Goodell Gardens and Homestead
Goodell Image Collection
Goodell Gardens & Homestead is a non-profit, education-oriented botanical garden and arboretum on the 78-acre Goodell family farm in Edinboro PA that emulates the Goodell family passion for gardening, history and horticulture. Goodell Gardens provides for the care of a significant collection of both botanical specimens and local historical archives. The nearly 100 photographs displayed here are part of a much larger collection.
The history of the Goodell family in Edinboro PA, begins with Layton Goodell. Born in 1804, Layton married Mary Goodell in 1828. Together they moved from Washington County NY to a farm about four miles Northwest of Edinboro in 1832. In 1836, they moved to Edinboro. Here Layton took up blacksmithing as a trade. He remained at this trade until his retirement in 1870. In addition to his blacksmith work, Layton maintained a 50 acre farm.
Layton's sister Martha married Alfred E. Waters and also resided in Edinboro.
Layton and Mary had seven children, among them was George Seymore, b. 1842. George married Nancy Elizabeth Gleeton in 1870. This couple had three children, Ned, b. 1872, Todd, b. 1875 and Maude, b. 1881.
Todd married Ella Parsons in 1907. Together they had five children, but only two, Carrie Helen and Margaret Elizabeth, surrvived infancy.
Schooling was an important part of the Goodell family life. Layton was among the orginal contributors to Edinboro Academy and his decendents attended school there. George served a term as a Trustee of the school. Ned, Todd and Maude all graduated when Edinboro became a State Normal School. Todd's chilren, Carrie and Margaret also graduated from the school after it became a State Teachers School. Before taking up farmng as a full time livelihood, Todd taught school for twelve years.
Carrie extended her education at Northwestern University and earned a Masters Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent a year as the principal of Fairview Elementary School, she returned to Edinboro to help around the farm.
The family has played an integral role in the growth and development of the borough of Edinboro. Layton served several terms as a Burgess of Edinboro. Layton's son James A. was the propriator of a general store in town. George S. was also a grocer and dealer in produce, wooden wares, teas and more. The Goodell's were also active in the local Masons Lodge.
George made the initial purchase of what is know today as the Goodell Gardens and Homestead. He paid Dr. Thomas Randall $4,000 for the 40 acre farm in 1876. A year later he purchased land down by the cove which was later sold to Edinboro Cemetary Association. George also bought land south of Tarbell Lane. This land had a barn on it which was "moved back" and became the south addition to the main barn. The main barn and the sheep barn were built by George Goodell. George also added a shed to the south side of the sheep barn. In 1908 George purchased the Quirk Barn. This was a barn owned by the Quirk family in Crossingville PA. It was moved to the farm and placed just south of the sheep barn.
Todd Goodell acquired the farm from his father George in 1920 for $5,000. The production at the farm varied. Grapes, pears, walnuts, butternuts, blackberries and apples were grown and sold. Eventually the farm operated primarily as dairy farm.
The youngest and last in this line of Goodell's were Carrie and Margaret. They were the last occupants of the Goodell Farm. The sisters were intensely interested in the history of community and the history of their family. They collected and stored any item they could regarding these subjects. It is because of their collecting efforts that collection exists today.