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Skip Trombetti, Van’s Photos, Mentor, OH

Ed Haney as

James A. Garfield

20th President of the

United States


James A. Garfield – circa 1880 (by Mathew Brady/L.C. Handy – LOC)


Ed has performed his program, “From Log Cabin to White House,” for over two decades.  As an actor and director active in community theater, he was asked to appear at a fund-raiser to greet people as the president and mingle with the crowd.  The experience inspired him to delve into the history of the Garfields.  He developed the program and began to present it to groups throughout northeast Ohio.  His program was well received by the descendants of President Garfield.

To further his knowledge, he worked at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site (“Lawnfield”) as an Interpreter who gave tours to visitors and school groups.  He was also involved in the family events and adult lecture series at the site.  Ed’s portrayal of the president has been seen on various television programs and via teleconferencing to distant schools.  He teamed up with Debbie Weinkamer in 2001 to create and perform new programs as The Garfields.

“From Log Cabin to White House”

Ed takes you through the life of James Garfield, from being born in a log cabin to becoming the 20th President of the United States, up to his untimely death.  As Ed speaks as James, the audience will experience an intimate and timely view of the stages of Garfield’s life and his many accomplishments.  The program includes:

§         James as a boy
§         Working on the Ohio Canal
§         Education and religious beliefs
§         Career at Hiram College
His marriage
The Civil War
Member of Congress
The “Front Porch Campaign”
§         Assassination

“Portrait of a Nineteenth Century Marriage”

with Debbie Weinkamer as Lucretia R. Garfield

Follow along with the Garfields as they recount their long-term relationship.  Ed and Debbie explain how James and Lucretia crossed paths before their marriage, expose the pitfalls of their “Dark Years,” and reveal how their relationship -- and family -- blossomed.  Politics get woven into the story, too!  The program includes:

§   Growing up in the Western Reserve
§   School days and romance
§   War!
§   Life in Washington, D.C.
§   “A Home and a Cow”
§   A “Dark Horse” – the 1880 Republican Convention
§   The “Front Porch Campaign”
§   200 Days in Office
§   The Aftermath


“Letters from the Front”

with Debbie Weinkamer as Lucretia R. Garfield

James and Lucretia Garfield exchanged approximately 1,200 letters during their courtship and marriage in the mid-19th century.  Many of the letters chronicle James Garfield’s service in the Civil War – 28 months that saw him rise from lieutenant-colonel to major general, from relative obscurity to national prominence.  These letters contain candid commentary that spans history.  They could have been written at any time in history: from Valley Forge, the Mekong Delta, or Mosul, Iraq. 

Listen, learn, and experience a view of the past as Ed and Debbie give a first-person reading of the timeless accounts of the Garfields’ wartime thoughts and home front activities – the details of their private lives, from the suffering and carnage brought on by war to the domesticity of their first “real” home and toddler’s first words.



Lake County Historical Society's Dine-Around held at Rider's Inn, April 2011
General and Mrs. Garfield dined with the members and then discussed their correspondence during his military service

In deep discussion with a patron of Yours Truly
during the 5th Annual Dinner with the Presidents


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We Made History- a group of living historical re-enactors who are more than impersonators of historical figures-they are serious portrayers of U.S. Presidents and First Ladies

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Last modified: 05/20/2018