Grand Old House
It’s a little slice of the Garfords’ elite and glamorous life as well as Lorain County’s past. Its third owner, the Lorain County Historical Society, gives guests a chance to experience what it may have been like to be part of the family for a day.
“We have had it evolve into what is known as a house museum, meaning people who tour there will see evidence of a kitchen, a dining room, a parlor and Mrs. Garford’s sitting room,” explains executive director Bill Bird. “We’re trying to tell people how the Garfords lived and some of the habits and nuances of the life that existed for people who had money and prominence.”
History buffs and the casually intrigued alike will appreciate the magnificence of the house itself. From Tuesday through Saturday every week, a guided tour will lead guests through two spacious floors showcasing elaborate woodwork in oak, mahogany and cherry, Tiffany windows, multiple fireplaces and a chapel.
“Of the houses that are open to the public, the Hickories’ architecture is the finest,” says Bird. “In terms of architecture and beauty it’s a valuable asset. In terms of keeping history alive, Mr. Garford was a prime example of the entire Industrial Revolution; the economy was booming, and he was a real central figure in that.”