When he bought this property in 1876, Garfield said, “I must get a place where I can put my boys at work, and teach them farming. I think this farm will always be worth the price I offer, and probably more by and by.” During the four summers that he was here, Garfield took an active interest in making his 157-acre farm modern, scientific, and productive. He improved the soils with fertilizer, carefully rotated his crops, and continually upgraded his animal stocks, farm buildings, and machinery. His wife Lucretia continued to manage and improve the farm for many years after the President’s death.
On the east side of the farm lane are three important farm buildings. The horse barn stood farther south on the lane, near the house in 1880. Mrs. Garfield moved it to this more remote spot when the carriage house was built in 1893. The large, elevated building is a granary. Most of the crops were grains to feed the farm animals; they were stored here. The smallest building is the chicken coop, which may have housed an incubator. Most of the area that is now parking lot was the chicken yard.
Across from the farm buildings is a small fruit orchard, representative of the 550 trees that were here in 1880, including 4 acres of apple trees and 2 acres of peach trees.
The red house that now serves as National Park Service administrative office space was built for a tenant farm family in 1886.