our history

The Garretson farm was established in 1837 by Joel C. Garretson and wife Elizabeth. Coming by oxcart from Franklin Co, Ohio, they built a log cabin back in the timber and lived there for several years before building a wood frame home on the upland prairie. Joel and Elizabeth were active abolitionists in the East Grove and Salem communities. Missouri slave owners had a reward of $500 for Joel’s head.

The Family of Joel C & Elizabeth Garretson in 1886. Youngest son O.A. is in the back row center.

The Garretson family has always appreciated the legacy of the old farm and family members have taken pride in retaining ownership of almost 900 acres of land passed down to them over the years. The farm that Joel C. Garretson purchased during his lifetime is still owned by his descendants, and is in timber, conservation reserve acres, and traditional farming.

all in time

  • Jon Garretson Van der Hoff comes to Deleware.

  • Joel C. Garretson moves to 80 acres in the Iowa territory.

  • O.A. Garretson starts building the Victorian style house on the farm.

  • Joel H. Garretson purchases additional 70 acres adjoining the family farm.

  • Joel H. Garretson moves to the farm

  • First elderberry plants are planted and the farmhouse restoration project begins.

  • Winery opens for business.

East Grove

The community of East Grove had a post office, Quaker Meeting House, cemetery, and one room school house. East Grove Farms is named after this long forgotten pioneer community.

Sign marking the place of the East Grove post office.

East Grove Farms utilizes a portion of the Garretson farm for it’s elderberry and fruit production. East Grove Farms has based their operation in the oldest house on the farm, a large country Victorian home built by Joel’s youngest son O.A. Garretson in 1899. The 114 year old house serves as our headquarters.

The O.A. Garretson house built in 1899, home of O.A. and Emma Dilts Garretson