Come tour The Hickories, a museum of the Lorain County Historical Society. The Hickories was built in Elyria 1894 – 1896 for the family of Arthur Garford, when the population of the city was approximately 6,000 and Washington Avenue was an unpaved roadway. Garford, a bank teller in downtown Elyria, and rode his bike to work. Garford was inspired to invent a padded bicycle seat. He organized Garford Manufacturing Company and soon began selling a million “Garford Saddles” every year.
The Hickories was the first house in Elyria to have electricity, central heating, and running water. Windows in the house are made of imported sheet crystal and stained glass. The architect was Arthur N. Oviatt, who designed a number of large residences in Cleveland. Thirty shagbark hickory trees were planted in the landscape surrounding the property. The residence was vacant from 1933 until 1948, when it was converted into a boarding house by the Handyside family. The Hickories was purchased by the Lorain County Historical Society in1975 and opened to the public as a museum.