Johnston House

The Johnston Farm and Rose Hill….are together perhaps the most important spot in American agriculture.
—Liberty Hyde Bailey, Cornell University, 1893

Built by Scotch immigrant John Johnston in 1822, the house originally sat on an important farm where Johnston became a well-known advocate of improved farming techniques. He was the first American farmer to use agricultural drain tiles to increase productivity on his farm, and it became one of the most famous farms in 19th-century America.

The house includes three period rooms with some items that belonged to the Johnston family, and three rooms of exhibits focused on the themes of Technology and Innovation, Immigration, and Agriculture, all of which are connected to the Johnston family’s experience in the region. Incorporating interactive elements, books, and artifacts, the displays also connect the story of the family to contemporary issues and concerns.

The site also includes The Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of drain tiles dating from ancient times to the present.

To learn more about tile drainage, watch this slide show about John Johnston.