Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Elliott, Mrs. William Potter (Marjorie Blackman) '46

1946 - 1947 Treasurer Book, Active: Elliot, Mrs. Wm. P. Feb. 46 June 30, 1947 June 30, 1948 June 23, 1949 June 30, 1950 Sept. 1951 June 1952

1953 Address: 822 Arlington Avenue

1970 Address: "Lee House" 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains

1973 - 1978 Address: "Lee House" 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains
Listed as a "Sustaining Member"

1980 Address: 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains

1990 Address: 44 Giggleswick Way, Edison, NJ

1984 - 1991: Sustaining
1992 - 1993: Deceased

Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Horticulture Services Division
Reference Number = NJ343 for William Elliott Garden

822 Arlington Avenue, Plainfield NJ

taken 2011

Introduction in Rhyme of Skit for Garden Club Meeting May 1956 by Marge Elliott

To see the handwritten pages, click: 1956 Archives


Imagine that you are our garden club
type here the powers that be
What things go on in a garden club
you'll be surprised to see

The cast are famous actresses
All brought at great expense
So please be kind to others, my friends
Lest they should take offense.

The President's name is Hazel
And its Lockwood – thats for sure
She presides as "to-the-manner-born"
But her arrangements – they are poor.

Elizabeth King of Programs – She's
all fluttering, cooing and coy.
To find the right speaker for just the right day
Is her constant delight and her joy.

Page 2

Ways and Means Chairman is Shirley
Bernhart we're meaning of course
She's breathless, naive and appealing
But hasn't the sense of a horse.

Marrion Loizeaux is chairman
of membership – looks la-de-da
But don't let that big hat delude you
She's a great one for making faux pas.

Fanny Day has charge of the minutes
Madame Secretary – no less –
But I must in confidence tell you
All her reports are a mess.

Hiely – that's Polly the Treasurer
Does weird things to the books
She was never good at her figures
And so for the balance – gad - zooks!

Hospitality chairman is Barbara
Sandford's the rest of her name
She's very smart but sarcastic
the "country tweed type" is this dame.

Conservation is Anne Marie Seybold
She is a lady who knows what is what
She has no time for the frivilous
In her ways she's terribly sot.

Abie Mooney – our wonderful speaker
Rosa Bunda – she has quite a past
And now you know all that you need to
about our illustrious cast.

So please let the music be quiet
I see the house lights are low
Put on the fools and the spotlights
All right – curtain ready? Let's go

page 2

page 3


Marge Elliott frames Evie Madsen's GCA Medal of Merit

To see Margie's handiwork, click: 1983 Archives

1983 Medal of Merit frame made by Margie Elliot

1983 Medal of Merit frame made by Margie Elliot

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 12

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 18

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 19

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 21

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 24

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 25

Courier News March 8, 1966

Gets first prize.

This backyard garden display designed by Mrs. William Elliott was first prize for the Garden Club of Plainfield at the 45th International Flower Show currently being exhibited at New York's Coliseum. Planted with apple blossom geraniums, English Ivy and French strawberries, the garden features an espaliered apple tree and a low sundial concealing a garbage pail. The backyard garden competition was sponsored by the Garden Club of America.

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard

Clockwise from top left: The slopes where American patriots once fought the British were under a new assualt. Residential development surged on into the Short Hills, the last bastion of unspoiled farmland on the outskirts of Plainfield, and a new decorative element entered local garden design. Water had long been a feature of the city's brook side gardens for obvious reasons. Rock now added a fresh dimension for the reasons less obvious. Deposited as a terminal moraine at the end of the last ice age, the boulders forming the underpinnings of the Short Hills had ended their long journey. Eons later, they resurfaced as the bane of eighteenth and nineteenth century farmers and the delight of twentieth century landscapers.

A gentrified farmhouse enters a new phase of its existence. The house appers ancient, the hilly road has not been paved, a well house remains in place, but this is no longer a working farmyard. Land once allotted to husbandry has been transformed into a pleasure garden replacing a formerly utilitarian landscape.

Designed during the 1920's. the Albert Atterbury garden on Hillside Avenue mirrors the garden principles of Giggleswick (seen in the bottom left picture) – water, rock, and luxurant bloom. The house rides the crest of the hill, with lawns and flower beds spilling down the slope toward the rooftops below in graceful waves of texture, punctuated with rare trees and shrubs.

Climbing roses clasp the home's trellised walls in a warm embrace and the basic bones of the garden have been preserved and enhanced by the gentle refinements of today's owners. Continuously cultivated for over three-quarters of a century, this urban Eden is truly one of Plainfield's living legacies – a legacy shared by many during house and garden tours.

"Giggleswick" seems to have started it all. Marjorie Elliott's 1989 treatise on the Giggleswick estated on Woodland Avenue dates the stone cottage of George and Ella Mellick to 1894, with a larger, medieval-style great hall added soon after, and describes the rock gardens developed withthe help of Swiss engineers using huge boulders dug up from the property. "The cavaties created by the relocation of these boulders formed pools that were filled with water . . .(where) one could swin, after a fashion." Spring bulbs, irises, peonies, wildflowers, lilies of the valley, and jack-in-the-pulpits swathed the landscape in naturalized plantings. Though the estate house was razed after a fire, an enclave of luxury condominiums arose on the site, incorporating many of the pre-exisiting garden features. Thus, a legend lives on. Courtesy of Courier News – Bridgewater, New Jersey

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work
circa 1958 - 1960

by Mrs. William P. Elliott
(Exhibitions Chairman)
Plainfield Garden Club

The second prize awarded to the Plainfield Garden Club this week for te mosaic garden it staged at the International Flower Show in the New York Coliseum was not easily won. Our entry was the product of three months of concentrated effort.

Those who see our exhibit at the show, which opened Saturday and will remain open through Saturday, often ask: "How does one go about such a project."

This is how we did it. Our story starts with the arrival just before Christmas of the Garden Club of America's schedule of classes for the show. We studied it and decided to attempt an entry in the gardens class.

The requirements were: "Four competitive pool plantings, mosaic in design, Flowers and ground cover to be used. Flowers to be predominate. Color combinations, white-yellow, apricot, brown and green. Space approximately 10 feet by five feet. Free form shape. Plant material not to exceed two feet in height from the floor."

Committee Begins Work

As soon as our application was accepted, the committee I headed set to work. Our dedicated members were Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost, Mrs. Linden Stuart, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Victor King, Mrs. Charles Detwiller and Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith.

We conducted research in museums and libraries to find out everything possible about mosaics (both ancient and modern), their designs and techniques.

Trips to greenhouses followed. Our investigation of plant materials available caused us to travel many miles in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Incidentally, there are no finer people to deal with than the nurserymen we met.

The next stop involved our spending many hours with pencil and paper. Finally, we decided to use a design created by Mrs. Frost. Her inspiration was a picture of a mosaic walk in Alicante, Spain, which had been brought back by one of our members, Mrs. David Foster, who recently traveled there.

Mechanical Problems

We then put our "theories" into practice by working with sample plant materials on patterns cut to scale in order to determine the amounts of plant material required and the amount of real moss necessary to fill the given space. We also faced the mechanical problmes of "putting it together."

Then, followed the problem of transporting all our precious materials to the Coliseum March 3. Fortunately, we were able to find a wholesale florist in Scotch Plains who could provide a heated truck and a driver.

The morning of March 8 finally arrived, and with it the snow. What a blizzard that was! In spite of it all, however, our courageous driver collected and loaded the plants and other materials into the truck and set forth to battle the elements en route to the city. We are grateful to him for their safe arrival.

Meanwhile, our president, Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod, had braved the storm to drive to New York to receive our precious cargo upon its attival at the Coliseum. After her job was done, storm and traffic conditions made it impossible for her to return to Plainfield, and she had to spend the night with friends in the city.

Five of us left Plainfield at 7 a.m. the next day and, after a slow but safe drive, reached the Coliseum in time to take the final steps in our project. By 6 p.m. we were finished in more ways than one.

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work

Lee House, 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains

Left part Moses Frazee's circa 1694, joined with pre-Rev Thomas Lee, Sr's home in 1828, moved again in 1963

1989 Annual Program Report

Our Christmas tea was held at the home of Mrs. Webster Sandford. Her co-hostesses were Mrs. William Elliott, Mrs. Victor King and Mrs. John Tyler. The extremely talented Emily Brown and Janice Haer entertained us with a varied musical program entitled "A Folk Christmas." We exchanged gifts from hand and hearth.

The Frazee House

History of the Property

Gershom and Elizabeth Frazee (circa 1760-1817)
(Period of Interpretation)

The Frazee House in Scotch Plains at Two Bridges, near the intersection of Raritan and Terrill Roads west of Ash Swamp, is an Anglo-Dutch style colonial home. It was very likely built by the 18th century carpenter and joiner, Gershom Frazee who bought14 acres of land on Raritan Road in 1760 adjacent to John DeCamp from one Jeremiah Pangborn. In 1761, Frazee bought another adjoining property at Ash Swamp from one Jacob Winans, also a carpenter, in the 1750s. Winans or Winants was a Dutch family from the Staten Island vicinity. Frazee also built a house frame with James S. Coberly in 1758 for Cabinetmaker Samuel Prince on William Street in NY near where the Scotch Plains Baptist Society was then founding the NY Baptist Church. Frazee also bought wood from Douw of Albany at one point. Frazee was influenced by the earlier Dutch homes of the region with their low profile and cantilevered pent roof that extends in front of the kitchen. The heavy, widely-spaced beaded joists with plank floors are also characteristic of Dutch versus English "summer beam" and light joist construction techniques.

A Dutch-influenced Kas cupboard probably made by him and an eighteenth-century joiner's bench, also probably Frazee's, were found in an early lumber shed, next to the corn crib of his brother Moses Frazee's home, later Thomas Lee's, now the site of the Union County Technical Institute. This shed and the corn crib were subsequently moved to Black Birch Road by Architect Charles H. Detwiller for Marge and Bill Elliott.

William Potter Elliott Princeton Class of '28

William Potter Elliott '28
Published in Jan. 22, 1997, issue

Bill Elliott died Aug. 8, 1996, in Madison, Conn. He was part of the contingent from the Hill School. At Princeton he was a member of Cap and Gown Club, and he played baseball and basketball. He went to the Newark [N.J.] Law School, which later became part of Rutgers U., and received his law degree in 1931.

Bill established a law office in Plainfield, N.J., and was a partner in the firm of Bunker and Elliott. He was president of the Union County Bar Assn. and a municipal court judge in Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Bill enlisted in the Army during WWII and was stationed in the South Pacific and Leyte in the Philippines. He held regional offices in both the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of Colonial Wars. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Rotary and of the Central Presbyterian Church of Plainfield.

Bill was active in the Class of '28 executive committee and was president of the class from 195863. Several times he served as class representative at the university memorial services in the Chapel.

Bill and Marjorie Blackman were married in 1937. Marje was on hand at reunions and other class gatherings until she died in 1992. There have been few who have served the class more widely and effectively through the years than Bill Elliott.

The Class of 1928

May 17, 1957 Club Commemorates Founding of Iris Garden

Caption: GARDEN MARKER VIEWED – Standing before the marker commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park are (left to right) Mrs. Frederick Lockwood, Victor B. King, Jr., John C. Wister, Mr. Richard Tracy and Miss Harriette R. Halloway, founder of this garden. (Courier photo by E. T. Wiggins)

The Plainfield Garden Club and guests yersterday dedicated the the entranceway of the of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park.

Miss Harriette R. Halloway, found of the garden and chairman of the garden of the Iris Garden [not legible] the project was started in 1932, was presented a medal by Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood, president of the Garden Club.

The medal is [not legible] "from the grateful members of the Plainfield Garden Club Harriette R. Halloway founder and director of the Iris gardens of Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield, 1932 - 1957."

[Not legible] viewed a recently installed [not legible] tablet marking the anniversary of the garden.

"Excercise in Perfection"
Victor R. King, president of the Union County Park Commission, led the gathering [not legible] the garden display was "an excercise in perfection is [not legible]," he said.

The park commission provides the setting for the garden and have [not legible] in the project [not legible]

W. [not legible] Tracy, executive had of the Park Commission when the Iris Garden was started paid tribute to Miss Halloway for her "tireless work and painstaking effort."

Another speaker was Dr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pa., president of the American Iris Society when the garden was started and author of [not legible] article about the garden in the current issue of the Journal of the New York Botanical Gardens.

Miss Halloway spoke briefly and [not legible] on the work of the [not legible] who care for the Iris Garden. She introduced Kenneth Smith, one of the largest contributors of plants to the garden [not legible]

Mrs. Lockwood presided at the program. Guests included members of [not legible] garden clubs and contributors to the garden.

The Iris Garden Committee includes Mrs. Morris E. Benton, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Donald E. Luce, Mrs. William K. Dunbar, Jr., Mrs. C. Northrop Pond, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Arthur D. Seybold, Mrs. John R. Wells, Mrs. Willian G. Wigton, Mrs. Robert MacLeod, vice chairman, and Miss Halloway, chairman.

Special slides [not legible] for the chairman were Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Jr., Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost ad Mrs. Edwin M. Treat, Jr.

Mrs. Victor M. King was chairman of the special committee assisted by Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux, Mrs. E. B. Newberry, and Miss Margaret Tyler. Also cooperating were Mrs. N. C. Barnhart, Jr., Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Homer Cochran and Mrs. H. I. Flanders.

Hostesses (not legible)
Other hostesses were Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Leslie E. Fort, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, Mrs. Robert T. Stevens, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Mrs. William S. Tyler. Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck and Mrs. Orville G. Waring.

The Iris Garden now has more than 1,800 named varieties properly labeled, representing all types of Iris and totaling more than 75,000 plants.

The main part of the garden is [not legible] caring Iris [not legible] and is expected to be is good blooms thorugh the rest of the month.

1987 Archives

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Contributors in Marge Ladd's Memory for the Shakespeare Garden

Mrs. Philip Nash
Mrs. Lawrence Heely
Mrs. Richard Eckert
Mrs. Webster Sandford
Mrs. June [not legible]
Standish Ave and Wood Ave
Mrs. Bruce Reid
Mrs. Northrop Pond
Mrs. Alden De Hart
Mrs. E. J. Fitzpatrick
Mrs. William Elliot
Mrs. Charles Eaton Jr.
Mrs. William Shepherd

Total $445.00



All photos for the Smithsonian submission taken by Lois Poinier and dated 1961 and 1962.

Correspondence with Elisabeth Loizeaux

Thank you for the info on Marge Elliott. Come spring, we are planning to drive around and see what is left of some of these notable homes and gardens. Lois Poinier is still alive and "sharp as a tack" according to Cathy McGraw of the Short Hills Garden Club. She is living in Mystic, CT. Hopefully she will be able to provide some of the descriptions we need on her gardens. The plots thickens as they say!

On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 2:47 PM, Elisabeth Loizeaux <> wrote:

Very interesting about Lois Poinier (I misspelled her name in previous mail) She, by the way, also did our own landscaping many years back. Yes, of course I would be able to identify other pictures of Driftway Farm, after all, my husband Peter was born there and we were next door neighbors all our married life in NJ.
I do not know the Sanders property at all, but am very familiar with Marge Elliot's (Mrs. William) on Black Birch Road in Scotch Plains. When Charles Detweiler moved her historic house from behind what is now Union County Tech. to its present location, we bought old beams belonging to a barn of that house and had them installed in our house, which was also designed by Charles Detweiler. We were quite involved with the Elliot project –– I wonder how much of her unique :farm" garden is still intact. Lois Poinier and Marge did a fantastic landscaping job, I am glad there are pictures. We had many GC meetings at Mrs. Elliot's house. Barbara Sandford will know all the details, she was a close friend of Marge's. I can't remember the number on Black Birch Road, but it is the only historic house in the development, in fact it has a marker, it's on the left hand side as you drive up Black Birch.

As far as "old Plainfield" family relationships and connections are concerned, Sally Booth, having grown up in Plainfield, would probably also be knowledgeable. Other than that Barbara Peek and Jane Burner also grew up in Plainfield. Consider me the expert on Loizeaux and Fosters.......


Correspondence with the Smithsonian

Dear Darlene, Hi! Thanks so much for the fill in – and what fun! Although it sounds like unwrapping a big ball of twine, you are making some really great discoveries. I was sort of piecing it together from the emails that I was copied on, but this explanation fills in all the blanks for me. I saw that one of the gardens was designed by Lois Poinier. She is a member of the Short Hills Garden Club, and although she doesn't live in this area anymore – she is in Mystic, CT – she is still probably as sharp as a tack. Her mother was one half of a famous landscape design business in Short Hills – Wodell and Cotrell. Many of their gardens are in the archives. Lois was the daughter of Mrs. Wodell. Good luck! - Cathy

From: Darlene Kasten []
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:44 AM
To: 'Cathy McGraw'
Cc: 'Susan King Fraser';
Subject: Smithsonian & PGC

Hi Cathy,

Mary Kent suggested I write you to fill you in on what I have been doing in connection with the Smithsonian Archives. I am sure you have been wondering with all the emails you have been copied on!

A small ad hoc committee within PGC has been busy reading through archives in the Plainfield Public Library to try to put together a master list of all members since our founding in 1915 in anticipation of the GCA Centennial in 2013. In doing so we have discovered all kinds of fun facts about our former members' accomplishments as well as pictures and descriptions of their delightful gardens. We had read in some of the minutes that some previously unknown garden pictures had been submitted to the Smithsonian by our then GH&D Chair Betty Hackman which led us to the Archives online. We saw an entry for an "unidentified" garden and requested a jpeg of the image thinking it would be of the garden identified in the minutes. We instead found that it was for another member's garden, Mrs. Roswell H. Rausch. Since then we have been given a number of other gardens to identify and describe which also belonged to former (deceased) PGC members, Sanders, Loizeaux and Elliott. We are actively trying to provide the Smithsonian with addresses and descriptions for these gardens. We are eager to complete their original submissions and hope they will be available online soon. All of these are available on the Plainfield Garden Club website (see links below).

In addition we requested jpegs of our Shakespeare Garden which were part of the original GCA collection.

There are also a couple of "mystery gardens" we have so far been unable to identify, .

Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you soon on the photography circuit!

Thanks, Darlene Kasten

Rausch, Mrs. Roswell H. (Louise Cornell) '65
Sanders, Mrs. David F. (Molly) '58, President 1966 - 1968
Loizeaux, Mrs. J. Harold (Marion Foster) '40, President 1947 - 1949
Elliott, Mrs. William Potter (Marjorie Blackman) '46

Correspondence with Elisabeth Loizeaux

Not at all! This is a great help as we have very few "witnesses" in the club who can corroborate our findings. So happy you have taken the time to look through the albums. I guess I have the frigid weather to thank too!

We do plan on taking our questions to Barbara Sandford but we want to be prepared with all our questions. I am copying Susan Fraser on this email as she is the lead archivist on this project. She has been particularly interested in maiden names as these are integral to finding the connections to PGC. As an aside, I did find out from the Smithsonian that the 3 gardens (Loizeaux, Sanders and Wm. Elliott) they asked us to research were all submitted by Lois Poinier not the Plainfield Garden Club. They have additional pictures of Driftway Farm and I have asked to send them Perhaps you can help to describe those views as well? Are you at all familiar with the Sanders or Elliott gardens? I was planning to bring those pictures to Barbara to see if she can help. We have the addresses which the Smithsonian did not and we do plan to drive by in the spring to see if anything remains but personal anecdotes are simply the best. Susan and I have been loving the atmospheric descriptions of tea parties and weddings, etc.
"Talk" soon, Darlene

On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 9:40 PM, Elisabeth Loizeaux <> wrote:

Darlene, I did look up my mother-in-law's album (and Bev Reid's). I do have questions about my mother-in-law. Charles Loizeaux, who was a two term State Senator in New Jerse y and my husband's father's brother ( I did not know that he was also the mayor of Plainfield) was married to a woman named Bertha .........?. They lived on Westervelt and Brook Ave. but as far as I know had no connection to PGC. Charles and Bertha would have been my husband's mother, Marion Foster Loixeaux's , brother and sister-in-law and it would make no sense to include them in her album, don't you agree? The photo, called "the Loizeaux garden" with a tent on their property has no connection to Marion Foster Loizeaux nor the PGC.

Connie Foster, married to Marion Foster' Loizeaux's brother David, was a member of PGC so her inclusion in the album makes sense.

I'm sorry, there were just too many Loizeaux in Plainfield. I think Marion, my mother-in-law, and I were the only Loizeaux members of PGC. Whoever looked up information at the Library in Plainfield , had a hard time identifying who all the different family members were. Marion Foster L. definitely never lived on Westervelt and Brook Ave. and had no connection to that "Loizeaux garden".


P.S. Fred Loizeaux : father of Bernice Swain
J. Harold Loizeaux: father of my husband Peter, husband of Marion Foster L.
Charles Loizeaux : State Senator and maybe mayor of Plainfield, brother of Fred and J. Harold above, no connection to PGC
Mabel Loizeaux Paulsen: mother of Bev Reid, and sibling of the above three men

By now I know you are sorry you asked!!

Marge Elliott

probably taken in May, 1962 at "Maytime at Historic Drake House".

From the History of Plainfield Garden Club 1915-1965, pages 21-22, "Our last big effort was in May, 1962."Maytime at Historic Drake House" featured an open house with plant and food sale at Plainfield's only museum, ... Mrs. A.D. Seybold found beautiful period costumes, which hostess members wore."

Marge Elliott, Jane Craig, Betty Hackman, Dottie Sheble










NJ 343008

Founders of Hillside Cemetary

Founders of The Hillside Cemetery Association

• Charles Potter, Jr.

• Mason W. Tyler

• Augustus C. Baldwin

• Alexander Gilbert

• William B. Wadsworth

• John W. Murray

• Lemuel W. Serrell

• Augustus D. Shepard

Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Mrs. Alden R. Loosli
45 Giggleswick Way
Edison, NJ 08820

September 25, 1992

Dear Ann –

I am sending this check for $25.00 to the Plfd Garden Club in memory of Marge Elliott who died yesterday Sept. 24.

Yours truly,

Demetria Loosli

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 20, 1993

Email from Elisabeth Loizeaux to Susan Fraser February 12, 2011

Dear Susan,

Yes, I remember the postcard well. I believe it was a State wide project for GCA clubs to acquaint people with native plants (it could even have been a Nation wide project). I am sorry, but I can't recall what year it was undertaken . I would suggest you ask Barbara Sandford about Gerri Acomb. If I remember correctly, she grew up in Northern India and was a painter of botanical subjects, quite well known. I now wonder if PGC ever owned the original painting of the clematis? I remember endless trips to the printer, and I was never really happy with the colors .We all had to buy a certain number of cards and then sell them to our friends and acquaintances. If the date is really important, maybe GCA has records, I recall going to a meeting (maybe a Zone meeting) and seeing a large collection of other cards.

But do ask Barbara about Ms Acomb, she was an unusual person. In fact, please let me know what you find out. There are so many interesting stories about "old Plainfield" people, how they were related, how they intermarried etc. ––- I could not believe my eyes when I saw Beverley Reid's letter of resignation. She must have been really disappointed in us younger members. She was MRS Gardenclub, a super talented horticulturist and arranger, trained by the previous super GC members: The two sisters Mrs. Frost and Mrs. de Hart, Marge Elliot, Mrs. Ladd (who went to flower shows with her maid in attendance who had to hand her tools and flowers at her command, the way a nurse hands surgical instruments to the surgeon!)

Best regards,


2nd Prize New York Flower Show 1951

Smithsonian Archives

Catalogued Data:
Title:New York Flower Show [slide]
Physical description: 1 slide: glass lantern, col.; 3 x 5 in
Type: Projected media
Place: United States of America, New York, New York
New York (State)
New York City
Date: 1951
Topic: Spring
Flower shows
Flower arrangement
Niches (Architecture)
Local number: NY208207
Restrictions: Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Notes: No Names for Picture. 2nd prize, Mrs. William P. Elliot, Plainfield Garden Club
Data Source: Archives of American Gardens

Hillside Cemetery

Potter marker
September 14, 2011

Hillside Cemetery


Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery

'Giggleswick' by Marjorie Blackman Elliott 1989

PGC Member Marjorie Blackman Elliott traces the history of the Mellick family and in particular PGC founding member Mrs. George P. (Ella Hartley) Mellick '15 and her well known estate, 'Giggleswick'

August 26, 1894 New York Times Article: Plainfield, City of Homes

Some of the others that do business in New York and have handsome homes here are . . .; Walter Scott and Charles Potter, printing press manufacturers, with offices in New York;

December 14, 2011

Hillside Cemetery

December 14, 2011

Hillside Cemetery

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

In addition to saving the 1988 Program for the Designers Showhouse of Cedar Brook Farm (aka The Martine House) which was organized by the Muhlenberg Auxiliary, PGC Member Anne Shepherd also kept the 1974 Designers Showcase of the very same home, organized by the Junior League.

Within the program pages, you will find mentioned many PGC members. They include: Clawson, MacLeod, Kroll, Davis, Wyckoff, Stevens, Loizeaux, Swain, Hunziker, Connell, Foster, Dunbar, Elliott, Fitzpatrick, Gaston, Hackman, Holman, Lockwood, Morrison, Royes, Rushmore, Sanders, Williams, Barnhart, Bellows, Burger, Burner, Carter, Clendenin, DeHart, Detwiller, Eaton, Eckert, Fort, Frost, Gonder, Keating, Laidlaw, Loosli, Madsen, Mann, Marshall, Miller, Moody, Moon, Morse, Murray, Mygatt, Barrett, Peek, Perkins, Pfefferkorn, Pomeroy, Pond, Royes, Samek, Sandford, Sheble, Stevens, Shepherd, Stewart, Stout, Trewin, Vivian, Zeller, Cochran, Mooney and Hall.

New York Times October 13, 1895

New York Times October 13, 1895


Entertainment by the Dorcas Society – Monday Afternoon Club

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Oct. 12 – A social event of the last week was the entertainment given by the Dorcas Society, King's Daughters, at the home of Miss Maude Lowrie, in Park Avenue, Monday evening. It was titled "The Circulating Library," and was given for the purpose of raising funds for the benefit of the poor of the city. The guests on arriving were given a blank catalogue, with only numbers on it, and they were to guess the titles of books represented. The Reception Committee was composed of Miss Bowers, Miss Brown, Miss Lowrie and Miss Langdon. Those presiding at the talbes were Mrs. Crane and Miss Wyckoff, assisted by Mrs. Clark, Mrs. C. T. Pond, Miss Minnie French, Miss Green, Miss Ella Blish, and Miss Maltly. In the library were Miss Crane, Miss Cornwell, Miss Lou French, Miss Millie Landgon, Miss Etta BLish, Miss Alice Hayners, Miss Bessie Titsworth, and Miss Kline.

S.E. Hull of Duer Street has returned from Broadway, where he spent the Summer.

The Monday Afternoon Club, Plainfield's leading woman's club, held it sifrst meeting of the Fall. On account of repairs being made at the Casino or the Union County Country Club, where the meeings are usually held, the ladies gathered in the parlors of the Congregational Church. The subject upon which papers are to be read for the coming year is "Some Great Florentines and Their Times." Two papers were read Monday – one by Mrs. Josiah Brown and the other by Mrs. Robert Lowry. Next month the paper will be read by Miss Kenyon, Principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary.

H. M. Stevens of Fanwood gave a reception at the Fanwood Clubhouse Friday evening.

Miss Nellie Saums of Ricefiled is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Saums of Clinton Avenue.

George Barton has returned to Keyport after a visit with Mrs. Barton of Madison Avenue.

Edward Hooley of Rockview Avenue has gone to Atlanta.

The Rev. E. L. Hyde of Hyde Park, Mass., is visiting friends in Plainfield.

The Misses Anthony of Crescent Avenue have returned from Europe.

Miss Bessie Booker of Richmond, Va., has been visitng Miss Dryden of West Seventh Street.

James Smith of Elmwood Place has returned from Amesbury, Mass.

Miss May Haberle, who has been visitng her cousin, Miss Lillie Haberle, has returned to her home in Orange.

Miss Mary Ryder of Brooklyn, who has been visiting at the home of Robert Lucky of Fifth Street, has returned home.

Charles L. Case and family of Central Avenue returned this week from their European trip.

Miss Lydia Duffert of Morris County is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Van Dyke of East Front Street.

Mr. and Mrs. John Burnett of Brookyln have been visiting Mr. and Mrs. Charles Doane of Fifth Street.

Charles Potter of West Seventh Street has returned from Philadelphia.

Mrs. Florence Howe Hall of Madison Avenue is in Massachusetts delivering a course of lectures.

Miss Mary and Miss Grace Shreve of New York are guests of B. J. Shreve of Grove Street.

Miss Agnes Baldwin of Brooklyn is the guest of Miss Haviland of Washington Park.

Benjamin Terry of Bridgeport is the guest of the Misses Livergey of Park Avenue.

Thomas H. Keller of East Front Street left this week for a trip South.

C. C. Burke and family have left for their Winter home in New York, after spending the Summer at the cottage on Ravine Road Netherwood.

William Tyler of West Eigth Street has gone to Europe.

David Krymer of West Second Street has gone to Baltimore.

Dr. Frank Searles and Mrs. Searles have returned to Bayonne, after a visit with Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Lourie of Park Avenue.

Dr. John H. Carman and fmaily of Somerset Street returned this week from the Adirondacks.

Dr. B. Van D. Hedges of Watchung Avenue is home from his outing in Maine.

Miss Caroline Fitz Randolph, daughter of ex-Mayor L. V. F. Randolph of East Front Street, sailed Saturday for Europe.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Getting ready for the White House – left to right, Mrs. John Madsen, Mrs. William Elliott, Mrs. Alexander Kroll, Mrs. A. D. Seybold and Mrs. Robert Hackman decorate wreaths, while Mrs. Edwin Fitzpatric "supervises."

Plainfield Public Library Archive

**Date unknown. Post-1955

STUDY ROSES IN DESIGN – Members of the committee planning the Rose Garden Center of the Plainfield Garden Club admire some examples of china and fabric in rose design. Mrs. Francis P. Day (left) co-chairman, looks on while Mrs. Robert McLeod, poster chairman, holds a china plate and Mrs. Edward H. Ladd, co-chairman and Mrs. William P. Elliott, head of rose collections, unfold some fabric. The center will be open to the public at the Plainfield Public Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Plainfield Public Library Archive

1951 Check Book

No. 906
June 22, 1951
Marjory Elliott
prizes for game

1956 Check Book

No. 1195
March 21, 1956
Marjorie B. Elliott
rental of slide projector for program

1956 Check Book

No. 1213
June 6, 1956
Marjorie B. Elliott
prizes for hat contest

No. 1214
June 6, 1956
Marjorie B. Elliott

1957 Check Book

No. 1260
May 13, 1957
Marjorie B. Elliott
N. Y. Flower Show expenses

1958 Check Book

No. 1324
Nov. 10, 1958
Marjorie Elliott
flower show - cardboard

1958 Check Book

No. 1339
Dec. 16, 1958
M. Elliott
Open House expenses

1947 Check Book

No. 625
Jan. 8, 1947
Interstate Pringtin
500 1 1/2 cent env.

No. 626
Jan. 16, 1947
Garden Club of America
slides for Feb.

No. 627
Jan. 16, 1947
H. V. Searing
Illustrating lecture

In left side margin:
Elliott 9.00

1947 Check Book

No. 628
Jan. 20, 1947
Garden Club of America
Mrs. Frost
Mrs. Elliott
Mrs. Foster

No. 629
Feb. 17, 1947
Emma B. Coriell
for conservation
luncheon guests

No. 630
Feb. 19, 1947
Mrs. Walter Hine
Feb. lecture
Program $25.00

1948 Check Book

No. 724
July 19, 1948
Marion Loizeaux
Annual Meeting Expenses

No. 725
July 19, 1948
Marjorie B. Elliott
repayment for telephone calls
made for Fall Benefit

No. 726
August 12, 1948
Harriette R. Halloway
advance for Iris Garden

1949 Check Book

No. 751
Feb. 9, 1949
The Garden Club of
New Jersey

No. 752
Feb. 9, 1949
Margaret C. Ladd
Conservation Committee

No. 753
Feb. 9, 1949
Marjory B. Elliott
Program Committee

1949 Check Book

No. 787
June 21, 1949
Marjory Elliott
N. Y. Flower Show Exhibitor

No. 788
June 21, 1949
The Garden Club of America
In memory of Mrs. Walter McGee – Redwood Grove

No. 789
July 29, 1949
Dorothy de Hart
annual meeting

1949 Check Book

No. 793
November 4, 1949
Rutherford Platt
Lecture 100
Rental of Projector 7.50

No. 794
November 4, 1949
Dodd Mead etc.
2 books @ 5 10
2 books @6 12
40% com. 13.20
postage 14.32

No. 795
Nov. 4, 1949
Marjory B. Elliott
tip to janitor 2.00
postage .95

1950 Check Book

No. 820
Mar. 10, 1950
Virginia Frost
Exhibitor flower show

No. 821
Mar. 10, 1950
Marion Loizeaux
Exhibitor flower show

No. 822
Mar. 10, 1950
Marjorie Elliott
Exhibitor flower show

1950 Check Book

No. 823
March 10, 1950
Virginia Stillman
Exhibitor flower show

No. 824
March 24, 1950
Alice Chauncey
2 car fare
Lecture March 15

No. 825
Mar. 31, 1950
Garden Club of America
Registration for the
Annual Meeting
to Mrs. Elliott

1950 Check Book

No. 835
May 10, 1950
Interstate Printing Corp
Bill heads and stamped envelopes

No. 836
June 7, 1950
The Penns. Railroad Co.
for Mrs. Elliott's fare to
Annual Meeting in Detroit

No. 837
June 7, 1950
J. R. Bowman
flower for Waldorf

In left margin:

May 19 Plant sale at May 17 meeting
Regular $75.00
Shakespeare 5.65

June 7 G.C.A. for flowers at Flower Show luncheon at Waldorf Astoria $25.00

1950 Check Book

No. 871
Dec. 22, 1950
Plainfield - North Plainfield
Chapter of American Red Cross
Hosp. Services
Xmas gift

No. 872
Jan. 9, 1951
Snyder Bros.
2 bills – Flowers at Lyons 40.00
Corsage - Program 2.50

No. 873
Jan. 9, 1951
Marjory Elliott
for 2 lunches for
visitors at club in

1951 Check Book

No. 871
Dec. 22, 1950
Plainfield - North Plainfield
Chapter of American Red Cross
Hosp. Services
Xmas gift

No. 872
Jan. 9, 1951
Snyder Bros.
2 bills – Flowers at Lyons 40.00
Corsage - Program 2.50

No. 873
Jan. 9, 1951
Marjory Elliott
for 2 lunches for
visitors at club in

1951 Check Book

No. 883
Mar. 15, 1951
Margaret C. Ladd
N. Y. Flower Show

No. 884
Mar. 15, 1951
Marjorie Elliott
N. Y. Flower Show

No. 885
Mar. 15, 1951
Virginia Stillman
N. Y. Flower Show

December 5, 2012 Christmas Party and Workshop

As Club Historian, Jeanne told the membership about a past wonderful member, Marge Elliott. Jeanne related that Marge, although struck by tragedy when her only child, a daughter, died, was an active and very creative artisan. She dabbled in all sorts of media.

Sally also remembered Marge and spoke of her incredible talents. She also remembered her incredible house "full of stuff." We kept Mrs. Elliott in mind as we tackled our craft projects for the evening.

March 9, 1951 Mrs. Elliot's entry

New York Flower Show [slide]
Forms part of:
Garden Club of America Collection,
Phy. Description:
1 slide: glass lantern, col.; 3 x 5 in.
Digital Reference:

General Note:
No Names for Picture. 2nd prize, Mrs. William P. Elliot, Plainfield Garden Club.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Flower shows
Flower arrangement
Niches (Architecture)
Subject - Geographical:
New York (State) – New York City
United States of America New York New York
Repository Loc:
Smithsonian Gardens, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012
Local Number:

Mrs. Elliott

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook


Caption: GARDEN CLUB GIFT – Mrs. Albert L. Stillman, chairman of the Shakespeare committee of the Plainfield Garden Club, places identification card on English hawthorne in Cedar Brook Park. Watching, left to right, are: Mrs. Morris S. Benton, Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd and Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, club members. (Coronet, Photo by E. T. Wiggins)

100 Attend Open House at Shakespeare Garden

About 100 persons attended an informal tour of the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park yesterday afternoon. The outdoors open house marked the 30th anniversary of the garden, one of about a dozen in the United States.

Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod of 11 Brook Lane, president of the Plainfield Garden Club, and members of the club's Shakespeare committee, headed by Mrs. Albert L. Stillman of 73 Leland Ave., described to visitors the 100-odd varieties of plants and shrubs in the garden.

The Garden Club, the Shakespeare Club and the Union County Park Commission established the garden 30 years ago. It now consists of 17 beds and two long borders in a park area of about 150 by 40 feet, located off Randolph Rd.

The ideas was to include all the plants and shrubs – there are 44 of them, Mrs. Stillman said – mentioned by Shakespeare in his plays and sonnets.

Other Plants Included

But the garden was so large, Mrs. Stillman said, that it was agreed upon to include other plant varieties in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

All of the 44 varieties mentioned in the bard's works are labeled by markers, which include the particular Shakespearean quotations referring to them.

The garden was laid out 30 years ago by a landscape architect from Olmsted Brothers of Boston. The Garden Club and the Park Commission split the cost. The garden is cared for by a Park Commission gardener, and supplemental work is done by the Garden Club's Shakespeare committee.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter Jr. of 940 Woodland Ave., the club's first Shakespeare committee chairman was unable to attend the outdoors open house yesterday.

Termed "Second Finest"

Mrs. Carter, author of the book, "Shakespeare Gardens," has termed the Plainfield garden the second finest in the nation. She has said top honors belong to a Shakespeare garden in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Established in 1915, the Cleveland garden was one of the first to be planted in the United States.

Mrs. Stillman said Shakespeare gardens bring together flowers grown in England in one period of garden history from being lost to U.S. gardens. The projects also add beauty to public parks and provide a place where Shakespeare poetry is illustrated with living plants and shrubs.

Mrs. Stillman's Shakespeare committee includes Mrs. Morris F. Benton, Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, Mrs. Victor R. King, Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. George J. His.

Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, horticultural chairman of the club, was also among those who pointed out features of the garden to guests.

The hospitality committee included Mrs. Henry DeForest, Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Ladd, Mrs. His and Mrs. King.

Punch was served by Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Trewin and Mrs. His.

Saturday, April 29, 1961

City Garden Club Planning Tour

The Plainfield Garden Club is holding a tour of members' gardens, for members only, from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday with Wednesday the rain date. Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart is general chairman of the tour and Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick is vice chairman.

Hostesses who will open their gardens for the tour are: Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, 1215 Prospect Ave.; Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith, 676 W. Eighth St.; Mrs. William P. Elliott, 822 Arlington Ave.; Miss Elsie Harmon, 437 Randolph Rd.; and Mrs. James H. Whitehead, 1340 Watchung Ave.

November 1958 NewsLeaf

The Plainfield Garden Club presents Christmas in the gracious home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod, 11 Brook Lane, a residence which is Plainfield's oldest landmark. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 9th and 10th, from 1 to 9 P.M. you will be greeted by the hostess in costumes of the period and escorted through rooms made festive in the holiday manner.

Refreshments prepared from century-old recipes will be served and a corner cupboard will offer delicacies for call, all made by members.

Mrs. William P. Elliott is chairman of the benefit and proceeds will be used for civic planning.

Apply to Mrs. Homer P. Cochran, 961 Oakwood Place, PL 6-2123, for tickets at $2 each

May 21, 1959

May 4, 1961 Garden Tour

by Jill Koehler

Small gardens are oases from heat-reflecting streets and traffic's din. They're as individual as the people who plan and lovingly nurture them.

That was evident yesterday in the Plainfield Garden Club's tour, for members and their guests, of six members' gardens.

Hostesses in their gardens were: Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith, 676 W. Eighth St.; Mrs. Victor R. King, 826 Arlington Ave.; Mrs. William P. Elliott, 822 Arlington Ave., Miss Elsie Harman, 437 Randolph Rd.; Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, 1215 Prospect Ave.; and Mrs. James H. Whitehead, 1340 Watchung Ave.

Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Jr. was general chairman and Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick, vice chairman. Mrs. F. Gregg Burger was in charge of publicity.

Covers 3/4 of Acre

The Smith property, which include the horticultural interests of both Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is a series of gardens covering three-quarters of an acre. These contain plantings of ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, bulbs, perennials and a few annuals.

Winding through a small woodland of wild flowers and shrubs is an Enoch's walk, named from the verse about the patriarch in Genesis.

Standing watch over a patterned medieval herb garden is a statue of Fiacre, after whom the first cabs in Paris were named. While surrounded by a rock garden is a rustic pool a-glitter with its whippet swimming goldfish.

Among the hundreds of interesting plantings is: A Swiss mountain pine more than 25 years old that stands less than a foot high; the hinoki cypress that grows just two or three inches a year; Mediterranean heather that blooms all Winter; enkianthus, the bellflower tree with blooms shaped like small Dutchman's pipes.

15-foot Holly

Now a majestic 15-feet is the English holly, "Olive Smith," a seedling raised by Mr. Smith. Just before reaching the shaded walk is a wide swath of grass centered by a huge apple tree with its arms reaching to the birds and sky.

Surrounding the King garden on three sides is a French chestnut fence that is planted with 11 varieties of clematis.

Heavily shaded in most areas by large maples, white birches and dogwood, the basic planting is evergreen interspersed with such plantings as rhododendron, azalea, cherry laurel, yew, andromeda and recently, as an expedient, three camellia japonica from Oregon.

Early flowering Spring tulips still nod their heads in greeting. White primrose pertly face up at the edges of some beds and gerrymander edges the rose bed in the only sunny spot.

Herb Garden

Planted in the protection of the house is the herb garden which includes sweet woodruff, the herb used by the Germans to make May wine.

Green plantings for shade, enhanced by the use of brick and ironwork, are the features of the Elliott garden.

A lead figure of a young girl called "Growing Things" stands near a pink wall of brick and stucco. The wall is a backdrop for the Fashion roses whose blooms will soon blend with the pink.

Once a glaring white, a mauve colored garage wall now sets a peaceful tone as it catches the shadows of fluttering leaves and is reflected in the pool in front of it.

Ironwork grilles on the pink wall were once horse stall dividers. A grille over the garage window was once a gate an ironwork snow eagles on the edge of the garage roof are from an old Pennsylvania house.

Additions this year include a brick walk to the gate-enclosed compost heap; the steel curbing in the driveway where new plantings have replaced three overgrown cedar trees.

Other Plantings

Among the many plantings are Delaware Valley azaleas, magnolia and flowering cherry trees, skimmer, cotoneaster, jasmine and clematis.

Visitors to Miss Harman's garden first viewed it as they stepped from living room to terrace. To the right of the terrace is the cryptomeria tree, a native of Japan, that could well be an inspiration to an artist. The texture of its bark is of particular beauty and the branching of its arms is unusual.

The large expanse of lawn is gracefully framed by a border of ten varieties of shrubs. Another tree of note is the pine oak, while dogwoods gently branch out over pink and violet tulips.

The path follows a series of "rounds" from an old millstone at the foot of the terrace steps; to a sundial, more than 100 years old, from an English estate; to the Moon Gate with spider web at the end of the garden.

Sandstone Birdbath

Near the terrace is the figure of "Dancing Girl" and an old Jersey sandstone birdbath, probably originally used as a horse trough.

The Lawton garden 60 by 176 feet, contains 48 trees, 94 shrubs, 10 climbing and 22 shrub roses and 102 kinds of herbaceous perennials, not including those in the rock garden.

Stretching its branches gracefully and colorfully is a generous sized crabapple tree that casts comfortable shadows over Summer luncheon spot of the Lawtons.

Fitting in decorously among the many trees is an unusual and Slimly Tall Japanese cherry tree. A silver bell tree over the pool still drinks in refreshing rain for its promised future bloom. While nearby the wild crocus blossomed and sang farewell in March.

Many of the late arriving jonquils still spread their petals wide and the dainty blue flowers of the anchusa dot the ground here and there.

A lush growth of myrtle grown from a few shoots from the garden of Mrs. Lawton's great-grandmother, covers the driveway bank.

Formal Garden

The Whitehead garden of 75 by 200 feet gives one a vista of the more formal English type garden. Designed and maintained by her, until recently, it opens to box hedged rose beds flanking the garden walk.

It is a garden of serenity, a Spring garden with bulbs, anchusa and bleeding hearts followed by white azaleas, lilacs, peonies and pink and white hawthorne trees.

In June the roses will give a delightful contrast to the verdant rich carpet of grass and in the Summer it will become a cool and shady spot.

To the visitor there is the pleasant surprise of a garden within a garden on a right angle at the rear. Focal point of this banked garden, framed with shrubs and flowers, is its pool with a fountain statue.

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

Left to right: Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart Jr., Mrs. Victor R. King, Mrs. F. Gregg Burger and Mrs. Elliott

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

1961 Mrs. Marge Elliott

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford Archives from the GCA trip to Hawaii and Japan

The following documents contain photos of menus, vintage postcards, letters, books on Ikebana and much more from Barbara's trip in April through May 1961 to Hawaii and Japan. Barbara, and her dear friend Hazel Lockwood, were delegates to the Garden Club of America's annual meeting in Hawaii. An optional trip to Japan was added on after the meeting. Barbara had described this trip as one of the most fantastic experiences in her life.

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford photographs from Japan

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford trip to Hawaii and Japan: PART 1

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford trip to Hawaii and Japan: PART 2

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford trip to Hawaii and Japan: PART 3

1961 Barbara Tracy Sandford trip to Hawaii and Japan: PART 4

In her correspondence, there are exchanges between Marge and Barbara.


Thursday, December 17, 1964 The Courier News

Plainfield Garden Club Meets in Lee House, Scotch Plains

The Plainfield Garden Club was entertained yesterday in historic Lee House, home of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott at 11 Black Birch Rd., Scotch Plains.

Two new members were welcomed by Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, president. Co-hostesses were Mrs. Victor King and Mrs. James R. Bird.

Mrs. Bird introduced the program of readings on "The Symbols and Legends of Christmas" given by Mrs. A. D. Seybold and Mrs. King. As the symbols were describe, they were displayed b Mrs. Benson Wigton Jr.

A letter of congratulations from Mayor Robert C. Maddox to the club member Mrs. Alden DeHart has received a state award in the "Green Thumb Competition" of the New Jersey Tercentenary Commission for her work as chairman of the grounds committee of Drake House.

A member of the Plainfield Historical Society, she supervised outdoor plantain at the museum with funds for the planting donated by the Plainfield Garden Club. She also was awarded a special rose bush which will be planted at Drake House in her name in the spring.

Presiding at the tea table were Mrs. Holman, Mrs. William S. Tyler, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux and Mrs. Charles H. Detwiller.

Thursday, December 17, 1964 The Courier News

The Courier-News
Plainfield, N. J., Thursday, December 17, 1964

Garden Club Entertained at Historic Lee House

(Club Member)

The Plainfield Garden Club was entertained yesterday by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott in the historic Lee House, located at 11 Black Birch Rd., Scotch Plains.

The ghosts of the historic homestead must be rattling their skeletons with joy this Christmas season because at last, through the efforts of the owners, the house has achieved the charm and beauty it deserves.

The guests stepped over the threshold to a scene of great charm. In the center hall stood a Christmas tree on which members hung gifts of candy, wrapped as ornaments. Later the gifts were taken to Lyons Veterans Hospital where for many years the club has contributed greens and gifts at Christmas.

The president, Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, conducted the meeting and welcomed two new members. The hostess, a member of the club, was assisted by Mrs. Victor King and Mrs. James R. Bird.

Stormy History
A varied and sometimes stormy history has characterized Lee House since 1725, when the original small structure was built at the corner of Cooper and Terrill Rds., by the Lee family. During the Revolutionary War, the house was on the line of march of both British and Colonial armies, and many a tired soldier warmed his feet at its open fires.

The little house was moved to Raritan Rd. in 1828, to be joined to another farmhouse built in 1750 by Moses Frazee. One hundred thirty-five years later, Mr. and Mrs. Elliott had the house moved to its present location. Barns and other small buildings were moved also, and now are grouped around Lee House in companionable symmetry.

The Elliotts have added a wing to the house and restored the old brick and stone, the ceiling beams and original floor boards to keep it authentic Early American home.

The program was announced by Mrs. Bird. Readings on "The Symbols and Legends of Christmas" were given by Mrs. A. D. Seybold and Mrs. King, with incidental music played on the harp b 12-year old Joyce Heiman. As the symbols were described, they were displayed by Mrs. Benson Wigton Jr.

The first of the symbols, an "Advent Wreath," was made of evergreens with four white candles, which are traditionally lighted one at a time on each of the four Sundays during the Advent Season.

Gold Angel
A gold angel brought from Oberammergau, Germany by Mrs. Seybold, was displayed as the second symbol. The reading explained that angels are used throughout the world in forms varying from rough clay figures to the finest of wood carvings and porcelains.

Among symbolic Christmas greens are holly, ivy and mistletoe. Long ago it was thought that holly was the man's plant, ivy the woman's and the one brought into the house first indicated which sex would rule the house that year.

Bells, used to proclaim the joyful tidings, were shown and that beloved yuletide symbol, the Christmas Tree. According to one story, Martin Luther in 1528 cut down a small evergreen tree and carried it into his house, where he fastened candles to the branches and lighted them to share with his family the wonders of the Christmas sky.

A beautiful creche was shown as the most holy and revered symbol. The program ended with angelic tones of the harm and the beloved Christmas blessing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Afterwards guests adjourned to the dining room to exchange greetings before the centuries old fireplace. The tea table was decorated with brilliant red poinsettia massed in an old brass milk pan. Brass candlesticks and an antique samovar, from which coffee was served, completed the picture of early American hospitality.

Presiding at the tea table at intervals were Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, Mrs. William S. Tyler, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux and Mrs. Charles H. Detwiller Jr.

Tuesday, September 28, 1965 Courier News

The Plainfield Garden Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a formal reception at the Monday Afternoon Club at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd is general chairman.

Invitations have been sent to all members and their husbands, according to Mrs. Homer P. Cochran, invitations chairman.

Other chairmen are: Hospitality, Mrs. David F. Sanders; decorations, Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. David S. Foster; and program, Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood.

The Plainfield Garden CLub was organized in 1915 by 48 charter members under the leadership of the late Mrs. Frank O. herring. its primary concern, today as then, is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among its members and to encourage interest in horticulture, conservation and civic planning and planting.

The Shakespeare Garden, Iris Garden and Cornus collection in Cedar Brook Park are several of the many civic projects initiated by the club.

October 1, 1965

Personally Speaking

The Plainfield Garden Club will hold a reception for its members tomorrow evening at the Monday Afternoon Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding. Among those who will entertain at small dinner parties at their home are Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott, "Lee House," Scotch Plains; Mr. and Mrs. Gerald S. Furman of 1096 Oakland Ave., Mr. and Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr. of 1029 Rahway Rd., and Mr. and Mrs. John S. Roome of 1071 Cooper Rd.

Marge Elliott, Jane Craig, Betty Hackman, Dottie Sheble

1990 Application for the GCA Zone IV Historic Preservation Award: Marge Eillott

1990 Application for the GCA Zone IV Historic Preservation Award: Marge Elliott

September 3, 1977 Elizabeth Daily Journal

Garden Club Spruces Up Cannonball House Museum

This Spring Cannonball House Museum has a new look – thanks to the Plainfield Garden Club. For their Bi-Centennial project, Garden Club members voted to help restore the landscaping around the historic Scotch Plains house as it might have looked during Colonial times.

Since 18 of the Plainfield Garden Club members are Scotch Plains residents and many are also members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Historic Society, the club enthusiastically committed itself to earning money for the landscaping project.

Mrs. Virginia Frost, a Scotch Plains landscape gardener and Plainfield Garden Club member, drew up a master plan for the grounds around Cannonball House, and work began early this Spring. First the old hedge had to be removed from in front of the house. Next the overgrown bushes and ancient cedar trees in the backyard had to go. A new brick walk was laid leading to the front porch and a Colonial-type board fence was installed. Many new shrubs and trees were planted including four boxwoods, two holly and a dogwood. The landscaping "master plan" still has many areas to be completed such as a Colonial herb garden and backyard trees and hedges. Officers of the Cannonball House museum have established a special "landscaping" account for money donated specifically for this purpose. Mrs. William Elliott, president of the Historic Society, hopes that clubs and other organizations within the community will be interested in supporting the landscaping project.

On Sunday afternoon, May 2, Cannonball House Museum will recognize the new plantings with a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Honored guests will include Mrs. Alden Loosli, president of the Plainfield Garden Club and the many club members who helped make the landscaping dream become a reality. Spring flowers arranged in antique containers will add a festive air to the many interesting exhibits inside the old home. Cannonball House museum is located on Front Street in Scotch Plains across the street from the Stage House Inn. The public is cordially invited to tour the grounds and the house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoons.

Thursday, July 26, 1979 Scotch Plains-Fanwood The Times

New Colonial gardens are unveiled at Village Green

A garden patch straight out of Colonial Williamsburg, debuted in Scotch Plains this week, as the local Historical Society sponsored an old-fashioned outdoor tea party to show off the recently completed garden. Ladies in the lovely pastels and flowered print dresses of summer strolled the brick and chip paths to admire the latest addition to the Village Green Park adjacent to the municipal building.

The gardens about the Cannonball Museum. Behind low white fences next to the museum is a geometric garden. Brick paths create a six-sided walkway around a center plot of geraniums, boxwood and yew. Broad corner borders are planted with impatiens and tiny boxwood. Another section of the ?? garden includes orderly rows of herbs – wormwood, southernwood, winter savory, parsley, lambs ears, etc.

Behind the fenced garden is a second garden, with divided planting sections featuring beautiful examples of Colonial horticulture. The rear garden, which features sections of lavender, hyssop, mini basil, silver lace artemesia and thyme, with each patch edged in brick. In the center is a primitive rock with a concave center, which creates a tiny pool. The tock has local historical significance of a sort. As explained by Mrs. William Elliott of the historical group, the rock once was located on the property of Marion Clark's Scotch Plains home. It was partially buried below grounds, so the concavity served as a bowl for chicken feed for Mrs. Clark's grandmother's chickens. The second garden has been given to the residents of Scotch Plains by the Loizeaux family in honor of Marion Foster Loizeaux.

Behind the Cannonball House, an arbor awaits the planting of grapes, banks of myrtle have been planted and the old time "privy" has been enhanced with simple landscaping which includes a second large rock – a fossilized rock, which had been on the grounds of the tiny museum.

The landscaping of Cannonball began as a Bicentennial project in 1976, when the Garden Club of Plainfield contributed $3,000. The initial contribution went toward gardening in front of the museum - holly trees, dogwood, and fencing. The latest formal gardens were funded as part of the local township Village Green project. Virginia Frost, a prominent Colonial landscape gardener from Plainfield designed the gardens.

Mayor Alan Augustine in a subdued khaki suite, and Township Engineer Edward Bogan, were the two sober notes among the pastels. Augustine was highly enthusiastic about the new park and expressed his dedication to maintaining the entire new complex in "green" condition. An effort will be made to establish continuity among the maintenance staff, so that the same workmen are always assigned to Village Green, Augustine said, and the township will set the same high standards of greenskeeping that now receive top priority at the municipal golf course.

Viewing the rows of Colonial herbs, Augustine quipped: "I will call this 'herbal renewal'"

April 7, 1984 "Belles and Beaux" Scotch Plains Tercentennial Fashion Show & Luncheon

March 13, 1974 Suburban News

SCOTCH PLAINS – An exhibit of decoupage work will be featured at the old Cannonball House on Sunday afternoon March 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. The historic museum house is located on Front Street here directly across from the Stage House Inn.

Mrs. William Elliott of this town will have samples of decoupage work in various stages of completion and explain the steps required to make a finished piece. Mrs. Elliott will exhibit many of the articles she has decorated with decoupage including stamp boxes, basket bags, trays, key rings, mirrors, hand bags and card boxes.

The Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood cordially invites anyone interested in the history of our local communities to visit the Cannonball House.

March 25, 1977 'Theorem At Cannonball'

The art of "theorem" painting will be demonstrated at the old Cannonball House Museum on Sunday, March 27 from 2 to 4 pm. Mrs. William Elliott, president of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Historical Society, will demonstrate this early American art form of decoration.

Although examples of theorem painting date back to the Colonial times, it reached its peak of popularity in the Victorian period. Theorem painting was used to decorate and make more attractive, many common household articles. Mrs. Elliott will have tin ware, chairs and pictures on display that she has decorated with the theorem technique.

Thursday, April 17, 1975 Scotch Plains-Fanwood, N. J.

Caption: Mrs. Leonard Sachar presents "Bouquet of Thanks" to Mrs. William P. Elliott as all members of the Bicentennial Committee and all guests join in the applause for a job well and beautifully done.

It was All Bustles, Bonnets and Bows at Shackamaxon

Scotch Plains stepped back into its past Saturday, as dozens of models demonstrated the appropriate manner of dress through bygone years. The event was a luncheon-fashion show, entitled "From Bustles, Bonnets, Bloomers to Bikinis." It was the first major undertaking of the Scotch Plains American Revolution Bicentennial Committee, and if the full house is any clue of what's to come, Scotch Plains Bicentennial activities will be overwhelmingly supported.

The show features over 60 outfits, running the gamut from the 1700's to the present. The costumes came from local attics from Drake House Museum in Plainfield, from old time residents such as Mrs. Clarence Slocum, Mrs. Walter Van Hoesen, Mrs. A. E. Duell and Mr. and Mrs. William Elliott; and from such modern manufacturers as Jantzen Swim Wear.

Mrs. William P. Elliott was chairman of the event.

As they were modeled by members of the Historical Society, Women's Club (afternoon, evening and junior divisions), College and Suburban clubs, they were described by narrator Mrs. Elizabeth Brown of Princeton, lecturer and a member of the Costume Society of America. She stressed the manner in which fashion repeats itself through the ages, pointing out the rotating lengthening and shortening of skirts.

There were "oohs and aahs" for many of the creations, from delicately embroidered 18th century gowns to modern day bikini, topped by a patriotically red-white-blue striped robe. Katherine Detwiller, wife of Charles Detwiller, president of the local Historical Society, wore an 1875 gown which had belonged to her grandmother-in-law. It was a summer organdy with overskirt in front and rear. Also from the 1860's or 70's was a yachting dress of green satin ribbon and white organdy, worn by Mrs. F. Gregg Burger. Fancy hooped and crinolined dresses weren't the only fashions which attracted attention, however. From 1905 there was an Annapolis uniform, and from 1913 era, a Wellsley gym suit. Arlene Emery modeled a 1940's Hollywood Original dress with shoulder pads, while Lynn Rupp appeared in a black satin strapless short gown she wore at Penn State in the 1950's. The show ran the gamut from informality, evidenced by an 1890's bathing suit and shoes to a very formal black velvet and silver ball gown worn to Calvin Coolidge's inauguration in 1915.

March 20, 1980

Slide-lecture to feature one of oldest local homes

Mrs. Wm. Elliott, curator of the Osborn Cannonball House Museum in Scotch Plains, will present a slide-lecture entitled "House on Wheels", at the regular March meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains-Fanwood. The meeting will be held Tuesday evening, Mar. 25, at 8 P.M. in the Curran meeting room of the Scotch Plains Library.

Mrs. Elliott will tell the story of the historic Frazee-Lee home that once stood on the present site of Union County Technical Institute. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott saved the pre-Revolutionary War home from destruction and moved it to a new location . . . Black Birch Road . . .Sam Frazee, to a place of safety in Ash Swamp to escape a party of Red Coats which plundered many farms in the area.

Sam and Susan Lee had three children: Frazee Lee, Thomas and Ann. In 1857 when Sam died, his son Thomas and wife came to live in the family homestead. They also had three children: Sam, Emma and Georgetta. Georgetta became a school teacher of the old Two Bridges School house located in Raritan Road.

This is truly one of the oldest homes remaining in Scotch Plains. Historically it is important because it was lived in by one of the earliest families to settle in the area. The public is cordially invited to this interesting slide-lecture. The public Library is located on Bartle Avenue in Scotch Plains.

December 19 1982

Cannonball Museum Hosts Tea Party

"Abigail of Cannonball House cordially invites you to a Christmas tea party on SUnday, Dec. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Victorian Room". This is the invitation extended by Abigail, the antique doll who resides at Cannonball House Museum, to her "doll friends" owned by Mrs. Webster Sandford of Plainfield.

Abigail was acquired several years ago by Mrs. Wm. Elliott, president of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Historic Society. The blonde, curly-headed doll had been packed away in a trunk for many years before she was displayed in the window of Addy's Antique Shop. There Mrs. Elliott spotted her and brought her "home" to the old museum house where she greets visitors every Sunday afternoon.

Abigail will be wearing her very prettiest party dress when she serves tea and cookies from an old Staffordshire tea set. Her guests will include: a 70 year old blond china head doll wearing a pink silk organdy dress, black kid slippers tied with bows, a blue hat covered with lace and carrying a matching silk parasol. Another guest will be a 100 year old doll with fixed blue eyes. She will be wearing a period wedding dress and her entire trousseau will be displayed including all her lacey undergarments, bustles, and going-away suit. The Campbell Soup twins will also be there as will an old china doll with brown eyes and red hair. Mrs. Sandford inherited many of these dolls from family members and through the years she has added to her collection. She hopes that some of her dolls will be busy with Christmas preparations – making cookies, decorating the tree, etc.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1974-1975 Directory

Tuesday, March 8, 1966 The Courier-News

Caption: This backyard garden display designed by Mrs. William Elliott won first prize for the Garden Club of Plainfield at the 49th International Flower Show currently being exhibited at New York's Coliseum. Planted with apple blossom geraniums, English ivy and French strawberries, the garden features an espaliered apple tree and a low sundial concealing a garbage pail. The backyard garden competition was sponsored by the Garden Club of America

November 3, 2013

The Garden History & Design subjects in Plainfield seem almost without limit. Thursday's foray into the Library archives has turned up a documented 1961 Garden tour of 6 outstanding Plainfield gardens:

1. 1215 Prospect Avenue
– featured a rock garden and the PGC member was a member of the American Rock Garden Society. " . . . the garden 60 by 176 feet, contains 48 trees, 94 shrubs, 10 climbing and 22 shrub roses and 102 kinds of herbaceous perennials, not including those in the rock garden."

2. 676 West Eighth Street
– featured an Enoch's Walk (!); a statue of Fiacre (Irish monk and patron saint of Parisian cabs (!!); and a "patterned" Medieval herb garden. This PGC member was a national award-winner and noted member of the American Herb Society.

3. 822 Arlington
– featured brick and ironwork; lead figure of a young girl called "Growing Things" with roses growing around; a pink wall with iron grilles once used as horse stall dividers from the carriage house.

4. 826 Arlington
– featured a "French Chestnut Fence" planted with 11 varieties of Clematis.

5. 437 Randolph Road
– featured a Cryptomeria off the terrace, a millstone and a 100 year-old sundial from England.

6. 1340 Watchung Avenue
– featured a formal English garden with Boxwood hedges and Roses

Jenny Rose Carey advised us all in October of the importance of going back to these gardens and photographing possible remnants. What, if anything, do you think remains from '61?

PS. What did that "French Chestnut Fence" look like . . . probably something along these lines, click here.

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia From the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford

This is a sampling of materials saved by Barbara Sandford in her "Plainfield Historical Society" file.

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia

Index (73 pages)

Giggleswick by Marjorie Blackman Elliott, 1989

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Photos from the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford ca 1980's

Photos from the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford ca 1980's

These photos are of a floral design workshop held in Barbara's home, 1275 Denmark Road, conducted by PGC member Marge Elliott. One photograph shows Jeanette Morse, Anne Marie Seybold and Peg Brook.

Jeanne Turner writes the following:

3 ladies I knew fairly well... Lady on left is J Morse ( Jeannette)
I believe, who was a great friend of Barbara. If the deer were kind I still have a plant She gave me. Lady in middle is Anne Marie Seybold who use to tell us fascinating Stories of growing up in Germany in a time when her family were part of the Royal Connection..we saw each other every Thursday as we restored costumes in the tower Room at The Drake House. Lady on right was Peg Brook who at one time was Treasure at the Historical Society Of Plainfield and had a home near Barbara in Wolfeboro, NH.

Marge Elliott giving a floral design workshop at Barbara Sandfords's home circa 1980's

December 13, 2013 Email from the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens

1) I believe that William & Marjorie Elliot in Scotch Plains (‘Lee House') is actually AAG Garden #NJ211, not NJ343 as cited on the Plainfield GC webpage. AAG records indicate the following:
NJ343 = William Elliot, Plainfield; city garden; client identified as an artist; slides date 1961-1962
NJ211 = M/M William P. Elliot, 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains [same address as ‘Lee House‘ cited on Plainfield GC page]; slides date 1963-1979

Joyce Connolly
Museum Specialist
Office: 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 3300, Washington, DC 20024
Mailing: P.O. Box 37012, Capital Gallery 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012
202.633.5852 phone | 202.633.5697 fax | email

EDITOR'S NOTE: The number for the Smithsonian File has been corrected. See here: Plainfield Gardens in the Smithsonian

Club History by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold

1984-1985 History of the Plainfield Garden Club by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold


We have had in-Club shows and participated in local garden club shows in neighboring communities. For the Christmas season in 1965 the Club was asked by one of Plainfield's leading banks to decorate their windows. Mrs. William Elliott and her Committee did a superb job with large pinecone wreaths framing copies of famous "madonna" paintings.

Then in March, 1966 came a very special event. Designed by Mrs. William Elliott with the assistance of Mmes. Wayne Holman, Victor King, Alex Kroll, Edgar Davis, Richard Sheble, Bruce Reid and Benson Wigton, the "Back Yard Garden" captured the first prize for the Club at the International Flower Show at the Coliseum in New York City.

In 1976-1977 Mrs. Alden de Hart conducted a flower arranging workshop and Mrs. Willoughby Frost captured a first at the Zone IV judging workshop. Mrs. William Elliott's decoupage tray won third prize at the Bryant Park Annual Show.


Mrs. Alden de Hart and Mrs. William Elliott presented "Nostalgia," a slideshow with comments on past achievements of the Plainfield Garden Club.

1949-1950 Program

This small brochure was found in the bottom of a box belonging to Barbara Tracy Sandford '50. 12/22/13

1949-1950 Program

January 28, 2014 Marge Elliott's Historic Preservation Award

During the house sale last week at Barbara Tracy Sandford's, Carter Booth spied in an upstairs bedroom the framed award given to Barbara's good friend, Marge Elliott, in 1990.

1990 Historic Preservation Award

The Garden Club of America
Historic Preservation Award
In Zone IV for 1990
Marjorie Blackman Elliott
of the
Plainfield Garden Club

In recognition of her vision taking ? leadership
in the field of historic preservation. She has
enriched the lives of everyone around her

Frazee Lee House Scotch Plains

Lee House, 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Lee House, 11 Black Birch Road, Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership