James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Ohio

Although the Republican victor in the 1880 election, former Major General James Garfield, had a reputation as a moderate reformer, he was opposed to civil service reforms like appointment on the basis of merit examinations rather than political connections. Ironically, his assassination by an office-seeker spurred passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883, which curtailed the “spoils system.” Even more ironically, the Pendleton Act was signed by his successor, Chester A. Arthur, whose only political offices prior to the Vice Presidency had been appointments that he owed to the corrupt New York Republican political machine of Senator Roscoe Conkling. The James A. Garfield National Historic Site preserves the home Garfield acquired in 1876 to accommodate his large family. The home, named Lawnfield by reporters, was the site of Garfield’s front porch campaign for the presidency in 1880. James A. Garfield is National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

From I-90 take the SR 306 Mentor – Kirtland exit. Travel north on SR 306 for two miles to Mentor Avenue (US 20). Turn right and travel east for two miles. James A. Garfield NHS is located at 8095 Mentor Avenue, on the north side of the road.

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