About Garfield Farm
Garfield Farm and Tavern, listed in the National Register of
Historic Sites, is a 281-acre farmstead and former 1840s
teamster inn 40 miles west of Chicago and 5 miles west of
Geneva, Illinois. When Timothy Garfield and his family built
the brick inn on the family farm in 1846, it became a center
for community activity. It was an inn for hundreds of
teamsters and travelers, a ballroom for jubilant 4th of July
Dances, a meeting place, and a place to drop in for good
company and a mug of hard cider.
Three original 1840's buildings, the 1842 hay and grain barn, the 1849 horse barn and the 1846 inn survive with 3 later day barns (1860 - 1906) on site. Several small sheds for storage and animal housing have been constructed or brought on site.
The organizations' headquarters are located in the once neighboring 1840's Atwell Burr House moved on site in 1991 as support facility.
The farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, consists of 281 acres with 45 acres in wetlands, savanna and prairie.
The 20 Mill Creek Prairie and Sedge Meadow was never plowed though grazed and cut for prairie hay. It is described in 1840 family records as 80 rods west of the house constantly flowing with water. Ditching tile was later laid through it reducing visible surface water except in the creek channel. It is part of the upper Mill Creek watershed the drains in to the Fox River. In 1990, the museum began raising $180,000 for its acquisition and perpetual care. At $6000 an acre, 11 acres remain to be secured. Over 1000 households from 20 states have contributed to this fund.
Garfield Farm Museum has come as far as it has because of the individuals who recognize the importance of this educational effort. By becoming members, the membership dollars are applied directly to the day to day costs of operations. The membership dues help fund 15 percent of the annual budget. Members receive the Campton Fairfield Crier and the Prairie Messenger, discounted rates to special events, free tours of the museum and prairie walks. Membership donations are: Individual Membership ($20); Family Membership ($30); Patron Membership ($75); Commercial Patron ($100); Life Membership ($1,000).
Donations are also need for the repair and restoration of the 1842 barn which was struck with lightning in August of 2005, burning out the south peak of the roof. Membership donations and other contributions should be sent to: Garfield Farm Museum, PO Box 403, LaFox, IL 60147.
Campton Historic Agricultural Lands, Inc. a 501(c)3 non
profit land preservation organization that preserves the
agricultural, historic, and or
Garfield Heritage Society, Inc., is responsible for the historic interpretation of Garfield Farm Museum. Current GHS board members are Sue Morton Lloyd, President (St.Charles, IL); Glenn Staron, Vice President (Chicago, IL); Marty Germann, Treasurer (Bristol,IL); Donna Neiler, Secretary, (LaFox, IL); Sue Jacobson (Sugar Grove, IL), Christa Thurman Sala (Geneva, IL).
Jerome M. Johnson is a founding board member and has been Executive Director since 1981. He is a lifelong resident of Campton township, Kane County, and a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a BS and an MA in Biology. He says "conservation of our resources for future generations requires protecting our agricultural resources, our environmental blessings, and the historic fabric of our nation: these are inseparable if future generations are to enjoy what we have been given".
David Bauer is a Project Specialist. He has a degree in
electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology
and has experience as a computer hardware engineer.
Joseph Coleman is the Assistant Site Manager. He graduated from North Central College and learned blacksmithing at Naper Settlement.
Internships are available at the museum.
Over 300 volunteers assist in the operation of the museum in any given year. The museum has benefited from over 45 Eagle Scout projects. A wide range of volunteer opportunities exist.
For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630/584-8485.