Johnston House

3523 East Lake Road
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: (315) 789-5151

This simple farmhouse was built by Scottish immigrant John Johnston in 1821, who traveled across the Atlantic and into the heart of New York State looking for the opportunity to build a profitable farm business. He established an extensive farm that became one of the most prosperous in the region and one of the most famous in the country. Pushing the boundaries of accepted agricultural wisdom, Johnston risked ridicule as he became “the man who buried crockery”—the first American to use agricultural tile drainage to improve his farm. John Johnston’s progressive, market-driven farming techniques affected not only his farm, but his family as well. The farm’s success gave Johnston, his wife Margaret and their six daughters new opportunities for expanded education and leisure time, while Johnston became famous through his writings for the newly established agricultural press. Explore this agricultural legacy at the Johnston House and the accompanying Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum, a comprehensive collection of drain tiles dating to Ancient times.