The James A. Garfield Historical Society was organized in 1979. It encompasses the communities of Freedom, Garrettsville and Nelson in Portage County, Ohio. The school system of the same name honors our nation's 20th President, who lived in the area and was a member and one-time chaplain of the still active Masonic Lodge 246 F. & A.M. on Garrettsville's Main Street. The brief life of our Society pales in comparison with the history of the settlers and settlements we honor: Freedom was settled in 1818, Garrettsville in 1804 and Nelson, 1800.
Operational funds are derived from membership dues, benefactors, and a biennial "Christmas Tour" in Garrettsville, held the first two full weekends in November, in even-numbered years.