The Gardner House

Gardner House
In 1996, the museum added the Gardner House to its campus. The Gardner’s moved to the Dearborn area in the early pioneer days, making them one of the first families to settle here. The museum is happy to have the oldest standing home in Dearborn as an attraction.

The Gardner House was built by Richard Gardner in 1831. Richard Gardner was born in Wroxton, Oxfordshire, England on December 21, 1807. At the age of 18, Richard immigrated to America in 1828 and worked as a clerk in Detroit.

Mary Olsen – Teaching about the Gardner House

Gardner House Move – Dearborn Journal 1996

Gardner Family History

Gardner Family

GENERATIONS: A FAMILY HISTORY
Ann Irwin Davis
The Gardner Family (1844-1878)
         James Gardner was born November 14, 1844. His parents were Richard and Elizabeth (Gauld) Gardner, she being of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and coming to the United States in 1831, and he of Wroxton, Oxfordshire, England, and came to the United States in 1828. They were married in Detroit, November 4, 1832, and settled on his farm in Dearborn, on which they continued to live for a period of fifty years. He was a man of strict integrity, and having a good education, his services were often required by his fellow citizens in various capacities. He served as supervisor for two years, and assessor and Justice of the Peace for twenty-four years, besides repeatedly filling minor positions. The great confidence his friends had in his honesty and integrity is evidenced by the fact that he was almost continuously wanted to act as guardian for various orphan children, and as administrator of estates of various persons.
          Richard Gardner died on May 15, 1878, in his seventy-first year. His wife and mother of James Gardner possessed a kind and genial disposition and was universally respected and loved. She had ten children, of whom James was the seventh. When old enough he attended the district school in winter and worked on the farm in summer. After he had reached the age of twenty-one he left home, going to Iowa and Minnesota. At the end of two years he returned and shortly afterward bought a farm in Monroe County upon which he resided for six years. After his father’s death he returned to Dearborn, and buying out the interests of his brothers and sisters in the old homestead, he moved there and took care of his invalid mother until she died in 1885.
          James was married November 29, 1882, to Miss Jennie Flaherty, who died on April 6, 1884; they had no children. On June 1, 1893, he married a cousin of his first wife, Thomasine J. Flaherty. She was a practical nurse and a woman of many social qualities. Mrs. Gardner was divorced from C. N. Carter of Chelsea, Massachusetts. She had one son, Horace R. Carter, a schoolboy of sixteen years. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner’s children were Esther Alice, born April 10, 1894, and James Russell, born March 11, 1896.
          Thomasine Gardner was born June 10, 1857, in Ontonagon, Michigan. Her parents, Thomas and Nancy (Ford) Flaherty, came from Ireland to America with children. James Gardner was the only one of the family living in Dearborn. A sister, Susan Hutchins, widow, lived in Dentonville, Wayne County. George lived at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. John died at thirty-nine, leaving three sons. Richard died unmarried; the remainder of the family died in infancy.
          James inherited many of the sterling qualities of his father. He was modest and conservative in disposition and his strict probity won him the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen. He was a Republican in politics, and his neighbors insisted on his taking a part in local matters. For eight years he held some town office-Township Treasurer two terms, Justice of the Peace one term, member of the Board of Review one term, and was appointed Supervisor, entering upon the discharge of the office January I, 1898, and served on the School Board.
          Mr. Gardner was a broad-minded man, recognizing integrity and commercial honor, in whose hands the affairs of the town were safe. He devoted his time to agriculture and his farm, which was in a splendid state of cultivation, plainly, showing the benefit of his attention. He used all the latest improvements in labor and time-saving machinery, and the farm was well-stocked with fine breeds of horses and cattle. His farm consisted of 136 acres. He erected a large barn 40 by 100 feet, and expended much money in other valuable improvements. Mr. Gardner’s industry and attention to his farm brought him excellent returns.
Gardner Family Film c.1920s