield, the first Garfield (Gearfield, Gaffield) to come to the New World from England can become a member of the Society for free. If you are a descendent of Edward Garfield but need a little help with your lineage E-Mail Jayne at and she will help you
John Willyard, who has resided in the John Garfield House for many years, has generously submitted the following article on this Michigan Historical Marker Home.  Mr. Willyard, even though not descended from any Garfield, has researched extensiviely, the Garfield families in Michigan and New York State, and has been given an Honorary Society Membership for his research. He is the current President of the Farmington Historical Society.  John and Jayne Pawlisa have worked together on several Garfield projects.