The Inn has been owned by seven families. Earliest land records show lumber baron Charles. G Learned purchased it in 1857 as a home, later enlarging and remodeling it. Learned, who earned his first $10,000 by age 18, was involved in construction of the Erie Canal and New York City’s waterworks system.
President Garfield, for whom The Inn was renamed, shares a close association to the Learned family. Garfield’s friendly devotion to Maria Learned is documented in his personal diary. Garfield and Maria were to die within months of each other. She in January 1881 of tuberculosis and he at 49 years of age from an assassin’s bullet in September 1881, after a scant six months as President. As Garfield lay mortally ill, he asked to be allowed to travel to Port Austin and recover in the Learned home.
The proprietors and staff devote themselves to maintaining The Garfield Inn’s history and providing guests with a warm friendly atmosphere during their stay.
In May of 1990, the landmark building on M-53 just north of M-25 celebrated the dedication of an historic marker designating it a National Historic site.
“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The Spirit should not grow old.”
—James A. Garfield, 1831-1881