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40 Years of Restoration at Garfield Farm & Tavern Museum

      On Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm, the 40 year history of the restoration of buildings at Garfield Farm Museum will be presented by Jerome Johnson, executive director. The talk is the second in a seven part series of lectures to be held during the museumís 40th anniversary year.

     In the mid 1970s, Elva Ruth Garfield was looking for a way to preserve her familyís historic farmstead as a museum. Seeking the assistance of Eve S. Johnson, a local volunteer historic preservationist, it was hoped a local or state agency would take interest. When no solution was found, Elva and Eve decided to establish the necessary non profit organizations and recruit donors and volunteers to create an 1840s living history farm museum.

     Not only would the historic buildings need to be preserved but also restored to an appropriate time period. At that time 8 structures from 1842 to 1913 needed attention as a concept and plan was put together for the project. Starting from scratch the potential for success was always in question.

     Today, the scope has more than tripled as moving some support historic structures to the site, adding the 2nd generationís 1859 ninety five acre farm and its buildings, and constructing some smaller structures for interpretation or storage create a total of over 27 edifices. 
       Starting with some buildings that were in severe condition, the talk will highlight the decision process and methods used to prioritize their stabilization, preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation.  Various buildings are in different stages of restoration so this is a rare opportunity to still learn of the ongoing process that ultimately will be completed with successful fundraising.

     There is a $6 donation for the program and reservations are helpful to plan the homemade desserts. Call the museum at (630) 584-8485, or email at
Garfield Farm & Tavern Museum is a 375 acre historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and country inn that is being restored to serve as an 1840s participatory living history museum.  The museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off Ill Rt. 38 on Garfield Road in Campton Hills, IL.