I enjoyed the article [Kingfield News; Winter 2008] about my neighbors on Garfield Avenue and the “welcoming gift” of the odd portrait from somebody’s attic. We live on Garfield as well, just north of 38th Street, and Mrs. Garfield may actually have a connection with our house. The description sounds remarkably like the work of someone who lived here before us–Marian Kravig.


We’re the second owners of our home, which was built in 1914 (!). Before we bought it a dozen years ago, it had been owned by the Kravig family and occupied by the widowed Mrs. Kravig and her seven children. The children apparently made a pact among themselves that none of them would every marry and they’d stay together in the house on Garfield (talk about Norwegian Gothic, eh?). Two of the brothers made a break for it and found themselves brides, but the remaining five siblings stayed in the house until just before we came on the scene.


Marian was an art teacher and an extremely prolific painter, judging from the contents of the estate sale we attended. We even purchased a couple of her paintings, which, as I said, sound eerily like the description of Mrs. Garfield.


I’d love to take a look at her and use my long-atrophied art historian skills from college to determine whether or not she’s a genuine Kravig.


Or perhaps these things are best left as a mystery.


Jeanne Lakso





3 Responses to “Mrs. Garfield’s History”

  1. Lela Mathison on December 11th, 2008 7:43 AM

    Thanks for sharing the fantastic history about Mrs Kravig and her 7 children. I’d be interested in learning if the “Mrs Garfield” hanging in my living room right now is something Marian Kravig painted and I’d love to see your purchased paintings from the estate sale [although I confess that it’s amusing to me that you’d PAY for other paintings as, um, unique as this one.]

    Regardless of whether our “Mrs Garfield” painting is by Marian Kravig or not, this is such an interesting journey of discovery!

  2. Leslie Rapp on December 11th, 2008 12:50 PM

    What a great article about the 4200 block on Garfield. I thought Sarah did a great job of capturing the spirt of these wonderful people I get to call my neighbors. After reading the article it reinforced why I don’t think I’ll ever leave this great neighborhood.

  3. jobylynn on January 14th, 2009 3:59 AM

    I’m glad that people appreciated the article as much as I appreciated writing it.

    Believe me, the block is interesting enough, I could have written much, much more.

    It was very hard to fit what a great block you have into the word count I was provided.

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