Plainfield Garden Club

Member: de Hart, Mrs. Alden (Dorothy Voorhis) '38

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Alden de Hart 4/19/38 Pd. 2/9/39 Pd.

1940 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Alden de Hart 2/14/40 Pd 1/10/41 Pd.

1941 - 1942 Treasurer Book Active: Mrs. Alden DeHart 1/12/42 Pd. 2/10/43 Pd.

1942 Address: Rahway Road

1943 - 1945 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Alden De Hart and there is no notations for any of the years for payment.

Treasurer Book, Active: DeHart, Mrs. Alden 12/31/45 5/27/46 July 17, 1947 June 18, 1948 June 23, 1949 May 29, 1950, May 1951 June 1952

1958 Address: 817 Second Place, Plainfield

1970 Address: 817 Second Place, Plainfield
NOTE: Listed as "Sustaining Member"

1973 Address: 817 Second Place, Plainfield
Listed as "Sustaining Member" and name typed "deHart"

1975 - 1978 Address: 817 Second Place, Plainfield

1984 - 1988: Sustaining
1989 - 1990: Deceased

1989 Corresponding Secretary file lists Mrs. Alden de Hart as having passed away.

President 1949 - 1951

Mrs. de Hart's sister was fellow PGC member Mrs. Virginia Voorhis Frost.

Maiden name: Voorhis

Mrs. Alden de Hart '38

photo circa 1950

Back of photo

May 8, 1951 Plainfield NJ Courier article

Social News

GARDEN CLUB PICNICS IN PARK Members of the Plainfield Garden Club had a picnic lunch yesterday in the arboretum in Cedar Brook Park. Picnic marked the fifth anniversary of the arboretum and the 20th of the first dogwood plantings in the park. (L to R) Ralph Carver, Union County Park Commission horticulturalist; Mrs. Charles A. Eaton Jr.; Mrs. E. H. Ladd 3rd, president of club; Mrs. R. T. Stevens, new chairman of cornus committee; Miss Harriette R. Halloway, retiring chairman; Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck, Mrs. Alden de Hart and W. R. Tracy of Union County Park commission

Handwritten date: May 7, 1951
Date on back of clipping: May 8, 1951

NOTE: This clipping was discovered April 2010 in a member's home who had been storing a leather case filled with old medals won by different Plainfield Garden Club members over the years. In this case included a Garden Club of America medal awarded to Harriette Halloway.

1936 Junior League Delgation, Plainfield

Anne Shepherd '77 presented this photo at the November 17, 2010 meeting held at Plainfield Country Club of the 1936 Junior League Delegation. Many of the women in the photograph were also Plainfield Garden Club members.

Anne's own mother, Mrs. Morrell, was a member of the Plainfield Garden Club.

Going from Left to Right:
Barbara Craig
Ruth Vermelier McKenny
Jean Anderson
Althea Steven
Dorothy DeHart
Jean Stuart
Nanette Hoy Nickerson
Peggy Burger
Nancy Kroll
Barbara Curbesier Stevenson

When shown to Barbara Sandford '54, who was in attendance, she recognized all the faces.

Anne added that the reason her mother had this photo was because she was "in charge of all the Junior League Provisionals" Anne is certain this photo was taken at 900 Charlotte, Plainfield, NJ

back of photo

1915 - 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

page 17

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 22

January 3, 20011 memory of Mrs. de Hart by PGC member Jeanne Turner

Jeanne remembered Mrs. de Hart as being a lovely person and very interested in lace, as was Jeanne. She would invite Jeanne to her house to either give or sell her pieces of lace. After the transaction, they would have tea in the front window.

Jeanne remembers Plainfield Garden Club member Betty Hackman discussing Mrs. de Hart. Betty would often be partnered with Mrs. de Hart to do a flower arrangement. For a month, there would be a daily phone call from Mrs. de Hart discussing the arrangement from the most minute detail. Betty recalls that then a driver that worked for the de Harts, Sam, would come collect the arrangement at 5 AM and drive it to the flower show whether it be in New York of Philadelphia.

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

Jeanne Turner's memory of Dorothy deHart

Dorothy DeHart did a lot of arrangements for Crescent Avenue. Her husband was a well known architect. Dorothy was a perfectionist. Every year Jane Burner would help Dorothy arrange the poinsettas at church. Jane would stand in the front and Doroty would stand all the way in the back. She would make Jane move the pots of poinsettas an inch in any direction until she decided they were perfect.

Everyone remembers Mrs. Frost as her sister. Mrs. Frost was considered younger and more glamorous than her older sister, Mrs. deHart.

Anne Shepherd's memory of Alden DeHart

He was an architect that worked on many homes. When my parents [Morrell] moved to their Rahway Avenue house, the former owners wanted the mantelpiece so they took it with them. My parents had Alden DeHart design a new one and he did something very clever with my father's initials carved into the mantel. I wonder if it is still there.

When the Ladds moved to Nepawin Lane, he designed their house there. On the front of the house he scrolled the initials "EHL" and if you drive by, you can see it. Again, I think it is still there.

1941 - 1947 Club History by Etheldreda Anderegg

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.

May 19, 1980 Board Meeting Minutes

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

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,


1941 - 1942 Club History by Etheldreda Anderegg, version 2

[Editor's note: The original document was too faded to scan. This is a different version of a history written by Mrs. Etheldreda Anderegg from 1941 1947]

Plainfield Garden Club History
Continued to 1947

On May 14th, 1941 six years ago to-day in Cedarbrook Park the Anniversary Dogwood Trees were formally presented to the Park Commission. In making the presentation, Mrs. Arthur Nelson, president, said the garden club wished to make a gift of lasting beauty to mark its anniversary. Mr. Tracey responding for the Park Commissioners commended the club for its civic interest and declared the trees would bring a touch of beauty to thousands of lives. The gift was identified by a large boulder bearing a bronze marker. Mrs. Holliday as chairman of the Dogwood Tree Committee and of the Boulder Committee arranged the anniversary celebration.

That year, 1941, an article appeared in Horticulture in praise of our Shakespeare Garden.

A teacher of the Jefferson School staff was sent to the Audubon Nature Camp in Maine.

Handsome new yearbooks containing a revised constitution, membership lists and permanent covers with loose leaves were issued. About this time some of our members looking back upon some of our achievements of the past, and forward for new horizons to explore, agreed that once more we should storm the ramparts of the Garden Club of America. No organization in garden club circles offers to its members such a wide field of opportunities and assured prestige. This reporter has sat in many important national and state conferences were the effect of this prestige could be observed. When important decisions were due there was an intangible inference in the atmosphere which stemmed to imply "All those not members of the Garden State of America may now retire to the Jim Crow car."

Better to have failed in the high aim than to succeed vulgarly in the low one" said Browning.

So a committee to explore the possibilities of our being accepted for membership was named by Mrs. Nelson. With Mrs. Corriel as chairman, the committee consisted of Miss Elsie Harmon, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Miss Elizabeth Browne, Miss William Tyler, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. James Devlin and your historian. Our search for new worlds to conquer began with a meeting at the home of Mrs. William Tyler, on February 21, 1941, when your historian read a letter she had been asked to write to Mrs. Frederic Kellogg, of Morristown Garden Club, prominent garden club personality. The letter would be interesting at this point, but unfortunately it has been lost. Suffice to say, our prise of ourselves was so completely uninhibited that the committee itself was profoundly impressed by the record of performance of the Plainfield Garden Club set forth therein. Shakespeare said "Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful." After all they could not know our worth unless we told them. This time we forestalled a verdict that we had "accomplished nothing."

It might be interjected here that during Mrs. Goddard's regime an effort was made to join the Garden Club of America. Mrs. Kellogg, approached on that occasion, graciously entertained Mrs. Goddard and Mrs. Holliday at luncheon, and they left with the impression that Plainfield, having rejected an invitation to become a charter member of that organization during Mrs. Herring's tenure, it would be futile ever to hope for membership.

An active campaign was launched by all who had relatives or friends in member clubs. This was accelerated when it was learned that a neighboring club had an identical ambition, and had found a sponsor. Because of geographical allocation, we realized that only one of us would be admitted. When it became apparent that we had aroused interest, and had a semblance of chance for acceptance, a special meeting was called at the home of Mrs. Corriel, and the advantages of membership in the Garden Club of America, as well as the financial obligations thoroughly explored. The club was asked to decide whether they wished the committee to proceed with the negotiations. The vote was unanimously affirmative.

Subsequently Mrs. Kellogg requested that the Morristown Club have the pleasure of proposing us, and Mrs. Lauderdale of Short Hills offered to have that club second us. While we waited for the verdict, our campaign never waned.

On May 11th, 1941, tenth anniversary of Iris Garden, the executive board gave a tea to honor Miss Halloway. Mrs. Holliday arranged a delightful affair in the field house. Members of the garden club and thirty guests were invited. Miss Halloway's friends came from far and near while the Iris Garden glowed in a rainbow of colors for the occasion.

The war which was sweeping over France while Mrs. VanBoskerck's history concluded had now reached our shores. "Come to open purple testament of bleeding war." (King Richard) Our members were working for the U.S.O., the Red Cross and Camp Kilmer, apart and in conjunction with the garden club. Plans were sent to the camp to enhance its barren scenes, and seeds to Brittain. Victory gardens were planted, two new chairmanships were added to the executive board War Activities and Victory Gardens.

In May 1943, we provided vases and began to send flowers regularly to the chapels at Camp Kilmer. This is still being done. Garden books from the Garden Center were placed in the Public Library. Because of gasoline and food rationing it was becoming difficult to hold meetings. Speakers were reluctant to use scarce gasoline and tires for small groups. The war organizations were asking for more things, more effort and more money. The garden club was striving to provide all three.

In June 1943 a delegation from the Garden Club of America came to inspect our members' gardens. Those gardens chosen to head the list were duly explored and approved, but unfortunately the sand of time ran out before they could see them all, and they will never realize all they missed. However, they did see the dogwood planting, the Shakespeare and Iris gardens.

At the annual meeting Mrs. Samuel Carter gave a particularly interesting history of the Shakespeare garden, which was later read by request at the Shakespeare Club. Mrs. Carter said in part: "It has been said that we of the Western World love flowers for what they are, and that the peoples in the East love them for what they suggest. A Shakespeare Garden is full of suggestions, a speaking garden revealing the tradition, folklore and romance of the ancient and timeless plants." Mr. Tracey quoted an authority on the subject as saying that Mrs. Carter's was the finest Shakespeare Garden in the country and that over 15,000 people visited it last year.

Mrs. Coriell announced at the executive board meeting February 2nd, 1944, that Plainfield Garden Club had been elected to membership in the Garden Club of America, and letters of welcome received from sponsoring clubs. It had required three years to reach the new horizons, but a poet once said, "A horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight" so each one attained shows another beckoning in the distance.

Because of rationing, meetings were held in semi-public places of central location. Speakers stressed every phase of conservation. Garden club members were working hard at Camp Kilmer, for the Red Cross and the U.S.O.

In 1945 we became a Founder of the Blue Star Drive, our members contributing generously to this beautiful tribute to the men who served in the armed forces. It is hoped, and the hope is rapidly being fulfilled, that ultimately it will stretch from New Jersey to California.

A new custom was instituted, that of sending a sum of money to the Red Wood Tribute Grove in memory of deceased members. This year, 1945, a dance recital was given to help defray expenses of war activities. Naturally it was under the chairmanship of Miss Maud vonBoskerck, whose motto might well be "Music is my talent my dearest one." It was very successful artistically and financially.

We helped the New York Botanical Garden celebrate its Fiftieth Anniversary by sending hostesses every day for a week, and by a substantial sum of money for plant research.

In 1945 Lyons Hospital was included on our flower and plant list, and we have continued to supply it weekly for two months of each year. Flowering trees were planted along Blue Star Drive in memory of members' sons lost in the war.

Mrs. Samuel Carter and Miss Harriette Halloway received awards from the Garden Club of New Jersey for their work in Shakespeare and Iris gardens respectively.

Besides bouquets were made twice a week for the wards at Camp Kilmer, beginning in May. Our members volunteered to arrange them.

By this time we were discovering that those "new worlds to conquer" for which we had longed, were providing more opportunities than we could well cope with, and so a junior membership was formed, now numbering six.

The associate membership was enlarged to thirty-five so that active members might be enabled to transfer to it. A questionnaire was sent of work they wished to do. In a Garden Club of America contest for a year's program, Miss Halloway's won honorable mention.

Beginning early in December members of the club met every day in Mrs. Boardman Tyler's studio to make Christmas decorations for the hospital at Camp Kilmer. A big fire blazed in the stove, tons of varied evergreens were provided as well as all other necessary equipment. The studio hummed like Santa Claus' workshop, and great quantities of wreaths with large red bows, small bouquets and other favors emerged to cheer the soldiers at Camp Kilmer and Lyons Hospitals. Joyce Kilmer, for whom the camp was named, wrote of his experience in the other World War: "My shoulders ache beneath my pack, Lie easier cross upon his back" We hoped we eased their burden just a little.

The opportunities offered by the Garden Club of America in the field of conservation are so many and so varied, it was necessary to choose which tangent to pursue. In view of the community and national problems of vandalism and child delinquency, it was thought wise to concentrate the major effort in combating these evils. Working through the public schools seemed the most logical procedure. Mr. Wimer of Jefferson School and Mrs. Rulison of the Park Commission have offered sympathetic cooperation. The first step in the program is the establishment of school gardens, now in process of being planted. The garden club provided the funds. A trial garden, or proving bed was started in Cedarbrook Park in 1946. This year many new perennials were added.

Mrs. Hubble's artistic ability was employed so successfully in redecorating the Garden Center, this observer could scarcely recognize it.

The Garden Club of New Jersey bestowed an award upon us for meritorious work at Camp Kilmer. Miss Halloway has made additions to the peony, Iris and Narcissus gardens. It again became necessary to raise money, and a repeat performance by request, of the dance recital was staged by Miss Van Boskerck.

A suggestion from the Garden Club of New Jersey that we plant a tree to honor garden weekled, after consultation with Mr. Tracey, to the beginning of a dogwood arboretum comprising all the varieties that will grow in this vicinity. Twenty-five varieties have already been planted.

Santa Claus helpers gathered again in Mrs. Tyler's studio to make decorations for Camp Kilmer, and surpassed their effort of the previous year. Our work in this Project was not equaled by that of any club either year.

A thrill of pride must have quivered through our membership from founders to newest recruits, triumphs of our members who exhibited in the New York Flower Show. In the realm of flower arrangement there is no more coveted award than the Fenwick Medal. Our Mrs. deHart was runner up fro that prize last year. This year four exhibits won three blue ribbons and two special awards. It was a magnificent performance which won for us third place in the sweepstakes.

Chapel flowers still are sent to Camp Kilmer. Our members arrange them. We take our turn with the other clubs supplying flowers for the entire hospital regularly from gardens when possible, from florists in cold weather. Two gray Ladies representing Plainfield Garden Club, arrange and distribute the flowers through the wards. The by-laws were again revised and new books issued for the permanent covers.

The executive committee has not overlooked the fact that a War Memorial is of paramount interest to the garden club. Much time as been spent in discussion and deep thought given the matter. Mrs. Boardman Tyler has been named a member of the committee. This year we are sending a teacher to the Audubon Nature Camp in Maine, and another to the Conservation Workshop in Trenton.

Several members have been invited to speak on varied subjects, notably Mrs. Garret Smith on Church Gardens, and Miss Halloway on horticultural subjects. Mrs. Garret has been honored as founder of the Little Garden Club of New York City, of which she is honorary president.

A big of biographical information picked up while perusing the minutes is that our new president, Mrs. Loziuex, became a member of the club in 1940, second vice president in 1942, again in 1945, first vice president in 1946 and president in 1947.

Having been a member of the club only ten years, your historian cannot speak with absolute authority, but thinks it probably that the club reached greater heights of achievement under this administration of Mrs. Tyler than during any comparable period of time. This is partly true because of the new opportunities offered by affiliation with the Garden Club of America, and partly due to Mrs. Tyler's dynamic energy and her determination that the Plainfield Garden Club take advantage of these opportunities and assume its rightful position in the vanguard of progressive garden clubs.

Junius described Mrs. Tyler perfectly when he wrote: "the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct and the hand to execute."

We notice as we go over the chronicles of the garden club, the absence of names once listed so frequently:

Those whom we loved so long, and see no more
Loved and still love,
Not dead, but gone before.

If we ever adopt a coat of arms, it might well show crossed trowels over a field of flower arrangements, the other expounding the futility of vandalism to a young cub. And the motto? It must be from Shakespeare, and it is from The Tempest: Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.

Or if we choose to abandon the classics: Never a dull moment!

Etheldreda Anderegg
Historian, 1947

Hillside Cemetery

September 14, 2011
Photo by S. Fraser

Hillside Cemetery

Anne Shepherd shared a memory that years later after Mrs. de Hart passed, she ran into the woman who took care of her in her dotage. Complimenting her, Anne said she really admired how nice the woman had been to Mrs. de Hart. Without a pause, the woman answered, "Mrs. de Hart was an easy person to be nice to." That always struck Anne to the point she recalled it at the graveside.

Courier News articles

DeHart Carrie (Brokaw) husband Sidney I. 5/18/1956 News
DeHart Carrie (Brokaw) husband Sidney I. 5/17/1961 News
DeHart Fred 8/24/1972 News death
DeHart Sidney I. wife Carrie (Brokaw) 5/18/1956 News
DeHart Sidney I. wife Carrie (Brokaw) 5/17/1961 News
DeHart Sidney I. wife Carrie (Brokaw) 7/11/1963 Obituary

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.

February 8, 2012 from Elisabeth Loizeaux

Do we remember Virginia Frost? We do, as well as her sister Mrs. deHart (both lived on Rahway Road). I used to occasionally help my mother-in-law arrange the flowers at Crescent Avenue Church, and when those two ladies were there, it was like having a master class in flower arranging – you didn't want to make a wrong move and you better paid attention. –– Mrs. deHart had one of her arrangements featured in a book, it was in an antique candle mold, just exquisite in its restrained perfection.

May I suggest that "info" sign her messages?


March 1, 1979 Costumes & Old Lace at Cannonball House

An exhibit of old-lace and period costumes will be featured at Cannonball House Museum, 1840 Front Street, Scotch Plains, on
Sunday,. March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Mrs. Alden deHart of
Plainfield, who has been collecting antique lace for many
years will be on hand t tell about her interesting lace pieces. Antique dresses, petticoats and children's clothing will be displayed in
both the Colonial and the Victorian rooms of the historic old house.
Mrs. deHart says that it is quite difficult to identify accurately
old lace patterns as there are so many types and designs made in so many countries. The most common typo of lace has a net
background with floral designs superimposed upon it.
Lace as we know it today, developed in Italy in the 1400's. It grew out of the cut work, or open pattern in embroidery. Most lace is now
made by machine. However, in some countries such ns Belgium, lovely hand made bobbin lace is still made. Throughout the ages there
was rarely a time when milady's gown was not trimmed svith a bit of lace at the nect or wrists, and in Victorian times, wide panels of lace were often inserted into the skirts. Beads, pearls and colorful ribbons also were added to further embellish the lace.

The public is cordially invited to visit Cannonball House Museum and enjoy the many antique collections. The museum is maintained by
the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

April 20, 1961 Westfield Leader

Historic House to Have New Garden

Plans for landscaping the grounds of the historic Drake House, Plainfield, were presented at a meeting of the Drake House Council last week. Mrs. Alden deHart who represented the Plainfield Garden Club announced that the club would supervise the landscaping and would also solicit for funds to carry out the proposed plan. The plans which were designed by Ronald Hebblewhite were donated by the club.

The current plans for the landscaping of the Colonial home on West Front street, Plainfield, include large formal and informal gardens and an herb garden, all to be connected by brick pathways. In addition more adequate parking facilities will be installed. The Garden Club of the Junior League of Plainfield has made arrangements for the painting of the Drake House sign. A donation of a red maple tree, to be planted on Arbor Day, April 28, has been made by the student council of the Plainfield High School.

Attending from Westfield were: Mrs. Gardner R. Cunningham, vice president, Mrs. John Enders, Mrs. Frank G. Hewitt and Mrs. Ian D. Robinson, all from the Junior League.

The council's annual meeting will be held May 3, when a sub-commitee composed of Herbert Taylor, Mrs. Alfred W. Green and Mrs. Arhur Smith will present a plan to enlarge the Drake House Council in order to better facilitate the development of Drake House. The council is composed of representatives from the Historical Society, the DAR, and the Junior League of Plainfield.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

MIRACLE OF FLOWERS – Mrs. Alden de Hart of Second Pl. is admiring two flowers that sprouted from cactus leaves which she placed in a sealed box in the basement of her home recently. Mrs. de Hart, somewhat of an expert in the breeding of flowers, was recently a successful exhibitor at the International Flower Show in New York

Thursday, April 5, 1956

Plainfield Public Library Archive

GARDEN FAIR WORK BEGINS – Four members of the Plainfield Garden Club, which will sponsor a garden fair Friday and Saturday at Park Ave. and Crescent Ave. began actual work yesterday in preparing the ground for exhibit purposes. Two gardens will be exhibited and several types of plant material will be on sale. A "Country Cupboard" also will be featured. Left to right are: Mrs. F. W. Frost, exhivition chairman; Mrs. Charles Eaton Jr., horticulture chairman; Mrs. John S. Anderegg, executive board member; and Mrs. Alden deHart, horticulture committee member.

Records indicate that Garden Fairs were held at this location 1952, 1953, 1954

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archive

May 10, 2012 GCA Zone IV Meeting and Awards Luncheon

PGC Members Jeanne Turner, Patti Dunstan and Phyllis Alexander researched over 275 members chronicled on our website,, and chose the following ladies as "themes" for the luncheon tables:

Eight Notable Women of the PGC

1952 Check Book

No. 956
June 27, 1952
Dorothy de Hart
N.Y. Exhibit (1952)

1952 Check Book

No. 946
May 28, 1952
Dorothy de Hart
Expense for Plant Sale

1953 Check Book

No. 1024
May 25, 1953
Plant sale - garden furniture

No. 1025
May 25, 1953
Dorothy de Hart
for Paoletti nurseries
white azalea 45.00
columbine 11.80
plos??? 1.00
potter board 1.00

No. 1026
May 15, 1953
Doane's Inc.
plants received 325.35
plants returned 171.30
total sold 153.95
less 20% 30.79
due to Doane's 123.16

1954 Check Book

No. 1072
Mar. 18, 1954
Jeanette W. Stuart
exhibtion in N. Y. Whos

No. 1073
Mar 18, 1954
Virginia V. Frost
exhibition in N.Y. Show
1/2 exhibit

No. 1074
Mar. 18, 1954
Dorothy V. de Hart
exhibition in N.Y. Show
1/2 exhibit

1954 Check Book

No. 1090
May 18, 1954
N. J. Roadside Council
Dues - June 54 - 55

No. 1091
May 19, 1954
Mrs. Herbert Case
Choco (original 322 Ryan St. , Hillside, Nj
pottery - corner cupboard

No. 1092
May 21, 1954
Dorothy V. de Hart
2 azaleas @10.00
4 azaleas @5.00

(Laurel Gardens)

1955 Check Book

No. 1159
June 21, 1955
New Jersey Roadside Council
membership June 1955 - June 1956

No. 1160
June 25, 1955
Dorothy V. de Hart
expenses for Westfield Show
May - 1955
(Garden Club Exhibit)

No. 1161
July 2, 1955
Treasurer, Monday Afternoon Club
Sept. program labor
expenses for moving 3 large tables fomr basement

1956 Check Book

No. 1209
May 21, 1956
Dorothy de Hart
expenses for exhibit in
N. Y. flower show

1957 Check Book

No. 1282
Dec. 16, 1957
Dorothy V. de Hart
Exhibit - benefit N.Y.
Botanical Gardens

1958 Check Book

No. 1333
Dec. 17, 1958
Dorothy de Hart

1947 Check Book

No. 637
Apr. 1, 1947
Dorothy V. de Hart
Budget (flower show exhibitor)

1948 Check Book

No. 700
Mar. 9, 1948
Margaret C. Ladd
Flower Show

No. 701
Mar. 9, 1948
Dorothy V. de Hart
Flower Show

No. 702
Mar. 9, 1948
Margaret Tyler
Flower Show

1948 Check Book

No. 712
April 28, 1948
Ethel T. Anderegg
Flower Show Exhibition
extra money taken from Mrs. Anderegg's contribution of 33.25

No. 713
April 28, 1948
Dorothy V. de Hart
Flower Show Exhibitor
extra as alone

No. 714
April 28, 1948
Margaret C. Ladd
Flower Show Exhibitor
Extra as alone

1949 Check Book

No. 781
June 21, 1949
James Smith
Flats for Shakespeare Garden

No. 782
June 21, 1949
Dorothy de Hart
N. Y. Flower Show Exhibitor

No. 783
June 21, 1949
Virginia Stillman
N. Y. Flower Show Exhibitor

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

1950 Check Book

No. 853
Nov. 8, 1950
Dorothy de Hart
poster board, rubber cement
"Open Houses"

No. 854
Nov. 8, 1950
Elizabeth King
Open Houses
poster board, cord & seals
and sherer ? signs

No. 855
Nov. 8, 1950
The Mansard Inn
"Open Houses"

1950 Check Book

No. 865
Nov. 17, 1950
7 & 7 Nurseries
for Forsythia plants
60 plants @ 100
6.50 shipping
For Sale

No. 866
Nov. 20, 1950
Dorothy de Hart
in place of above check
Forsythia bushes for sale

No. 867
Nov. 22, 1950
Collection of Internal Revenue
tax on 530 tickets of
"Open House" @ .25 ea.
Oct. 27

1951 Check Book

No. 889
March 21, 1951
S. Helena Rosse

No. 890
Mar. 30, 1951
Dorothy de Hart
expenses paid by same for the
store window at the New York Flower Show

No. 891
Mar. 30, 1951
Virginia Frost
expenses paid by same for the
store window N. Y. Flower Show

1951 Check Book

No. 898
June 11, 1951
N. J. State School of Conservation
Conser. Com.
Summer Workshop

No. 899
June 12, 1951
Rita Rink
Conserva. Com. Reserve
paid on application

No. 900
June 12, 1951
Dorothy de Hart
Annual Meeting
registration 26.00
prints (misc) .63

A Fond Memory of a Heck of a Lady

May 2001 Newsletter

Mrs. Willoughby Frost

Word has come that Mrs. Willoughby Frost has passed to her reward – and a "great reward" it should be!

Virginia, as you may be aware, is one of the Plainfield Garden Club's honorary members, an honor well deserved. We are all so proud of her exceptional talents – we were often in awe of what she could accomplish in so many fields.

One of her projects which I remember was with others running the Junior League Garden Club – it was a great way to inform the uniformed about gardening, and mostly about flower arranging, so there would be people somewhat trained to join the Plainfield Garden Club.

We had regular classes and projects to work out, beginning with three flowers (unbought – one had to grow or steal the flowers) and greens. Then Virginia or her sister, Dorothy de Hart, or Marion Loizeaux would criticize our work and highlight our errors. That was the fun part! She could be funny – "Well, clearly someone spent money on this one," or "You didn't need to cut down the whole tree for a few greens. Go out, look up, and find a branch that is growing the direction the way you want it – then cut that branch!"

Virginia was a respected GCA judge. She worked hard in the Shakespeare Garden – trimmed the topiaries, etc. She was also a landscapist in planning a project – or pointing out how to bring back to size a too large or vigorous Victorian shrub, removing a tree, or suggesting an improvement in design.

The Plainfield Garden Club decided to put in a "vest-pocket" park (which were the current rage at the time), and we found a narrow plot on Park Avenue which would suit the purpose. Virginia drew the plans and we planted it accordingly – letting her beatus into visiting the park each day for watering and trash pick-up. It was duly admired and very successful.

Another first for Plainfield city streets: Virginia and I guessed Jean Stewart went to a GCA meeting and came home with the idea to plant trees in the sidewalks along the curbs! After much study as to variety and spacing, the club bought a dozen Moraine Locusts with tiny blow-away leaves to give filtered shade. They turned out to be a real demonstration, as the city went ahead the next season and bought seventy-five more! Though 35 - 40 years old now, they still line Front Street, and Park Avenue from Front to the railroad bridge.

When the annual Flower Show was announced in New York City, Virginia and the girls all put their heads together to compete. Several times there were big landscape classes – a back door landscaped wiht proper planting – Virginia always in the thick ot if, bringing home the blues.

Or if she competed on her own, she got her material, books and containers, and locked herself in an upstairs room, sometimes for days, until all was set. Soak the wisteria vine in the bathtub, curve it this way or (change) that – the bed was important. The family was "on its own" at these times – but this meant so much to Virginia, there were often tears of frustration. She cared, she wanted it right, and the "blues" flowed in.

Mrs. Frost knew her duty, too: drove the Hartridge carpool, worked endlessly at the church (behind the scenes), had punch parties before dancing school, and all that. A wonderful entertainer, with everything "just so". She had her feisty side too – I have to mention that to give a well-rounded picture – but she could speak up at times for us all to hear.

Barbara Sandford

2001 Jan Mar Apr May Newsletters

Residence of Warren R. Voorhis, Rahway Road

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.

publication circa 1917

July 1938 Passenger List for the S. S. Vulcania

First Class Passenger Mr. Warren R. Voorhis

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Area Historic District

Post Office: Plainfiled
Zip: 07060

Hillside Avenue Historic District
Van Wyck Brooks Historic District

The Crescent Area Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [] Adaptation copyright 2013, The Gombach Group.

Prior to the arrival of the white man, the Lenni-Lenape Indians, part of the Algonquin Tribe, lived in this area of New Jersey. The Ice Age had endowed this area with a protective terrain, productive farmlands and forests and "wonderful pure air and springs." Indian trails became the highways and streets still in use in Plainfield today.Watchung Avenue located in the heart of the Crescent Area Historic District was once one of those trails. Remains of an Indian village and burial grounds have been found in the locality of First, Second and Third Place which are within the boundaries of the Crescent Avenue Historic District.

The first white settlers from Scotland and Holland arrived in the area in the 1680's. The first permanent settler was Thomas Gordon whose home was on Cedarbrook Road adjacent to Crescent Avenue, and whose land holdings covered most of what is present-day Plainfield. The enthusiastic letters back home detailing the healthful climate, plentiful game, fish and fowl, good soil and water brought other settlers to New Jersey, in spite of the "Flee by the salt marshes, most troublesome in the summer." These elements continued through the years to attract new residents.

During the Revolutionary War, patriots from area families served in militia regiments as foot soldiers and officers. An important battle, the Battle of the Short Hills, was fought in the area in June of 1777 and was instrumental in repelling the British in New Jersey. Some of the homes of those who supported the cause of the Revolution still exist today: The Drake House Museum, where Washington rested and briefed his officers, and the Vermule Homestead, where the officers were quartered.
Following the war, industry and transportation began to grow and take on added importance, contributing to the economic prosperity. Plainfield became officially recognized on April 1, 1800 with a population of 215. The Gordon Gazetteer in 1834 gave a glowing account of all the rich resources in Plainfield and noted that "the society is moral and religious."

It was in Plainfield in 1847 that the model for the public school system for the state was devised. Through the efforts of Dr. Charles H. Stillman, Plainfield physician, the New Jersey Legislature empowered the city to raise money by taxation in order to establish a public school system. An account of the day declares, "No one can measure the effect of this enlightened policy in extending the fame of the city and building up its prosperity." Many of the people who were active in education and cultural activities lived within the bounds of the Crescent Area Historic District.

The most influential force to the development of Plainfield was the railroad, which brought about a change in the social and economic character of the town. When a direct connection was made between Plainfield and New York City, c.1850, Plainfield became a commuter town.

During the Civil War, many local residents were involved in the fighting. General Sterling, a general on McCleland's staff, built his home and settled on First Place after the War.

Job Male, a philanthropist, who became known as "Plainfield's Grand Old Man", settled in Plainfield in 1867, following the Civil War. An inventor, he had simplified the loading of ferry slips with a patented leveling device. He purchased with Evan Jones, twenty four acres of land "in the suburbs and laid it out in village lots and streets and erected twenty substantial residences of fine architectural design, drawing the plans for them all himself." He was his own contractor and owned a greater part of the land that includes Crescent Avenue and Watchung Avenue. He designed a particularly distinctive style of architecture "stucco-walled, Mansard roofed, still standing today." He continued to build homes in different parts of the city until his possessions included more than one hundred Plainfield houses. His obituary notice in 1891 noted that "his purse always ready to respond to the calls of deserving charity." He was a public benefactor, making possible the Public Library and the Job Male Art Gallery, and donating the land for the hospital, the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Unitarian Church.

A Central New Jersey Times account in 1870 of "Our Town Improvements" wrote, "The improvements in building is the expression of a spirit that leads to progressive movements in other directions. The old houses are not recognizable with tints of brown and cream and olive, their plain roofs metamorphosed by pediments, fancy gables and cornices, their primitive simplicity converted into modern beauty by wings, bay windows, recessed projections and every variety of architectural development." The writer further comments on the "new houses, with their aspiring towers, French roofs and cupolas." It was the kind of community that led the Elizabeth Herald in May of 1888 to write, "The bustling activity of the city of remarkable." And to conclude, "The next move in Plainfield, no doubt, will be the horse cars."
Plainfield had become a fashionable summer resort and eventually attracted many wealthy New York businessmen to settle here year 'round. The Gas Light Age evokes memories of Plainfield with theatricals, minstrel shows, roller rinks and other forms of entertainment. The site of many hotels, the Netherwood was reputed to be one of the "most healthful, comfortable and accessible inland summer resorts in the country."

By 1890, with substantial wealth and improvements, Plainfield continued to advance and prosper, attracting people of substance to live here. As successful businessmen and their families settled in the Crescent Avenue area, they became active in the cultural, religious, and educational affairs of the city. James W. Jackson, William D. Murray both served as presidents of the newly-formed YMCA. Henry C. Squires established the Hope Chapel on January 1, 1888 as a branch of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Augustus Baldwin worked closely with Job Male in establishing the first free public library and the art gallery. In 1883 some of the first subscribers to "the last word in modern efficiency," the telephone, lived in the District: George Goddard, F.O. Herring, Leander Lovell, and the Dumond family. Many served as members of the Common Council.

After Job Male's death, Plainfield continued to be a highly desirable neighborhood and remained that way until the 1930's, when many of the large homes were converted to apartments. This process continues with single family residences almost non-existent today. The alterations for the most part are tastefully done and are not detrimental to the basic style and charm of the original building. This makes for a particularly fine collection of buildings appropriate to an Historic District.
Notes on Recollections of Long-time Residents of the Area
Longtime residents of Plainfield have been interviewed regarding their recollections of famous residents of this area. Those persons interviewed were Mrs. Lawrence Heely, Mrs. Henry Noss, Mrs. Dorothy Wills, Mrs. Helen Mygatt, Mr. John Harmon, Miss Gwen Cochran, Mrs. Dorothy DeHart, Miss Dorothy Leal, Mr. Alfred Genung, Mr. Alex Kroll, Mr. A.L.C. Marsh, Mrs. Hendrick Van Oss and others.

Many people have lived there who were outstanding in cultural fields, education and politics, as well as very successful professional and business men, active both locally and in New York City. Also educators and statesmen lived here.

John Carlson, a renown artist and member of the National Academy lived on 3rd Place as did Alex Seidel who achieved international fame for his designs for Steuben Glass. Another prominent artist who lived here was Thomas Hart Benton whose brother lived for many years on Crescent Avenue. Also William Gilbert, a well known illustrator, lived on Crescent Avenue.

The author of the White Cliffs of Dover, Alice Duer Miller, A. Van Dorn Honeyman, the famous historian, lived on 9th Street, and also Van Wyk Brooks another well-known author. Ernest Ackerman, a representative in U.S. Congress in the 1870's and his brother Marion Ackerman, who lived on Crescent Avenue, founded the Lone Star Cement Company and were deeply involved in many large national important financial and industrial enterprises.

The famous opera singer, Mario Caruso, married a Goddard and was frequently a visitor to Plainfield to the Goddard House at 213 East 9th Street. This family had a profound influence on the musical advancement of the entire area.

The area abounded in lawyers, judges and politicians, including four Mayors of Plainfield, and people in the foreign service for 25 years, such as Hendrick Van Oss, most recently served as ambassador to Madagascar and other countries.

The Crescent Avenue area was truly the heart of the town and boasted the most important and influential people of the period 1860 through 1920. The homes of these people reflect their taste, affluence and are a tangible piece of architectural history reflecting a glorious past.

The Crescent Area Historic District is a great deal more than a lot of old houses. It is probably one of the finest collections of Victorian architecture in the country. The term Victorian is all inclusive and embraces numerous styles that echo tastes and decorative devices of other periods of architecture from other countries and other times than the one in which the present buildings were constructed. The majority of these have what in architectural terms is referred to as Italianate which stems from the architectural styles popular in Italy going back as far as Byzantine derivative styles, and 15th century Venetian palaces. These variety of design styles result in the sudden surge of interest in European cultures and an attempt by the suddenly successful and new class of wealthy businessmen who were anxious to reflect their success in the work of finance in their homes. These interests were stimulated by their travels abroad and what they had seen, which was considered elegant. Thus we have Tuscan towers, Italian villas, Palazzo's with loggia and arcaded window and arches, Renaissance, Egyptian motifs, classical elements, and finally the exuberant eclectic styles throwing the more American traits of Carpenter Gothic and Stick style in for good measure. English architecture is also reflected with half timber, projecting gables, Eastlake influence, Queen Anne and Edwardian styles. The detail photos of these buildings reflect the painstaking craftsmanship of the builders and imaginative design abilities of the architects. It is truly a tangible record of the past which should be preserved as close to its original state as practical, in their new role of many being converted for multi-family use.

The Crescent Area Historic District is one of the finest collections of suburban Victorian architecture in New Jersey. Developed as a speculative real estate venture in the 1870's by Job Male, the buildings are an impressive presentation of Italianate and Second Empire style architecture of the mid to late 19th century. The houses were primarily designed for wealthy businessmen and, consequently, visages within the district still retain a fine elegance in their total ambiance of buildings and their association with landscaping, rustic streets, sidewalks, and trees.

Blumenson, John J.G. Identifying American Architecture
Central New Jersey Times, 1870-1885.
Clayton, W. Woodford. History of Union & Middlesex Counties, 1882.
Cochran, Jean Carter. The History of Crescent Avenue Church
The Courier News, History of Plainfield, 1964.
The Courier News, November 1-4-8, 1954.
Devlin, Harry. To Grandfather's House We Go.
Downey, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses.
The Drake House Museum & The Plainfield Public Library, Scrapbooks and Files.
Dunham, F.A. Atlas City of Plainfield and Boro of North Plainfield, 1894.
Fitzgerald & Co. (Pub.). Springfield, Massachusetts, Plainfield City Directory, 1876-7.
Gowans, Alan. Images of American Living.
Honeyman, A. Van Dorn. History of Union County, Volumes I, II, & III.
Lapsley, Howard G. History of Plainfield, 1942.
League of Women Voters. This is Plainfield, 1954.
McCabe, Wayne. Historic Tour – Plainfield, N.J.
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Area, N.J.
Pub. by Plainfield Courier News. Plainfield & Vicinity in Pictures, 1926.
Plainfield Daily Press, Friday & Saturday, January 30, 31, 1891.
Plainfield Evening News, Saturday, May 23, 1888.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1879-80.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1894-5.
Pratt, Dorothy & Richard, A Guide to Early American Homes.
Smiley, F.T. History of Plainfield, 1891.
Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., A.I.A., Architect and Marilyn Rupp, Architectural Historian, Crescent Area Historic District, Union County, New Jersey, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Application to the National Register of Historic Places

817-19 Second Place
Builder: Possibly Job Male
1980 Present Owner: Dorothy De Hart
c. 1880

The owner has the deed from Job Male in her possession. In 1894, this house was the home of Edward C. Pearson, "Lawyer, N. Y."

Segmental windows in the dormer with upsweep applied molding surround. The cornice is a combination of brackets and dentil molding. The brackets extend below the fascia.

Two apartments, ten rooms.

A fine house with a bold ornamentation and trim treatment on the windows which have scroll ornamentation on both the window heads and sides. This building has been tastefully altered and is very much in character with the spirit of the neighborhood. The paint colors are appropriate to the period of the house.

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

May 21, 1954

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

Mayor Praises Club Member
A letter of congratulation from Mayor Robert C. Maddox to Mrs. Alden deHart of 817 Second Pl., was read yesterday before the Plainfield Garden Club in the home of Mrs. William P. Elliott, 11 Black Birch Rd., Scotch Plains.

Mrs. DeHart has received a state award in the "Green Thumb Competition" of the . . .

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.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1974-1975 Directory

March 12, 1951 New Jersey Roadside Council

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)

The Courier-News Thursday, Dec. 5, 1968
Photo Caption: ANTIQUE TOYS – Charles H. Detwiller, Mrs. Webster Sandford, center, and Mrs. Alden deHart, display some of the antique toys that will be on exhibit at an open house sponsored by the Plainfield Historical Society, Sunday at 3 p.m. in Drake House. (Courier-News Photo by Fred Keesing)

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Club History by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold

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


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

September 13, 1985 Harold Voorhis NY Times Obituary

See here

Published: September 13, 1985

Harold Oliver Voorhis, former senior vice president and secretary of New York University, died of cancer Aug. 31 at Northside Convalescent Center in Atlanta, where he had lived in recent years. He was 89 years old.

Until his retirement in 1962, Mr. Voorhis had been associated with New York University for 42 years, first as a student and an economics teacher in the early 1920's and, after 1925, as secretary. He was also vice chancellor from 1945 to 1956, when the title was changed to senior vice president.

Over the years, Mr. Voorhis's signature appeared on 183,000 N.Y.U. diplomas and he wrote and delivered at commencement exercises some 300 citations for honorary degrees. At his retirement, N.Y.U. awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws and letters, and the citation called him ''a master of June's own literary form: the honorary degree citation.''

Mr. Voorhis was born in Kokomo, Ind., on July 29, 1896. He graduated from Colgate University in 1919, after interrupting his studies to serve in World War I as an Army lieutenant. He earned a master's degree in economics from N.Y.U. in 1922.

Mr. Voorhis, whose ancestors were Dutch, was a former president of the Netherlands-American Foundation and of the Holland Society of New York. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in 1959 made him a Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau. He was a trustee emeritus of Colgate and a former trustee of the Parsons School of Design.

His wife, Rosalie M. Voorhis, died in 1980. He is survived by two sisters, Dorothy DeHart and Virginia Frost, both of Plainfield, N.J.; three daughters, Patricia Grinnell of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Joanna Beattie of New Castle, Del., and Katrina Mabon of Atlanta; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 P.M. Oct. 2 at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church in Plainfield.

Photo of Harold O. Voorhis (William R. Simmons, 1956)

NYU Biography:

August 30, 2014 Charles Detwiller & The Architects of Plainfield

Exhibit of Detwiller Collection drawings opens at Library

The Plainfield Public Library is mounting an exhibition from its Detwiller Collection of architectural drawings in honor of New Jersey's 350th anniversary.

Plainfield architect Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., [Husband of PGC Honorary Member Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbell) Detwiller, Jr. '57] is credited with rescuing thousands of architectural drawings that were being disposed of by the City by dumping from an upper floor window at City Hall into a dumpster in the parking lot.

The collection of over 16,000 items representing over 500 architects documents over a century of residential and commercial architecture in the Plainfield area. Its record of the architectural history of a suburban community is unique in the United States.

Among its outstanding items of interest are drawings of the Fire Headquarters on Central Avenue designed by African-American architect George Ernest Robinson, designed in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The exhibit culls 70 pieces from thirty-five sets of drawings by 24 architects. It is displayed on walls and in display cases on both levels of the Library.

Preservation of these aging documents began in 1998. The conservation and digitizing of the collection is still ongoing. This work is entirely supported through grant funding and volunteer efforts. Local funders include the Plainfield Foundation and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library.

The exhibit opens September 2 and runs through October during regular library hours. For more information on the Detwiller Collection, contact Sarah Hull, head of the Local History Department at (908) 757-1111 x136.

To arrange group visits, call (908) 757-1111 x129. The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street and is an accessible facility. Parking is available in the 8th and 9th Street lots.

In addition to Mr. Detwiller's wife, Cath, his aunt, mother-in-law and sister-in-law were all Notable Members of the Plainfield Garden Club.

Miss Laura Cecelia Detwiller '29
Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) Campbell '28
Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy Campbell) Davis '60

Good architecture and good gardening are two things that go together well. No where is this better demonstrated than in the families that formed the Plainfield Garden Club.

Here is an excerpt from an article about the building of the Nebraska State Capitol:

McKim, Mead & White Architects of New York had designed the Rhode Island State House in Providence, Rhode Island that was constructed from 18951904. McKim, Mead & White was one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized architectural firms of this era. The firm was a major training ground for other prominent architects of the period.

Tracy & Swartwout of New York had designed the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri that was constructed from 1913 1917. Both Evarts Tracy and Egerton Swartwout were former associates of McKim, Mead & White.

Of the other eight teams in the competition including John Russell Pope of New York, Bertram Goodhue of New York, Paul Cret in association with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary of Philadelphia, Harold Van Buren Magonigle of New York, and Bliss & Faville of San Francisco, Ellery Davis of Lincoln, John Latenser & Sons of Omaha, and Allan McDonald of Omaha several individual architects had worked for McKim, Meade & White at one time or another including Magonigle and Bliss.

No doubt many of these famous early 20th century American architects were more than familiar with Plainfield and the garden club. In addition to Mr. Detwiller, here are member files that chronicle these architects:

Mead, Mrs. Frederick Goodhue (Marie Louise Myers) '15
Tracy, Mrs. Evarts '22
Tracy, Mrs. Howard Crosby (Minerva Bingham Lamson) '15
Tracy, Mrs. J. Evarts (Caroline Frederica Streuli) '22
de Hart, Mrs. Alden (Dorothy Voorhis) '38, President 1949 - 1950