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The Trail



James A. Garfield Birth Site Park

Abram and Eliza Ballou Garfield purchased land in Orange Township, Ohio (now Moreland Hills) and built a log cabin. Here, their youngest child – and future US President – James Abram, was born on November 19, 1831. Shortly before he turned two years old, his father died fighting a forest fire on their property. Today, a replica cabin is located on the Moreland Hills Village Campus. A trail leads to the original site where visitors learn how these woods shaped young James to become a teacher, preacher, lawyer, politician, and family man. 


Hiram College

James Garfield attended what was then known as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College, as a student and later returned to teach as a professor of ancient languages and serve as the institute’s principal from 1857 until 1863. Following his tenure as principal, President Garfield lived in the Garfield Robbins Zimmerman home on the north side of campus, while serving as a member of the United States Congress. And there is a statue honoring him near Koritansky Hall, the building that was once a parish under his guidance and now home to Hiram’s political science department.

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James A. Garfield National Historic Site

Congressman Garfield and his family moved to Mentor, Ohio in 1876. During his time there, he attended the 1880 Republican National Convention in Chicago to nominate fellow Ohioan John Sherman. Instead, James A. Garfield was nominated as the compromise, dark horse presidential candidate on the 36th ballot. His Mentor Farm, called “Lawnfield” by the newspapers, became a piece of history as the location of the nation’s first presidential Front Porch Campaign. The forerunner of the modern presidential library was created here by his widow, Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, after the 20th US President’s death.

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Lake View Cemetery

James A. Garfield is interred at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. The memorial, standing 180 feet tall, was constructed on the high ground of the cemetery, and is made of Berea sandstone. The vista includes downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. Garfield’s life is depicted in five panels wrapped around the outside. Inside, a marble statue of the 20th President is the centerpiece of the rotunda. Stained glass, golden mosaics, and colorful marble add symbolic decoration. Visitors can see his and wife Lucretia Rudolph Garfield’s caskets on full display in the lower crypt level.

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