The first house here, built in 1831-32 by James Dickey, stood only 1 1/2-stories tall. In 1876, Congressman James A. Garfield bought the Dickey farm and, in 1880, had the house extensively remodeled. By raising its roof and expanding its outer walls, Garfield's workers doubled the house's size around the original structure.
After President Garfield was assassinated in 1881, his wife Lucretia received many public donations. In 1885 she used a portion of this money to add a third floor and back wing to the house, including the James A. Garfield Memorial Library - a forerunner of today's presidential libraries.
[Background photo caption reads] In 1880, James A. Garfield posed by the front gate of his newly-remodeled house, which newspaper reporters called "Lawnfield."