Marion Garfield’s birthplace – 332 Goodman’s Hill Road, Sudbury, MA
A couple weeks ago a message from a complete stranger arrived in my Inbox.
“Would love to connect with you. I now own 332 Goodman’s Hill Road, Marion’s childhood home. I’d love to hear more about your family and welcome you for a visit at any time!” – Cindy
When I told my brother George about the email, he responded:
“What might be interesting about Gramps old house is that Mom and Dad were married there and their formal photo of the event was shot inside that house.”
For as long as I can remember, my parents’ wedding picture sat on their bedroom bureau. I never thought about where they had been married or where the picture was taken. I have never been inside the house at 332 Goodman’s Hill Road, where my mother was born and spent her childhood and was later married. The only house I remember visiting was the one my grandfather built himself right next door to #332 – a small ranch that suited him when his children had grown and left home.
Known today as the Garfield House, 332 Goodman’s Hill Road was in the Garfield family for almost a century. The house was once part of a compound consisting of at least two houses and a barn. My great, great grandfather, John W. Garfield Sr. and my great grandfather, John W. Garfield, Jr. both lived there. My grandfather, Sherrold Garfield and my grandmother, Jessie Kilpatrick Garfield lived there and raised their three children, Bessie, Marion and Bill Garfield there.
Garfield Compound. My mother’s childhood home stands behind the house in the foreground. My great grandfather is pictured in the wagon.
John W. Garfield Sr. owned the Garfield-Parmenter General Store which was originally located in downtown Sudbury. Henry Ford, of automobile fame, purchased the store from the Garfields in 1929 and had it moved to Marlboro, MA not far from the Wayside Inn. Today it is known as the Wayside Country Store. In 1923, the year my Mom was born, Ford purchased the Wayside Inn. His plan was to restore the Inn and create an historical village – the first of its kind in the United States. From the years 1923-1945, Ford worked on his project which today consists of the Wayside Inn, a fully operational gristmill, the Martha-Mary Chapel and the Little Red School House (of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” fame). Henry Ford would be the last private owner of the property. It is now protected under the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
My great grandfather, John Garfield Jr. had a blacksmith and wheelwright shop in the Mill Village section of Sudbury. My grandfather, Sherrold, worked there as a child. Sherrold would later go on to become a skilled carpenter, helping to build many homes in Sudbury as the suburbs of Boston continued to spread further from the city center. As a child I heard many times about my grandfather working for Ralph Adams Cram, a famous architect who lived in Sudbury and was responsible for designing many churches including St. John the Divine in New York City. My mother often told the story of how her father helped build it.
Wally & Marion Paton on their wedding day, August 13, 1944 – Sudbury, MA
I gathered some of this historical information together along with some photos and forwarded them to Cindy. She responded:
“Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for sharing these photos (and the ones from your previous email). It is so fun to live in a house that has so much history! I have gone to the town library archives and done a bit of digging around myself, but you have firsthand knowledge! I will walk around the house and take some recent pictures for you to see. You might also want to do a google search for 332 Goodman’s Hill Road. Since it was just sold (to me), there are still pictures online from the realtor. If you are out this way, it would be really fun to try to figure out exactly where in the house the picture above was taken. I can’t yet figure that out. How incredible that your parents were married here! It really is a special house. I truly love everything about it.
I would LOVE to hear any more history that you have on the house and your family. It’s known as the Garfield house.
And truly… you have an open invitation any time!” – Cindy
I hope one day to re-visit 332 Goodman’s Hill Road. This time, I’d love to see the inside of the house – perhaps find the exact spot where my parents stood almost 75 years ago, looking so young and full of hope.
332 Goodman’s Hill Road, Sudbury, MA as it looks today