The community of Gaffield is described in a series of scrapbooks compiled by Sadie Williams Legg, who was born in the area in 1876. She described Gaffield as being located at “Baltimore and Ohio Road running north and south, now called County Road 40; Goose Lane, a road running east and west from the B&O Road, approximately ½-mile south from Gaffield School; where church and cemetery are located.” Today we would describe that location as being the intersection of Outville Road and Morse Road south of Alexandria.
According to the information in her scrapbooks, the village of Gaffield was a thriving community long before the village of Alexandria was platted out in 1830. The village was home to the Gaffield Methodist Episcopal Church, which was formed in 1811 or 1812. In 1830 both a school, made from logs, and a brick church were built. The community also claimed ownership of a cemetery, one mound, an artesian well where residents drilled for salt, a mill, a salt lick, a blacksmith’s shop, two cooper shops, a jeweler, and an orchard attributed to Johnny Appleseed. The village was home to stone masons, farmers, carpet weavers, bricklayers, and carpenters.
Membership in the church gradually died down throughout the nineteenth century. In 1883, John L. Evans, who was described as the pillar of the church, passed away. The trustees of the church took up the task of dismantling the Gaffield Church. The proceeds from its dismantling totaled $44, which was donated to Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church in Granville. The Gaffield Schoolhouse continued to operate until 1940, and class reunions were held for many years following its closing.
Today, the only remnant of the town of Gaffield is the cemetery that remains at the intersection of Outville Road and Morse Road in St. Albans Township.
- Evelyn Welsh, “Scrapbooks Reveal Gaffield History,” The Advocate, August 23, 1990, 10B.