Garrett House Pictures

As many readers of this site know, I have a deep interest in the Garrett family of Caroline County. It seems that everyone who studies the Lincoln assassination finds a specific facet of it that appeals to them more than others. For me, that facet is the Garretts. I’ve presented at the Surratt Society’s annual conference about my ongoing research into the Garrett family. I’ve come into contact with many Garrett descendants and a few have even bestowed upon me the title of “honorary Garrett”, much to my delight. It’s hard to explain why I’m so caught up with this family and their interaction with John Wilkes Booth, but I am.

At the Surratt Conference, I went through a slideshow of pictures that I found of the Garrett house. It showed the house from its days as the family’s home, to its subsequent collapse around 1937/38. As of this posting, I have accumulated 34 pictures of the Garrett house. Some pictures are well known and seen in books on the assassination. Others have come from universities, libraries, and private collections. Since that presentation, I have been asked by a few people to put the pictures up here on my site. I have been hesitant to do so, but today I am making a compromise.

In the Garrett House Gallery I have just made, I am displaying half of the pictures I have. Additionally, I’ve done something I haven’t done before in my other galleries, and I’ve watermarked each image. I’ve done this because I am working on a book about the Garretts and their run in with John Wilkes Booth and, while I love sharing new information and images here on BoothieBarn, I also want to protect these images in case I want to use them in my later publication. That is also the reason why I have also failed to source where the different images came from. Until I either use them, or fail to use them, in my future book, I want to keep their origins a mystery. I hope you all understand. I am doing this all to protect this Garrett project of mine as it means a great deal to me.

Click on a picture below to see the larger image

Back to the Picture Galleries


38 thoughts on “Garrett House Pictures

  1. Pingback: New Gallery – Garrett House | BoothieBarn

  2. Jim Garrett

    Dave, you really have outdone yourself. Great accumulation.

  3. Steve Lohrmann

    Excellent display of photos. I certainly understand about having a special niche in the assasination story. Mine happens to be Ford’s Theatre. I think you have a very good idea about a book, and good luck.

  4. Dr. Robert Massey

    My great grandfather may have been at the Garrett farm when Booth died. He was Joseph Henry Massey. A family “story” is that “Joe Henry” ran away from home [Spring Garden, Moss Neck] to join his half brother who was serving in the CSA army near Richmond. Joe Henry was 12 yrs old. His brother took him back to the Garrett far because his family was close to the Garretts. Joe’s mother was Elizabeth Holloway Massey. She was a 1st cousin to Lucinda Holloway and Fannie Holloway Garrett. According to the Massey family story, Joe Henry Massey saw Booth die etc. One of Joseph Henry Massey sons Huron Massey passed a number of years ago and when his daughter was packing away some of his belongings she found a piece of bark with paper wrapped around it. On the paper it said “bark from the tree that the man with J. Booth was tied to.” Don’t know if Joe Henry was there or not. Seems many families have a family story about Booth, Jesse James, etc. From letters etc. it is a fact that Elizabeth “Betsy” Holloway was close to her cousins Lucinda and Fannie as they grew up in Caroline County.

    • John Hewitt

      Dr Massey, are you related to the Holloway’s of Fredericksburg? F. Byrd Holloway was my Uncle who passed away in 2007. He spoke of Moss Neck all the time.

  5. Laurie Verge

    This story sure has the ring of truth to it. I especially refer to the note about the bark from the tree that [Herold] was tied to. The family ties also give it strength. Because of Joe Henry’s age, it may be hard to verify, but it is a very interesting story. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Dr. Robert Massey

    Joe Henry had 4 brothers and one older half brother. The Massey boys were orphaned in 1860. Their father died of a brain tumor in 1859 and their mother, Elizabeth Holloway Massey, died of Typhoid fever 9 months later in 1860. The boys went to live with their Grandmother, Joanna Holloway at Spring Garden. Joanna was also Lucinda and Fannie Holloway Garrett’s grandmother. Joe Henry was a little rebellious and ran away to go to his half brother serving in the CSA army. He was taken to the Garrett’s because he told his older brother that if he was taken back to his grandmother’s he would just run away again…. My second cousin, Granddaughter of Huron Massey, has the bark and note in her possession. [my grandfather was Clyde Massey, Huron’s older brother and son of Joe Henry.]


    Great pics!!! I was wondering if there are any known pictures of the tobacco barn where Booth was shot???

    • Kim,

      To my knowledge there is no image of the barn that was burned down during the capture of Booth. There are photos that show the new barn built on the same spot as the original, and a period engraving that shows the remnants of the barn that appeared in Harper’s Weekly.



  9. Ryan Quint

    Hello, I recently discovered this site, and it is a treasure trove. I had a question about the Garrett Farm Site: A couple of months I drove out to 301 (I live in the Fredericksburg area) and tried to find the site. However, the state markers on the north bound lane had been taken down and white road blocks had been put up in the middle of the pull-off, completely blocking access. Do you know anything about this, and if so, is this temporary or is the Garrett Farm site now forever blocked?
    Thank you.

    • Ryan,

      The highway marker on the northbound lane of 301 was stolen a couple months back. The Surratt Society raised funds to purchase a new one which will be dedicated on April 26th.

      The future of the Garrett site is still a bit hazy for now. Fort A.P. Hill is in talks with handing over stewardship of the site to Caroline County. Over the summer A.P. Hill did an official archaeological dig at the site and they have had it blocked off since then. For now it’s closed (unless you pull around the barriers) but hopefully it is just temporary.


      • Bradley Owen

        As of today, the site is off limits with signs emphatically noting the potential trespassing penalties.

  10. Doug Easterly

    Dave, thanks so much…Glad to see the sign will be restored and AP Hill handing over the site to Caroline County. They didn’t need it and perhaps Caroline County can construct a replica housing a visitors center.

  11. Ed Cunningham

    I don’t see how a replica can be constructed on the median strip of a highway? With cars going 60mph, you will need a new turn lane into the replica. It would be neat however. I would like to see a replica of the tobacco barn with the wide slats used by Boston Corbett.

  12. Dr. Robert Massey (Avondale, Arizona)

    Turn it over to Caroline County??? Lots of money for a small rural county to come up with. However, it could draw visitors to Caroline if it was marketed properly

  13. Kenny

    Hello and great site! I am in the need if some serious help finding out if some of the items I have come across in an estate sale purchase actually belonged too J.W. Booth himself. I have confirmed several items that belonged too Lieut. L. B. Baker who as you know headed up and carried out the capture and eventual death of Booth. he was also charged with taking the body of booth back to Washington for identification and did so. In the lot of items I have one spur that is very similar to the spur at the Ford Theater and a handkerchief the appears to have small blood stains on it that Lieut. Baker gave to his son Arthur on his ninth birthday with a watch fob. All items have been dated accordingly and verified as genuine but I need help making the connection to the spur and handkerchief. Booth was reported to have several handkerchiefs on his person when he died at the Garrett farm but only a couple made it into evidence. Also the reported one spur that was found on him never made it for evidence either. I have Lieut. Bakers NY calvary belt and buckle, hat tassels, brass stencil plate, watch fob, and it has all been confirmed as his. Wouldn’t it make sense for him to keep a couple souvenirs of Booth’s after what he did? do you know someone who could help?

    • Dr. Robert Massey

      Don’t forget Lucinda Holloway her sister who married a Garrett (they were my ancestor’s cousins & nieces of Joanna Holloway. Joanna was my GGG Grandmother. Booth is supposed to have died with his head in the lap of Lucinda Holloway and she is to have clipped a bit of his hair & tied it with ribbon.  Bob  Dr. Robert Massey US History Consultant Arizona Historical SocietyVirginia Historical SocietyArizona Genealogical Advisory BoardNational Genealogy Committee, SCVLt. Commander-Arizona Division, SCVChairman-Arizona Division Sesquicentennial Committee, SCVGenealogist-Arizona Division, SCVLt. Commander-Col. Sherod Hunter Camp #1525, SCVGen. John B. Magruder Chapter, MOSBSons of Union Veterans…Picacho Peak Camp #1 Avondale, A.T. CSA(623) 271-8149   Deo Vindice!

    • Doug Easterly

      I would definitely say he “squirreled away” some momentos and of course never entered them into evidence log. From what I read Laura Keene was trying to get Lincoln’s blood on her dress and so took her position holding his head on her lap after being asked to leave the immensely crowded box at Ford’s. Regarding the visitors center, yeah it would be a lot to implement it in the median and yes turn lane would need to be built (I was thinking of having it north of site to limit impact and curving back south). Maybe AP Hill could cede a few acres on northbound 301 on right side for the purpose or are we better off just letting things stand as they are I guess.

  14. Doug Easterly

    Dave, I also was drawn to the Garrett component of the assassination and aftermath and I recall my first visit trying to locate that site in June 1985 pre-internet! You could imagine – fail! But I also fell in love with Port Royal town! I would love to buy your book when it is done and the photos are amazing – a lot I never seen. I suggest the one taken completely from the side as the possible book cover photo as it is not widely in circulation and has a haunting quality to it? I met you a year ago the April 26th at Port Royal Historical Museum. Wow some new businesses too in town – the Port Royal Trading POst Antiques etc (opened Black Friday 2015) just north of the Rts. 301 & 17 intersection and the soon-to-open Port Royal Pizza and Sub Shop immediately to the north of that! And a new little well done office building right next to the post office on Rt. 301 (I saw it being built last year when I was down on both April 15th and April 26th). Best regards Dave and please let me know via email about the book, Doug Easterly

  15. Doug Easterly

    Dave, just to clarify, it is the 5th picture in the very left column right below a picture of a barn. That’s the one I refer too! Love it!

    • Dr. Robert Massey

      David, Glad you have kept me on your “list”  I enjoy all of the tid bits you keep passing on about the Garretts, Booths, et. al.  I will be in the Caroline Co.area in August to give a presentation about Major Robert G. Holloway, CSA Surgeon.  This is at the H.A.L. Society annual reunion.  I will also be meeting with the  Gen. John B. Magruder Chapter, MOSB.  I hope to give a presentation about Confederate Arizona.  Most folks do not know anything about the goings on in the Southwest during the “Past Unpleasantness” of a few years ago.  We will probably be staying in Fredericksburg,  I would like to meet you if our schedules permit.  I will keep you in touch. Bob  Dr. Robert Massey US History Consultant Arizona Historical SocietyVirginia Historical SocietyVice Pres.- Arizona Genealogical Advisory BoardNational Genealogy Committee, SCVLt. Commander-Arizona Division, SCVChairman-Arizona Division Sesquicentennial Committee, SCVGenealogist-Arizona Division, SCVLt. Commander-Col. Sherod Hunter Camp #1525, SCVGenealogist – Gen. John B. Magruder Chapter, MOSBSons of Union Veterans…Picacho Peak Camp #1 Avondale, A.T. CSA(623) 271-8149  “I had no other guide, nor had I any other object than the defense of these principles of American liberty on which the constitutions of the several States were originally founded, and unless they are strictly observed I fear there will be an end of Republican government in this country.”   — General Robert E. Lee, CSA  Deo Vindice!

      • Elizabeth Fitch

        Could you please send me some information about the HAL society? My portion of the family seem to have fallen off the wagon of attending and I’d like to get back involved. Thanks!

  16. lawrence dodds

    Just an observation..I wonder why the chimneys are gone from the later pics…it seems that generally those are the last remaining parts of a fallen structure.Any thoughts?

    • Doug Easterly

      I would surmise a souvenoir hunter paradise on that count. Can you imagine the folks that swooped in to get a piece of the chimneys? I am surprised the house lasted until shortly after that photo in the 1930s!

  17. Dr. Robert Massey

    I would say that the chimneys have been “looted” away by souvenir hunters. I’ve seen an example of this close up. When I was in college at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky a famous or more likely, “infamous” brothel was being leveled as it was in a neighborhood that was in the process of Urban Renewal. It was a large two story, brick, Georgian antebellum house. A local business man bought the house and turned it into pallets of semi-cleaned bricks. Each brick had a small brass plate engraved with the words 627 Clay St. A “Piece” of History . The bricks also had a green felt bottom. They originally sold for $20.00 ea. and were advertised in men’s magazines, including “Playboy”. The thousands of bricks were sold out in 6 months. After the first week of sales, the price raised to $50.00. A lot of money in 1967.

    Dr. Robert Massey
    Avondale, Arizona

  18. lawrence dodds

    Thank you for your insight..I never would have guessed that some bricks might be so desired.

  19. Laurie Verge

    In the early days of the Surratt House Museum’s Booth Escape Route Tours (the 1970s and 80s), there was easy access to the site of the Garrett farmhouse — and many amateur archaeologists on each tour who would eagerly dig in the dirt around the site in the hopes of finding a treasure.

    That treasure was usually a piece of brick that might once have been the foundation for the chimneys. We were never quite sure, however, if nearby Ft. AP Hill, which owns the site, was deliberately peppering it to satisfy history lovers. There were no signs then telling us not to dig, or even trespass, and we did alert the post when a tour was coming down the road.

    On a similar note, the Dr. Mudd House sold (still sells?) chunks of plaster and nails that were not disposed of during the restoration. There is more than one way to remember history.

  20. Bronte66

    Does anyone remember what side of the porch it was said that Booth died on?

  21. Bronte66, here is what James Swanson writes in “Manhunt:”

    “Several men seized Booth by the arms, shoulders, and legs, raised his limp body from the ground, and marched in quick time to the farmhouse. They climbed up the stairs and laid Booth flat on the wood-planked piazza, near the bench where, over the past two days, he had sat, smoked, napped, conversed, and planned the next leg of his escape.”

  22. Alexia Susan Helm

    That was my great great grandfather barn.. we have our family tree have to dig it out but it tells our connection from our family from decatur illinois

  23. Do you remember a Caroline County resident who was very interested in the Booth story? He had a short time small newspaper about murders, etc….in the County but has since passed away

    • Donna,
      I believe you are thinking of Stan Beason, who passed away in 2003. Mr. Beason was very interested in the Booth story, though he was under the belief that a different man was killed in Booth’s place. He published several articles about his investigation into Booth’s death in his own paper that he produced. I never had the chance to meet Mr. Beason.

  24. Doug Easterly

    Dave, when do you think the book will be out?

  25. Renee

    ji don’t know…… i feel that American history belongs to us all , and seeing half of what’s there feels like being cheated. I have no intent other than to learn about my countries history.

  26. Donna Chasen

    Thank you for mentioning Stan Beason. I spoke with him a couple of times about his Caroline County inspired newspaper. He was a very interesting man. I am getting old and his name has been escaping me for some time. Thank you for the memory.

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