Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Tyler, Mrs. John ( Margaret or "Peggy") '59

White Goose Farm, Metuchen (1960)

1970 - 1990 Address: 44 Valley Road, Watchung

1984 - 2004: Sustaining

Mrs. John (Peggy) Tyler became a member in 1959 and was a contemporary of many club members today (2010) Peggy was the daughter-in-law to Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler. Peggy was listed as an "Affiliate" member of the club in 1997 and lastly in 2006 when she passed away.

Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler became a member of The Plainfield Garden Club in 1925. She was listed as an "Associate" member first in 1953 and last in 1960.

There were other "Tylers" in the club and they are all related. Mrs. William S. Tyler, founding member, in 1915 was Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler's sister-in-law. She was also listed as an "Associate" member first in 1958 and then in 1960.

C. Boardman's family lived at 525 West 7th and William S.'s family lived at 520 West 8th the houses were directly behind one another on the block.

There is no information about Miss Margaret R. Tyler who joined the club in 1944. She was most likely the daughter of Mrs. William S. Tyler as they shared the same address at 520 West 8th Street, Plainfield. She may have married and her membership then became listed under her married name

1960 Address

White Goose Farm, Metuchen, NJ

See photo and historical information: White Goose Cottage

caption on photo of White Goose Cottage:
This residence, known as "White Goose Cottage,"
was located near what was Wood Brook Farm,
now the site of Woodbrook Corners Development
at Talmadge Rd. and Park Ave. When Lloyd
Grimstead took this photo in March 1933, an A. D.
Cook lived there.

There is now a "Tyler" Road near to the spot suspected as the address for White Goose Farm – also near the Dismal Swamp, Edison.

2005 Address

Last address listed for the club:

44 Valley Drive
Watchung, NJ 07069

Diane Madsen, Barbara Peek and Peggy Tyler

At Shakespeare-in-Bloom
Shakespeare Garden, Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield

John Tyler

Amherst Biographical Record for John Tyler

Lists John Tyler's parents as Cornelius Boardman Tyler and Susan Whittlesley. Also says the address is White Goose Farm, which according to the Metuchen historical society, was located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Talmadge Roads. Park Avenue also runs through Plainfield.

May 2002 Newsletter

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.

1990 Annual Program Report

In March at Crescent Avenue Church, the Horticulture program featured our Mrs. John Madsen who gave a fascinating talk on the gardens of Elizabethan times including a history of our Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. Mrs. Victor King, with the assistance of Mrs. John Tyler followed with a slide program showing lovely scenes and plants in the garden. The hostesses were Mrs. Susan Callendar and Mrs. Northrup Pond.

May 19, 1980 Board Meeting Minutes

Summer 1982

From left to right:

Anne Marie Seybold, Peggy Tyler, Betty Hackman, Bev Reid

Summer 1982

Back of Photo

Summer 1982

Anne Yearling (?), Bev Reid, Peggy Tyler, Anne Marie Seybold

Summer 1982

Back of Photo

Courier News article May 4, 2000

How does their garden grow?


Evelyn Madsen of Plainfield, a member of the Plainfield Garden Club, works Wednesday on The Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield. The garden, which was established in 1927, will be the setting for Shakespeare in Bloom from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 10. Madsen is a former chairwoman of the garden

Margaret Tyler of Watchung, a member of the Plainfield Garden Club, works on the garden Wednesday.

Spring 1997

Peggy Tyler, Evie Madsen and Betty Hackman

June 4, 1998 Courier News

Courier News
by Bernice Paglia
Staff Writer

Much ado about Bard in city garden

[If you go
The tour of the Shakespeare Garden will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The garden is in Cedar Brook Park, accessible from Park Avenue.]

PLAINFIELD – A labor of love won't be lost on people who visit the Shakespeare Garden on Saturday.

Plainfield Garden Club members have wedded, clipped, pruned, mulched and manicured the garden for its second public tour. They're preparing the flower markers and plaques with quotes from the Bard to match the array of 16th-century blooms.

The free event also will include a demostration of cooking with herbs, Elizabethan music and sales of garden-realted items and dried florals.

The garden, designed in 1927 by the Olmstead Brothers of Brookline, Mass., contains 40 species mentioned in Shakespeare's works. It was planted on the 363rd anniversary of his birth.

The Union County freeholders honored the garden and the club in March with a historic preservation commendation.

Garden club members said the tour of 17 beds and two borders with more than 150 16th- and 17th-century plants promises to be rich in Shakespeare lore.

Club member Carroll Keating recently was shearing four plump topiary birds for the big day. It was the first time she had been asked to take on that special task.

"I feel so honored," she said.

Stooping to pull a maple seedling from a border in the formal knot garden, club member Betty Hackman said the clipped hedges add "a bit of whimsy to the garden."

The art of cutting hedges into special shapes "goes way back to the first century," she said.

Two of the birds had their bushy beaks knocked off over the winter, so club members planned to make prosthetic ones of wire and sprigs for the tour.

Longtime member Margaret Tyler sat on the sun-warmed ground to groom one of the flower beds.

"I love to see the foxglove come back," she said. "I love their little cups."

Member Evelyn Madsen rubbed a pink dianthus flower, a bloom used to flavor wine in Shakespeare's time, to release its cinnamon fragrance. Madsen said she enjoyed seeing Franco Zeffirelli's production of "Romeo and Juliet" on television because of all the floral references.

Visitors can see love-in-a-mist, lady's mantle, giant allium, Scotch broom, gas plant and many roses and herbs.

Amid all the pastel blooms and feathery foliage, a bare holly tree given a radical pruning by county workers looks like a start modern sculpture, but club members softened it by ringing the trunk with handsome hosta plants.

Courier News article June 28, 2000

Courier News article June 28, 2000

Peggy Tyler, Mary Kent, Elisabeth Loizeaux (pink shirt facing away)

Email from Tucker Trimble March 3, 2011

[in response to a conversation about Mrs. Eaton, who lived on Valley Road in Watchung, and the many dogwoods she dontated to Cedar Brook Park from her own property.]

Peggy Tyler lived off Valley Road and her woods were filled with dogwood. That was the first time I saw them as nature meant them to be - a true under-canopy tree. Now of course we can have them in the full sun but these were just so beautiful in the spring before the rest of the trees leafed out....

Hillside Cemetery

September 14, 2011
Tyler marker on the left

Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery

Nearby this marker the General Manager pointed out an unmarked grave that needed some repair. He believed this to be Peggy's gravesite.

Photo by Dan Damon

Plainfield Library Archives

October 12, 1970

The mini-park in Park Ave. near E. Fourth St. which the Plainfield Garden Club planned, built and maintains for the public, was the first stop on a tour of the club's community projects last week during a two-day Zone meeting of the Garden Club of America. Mrs. John Tyler of Watchung left, a member of the Plainfield Garden Club, chats with Mrs. Henry Patton of Princeton (center) who is chairman of the New Jersey Zone and Mrs. Joseph M. Greeley of Winnetka, Ill., national chairman for the conservation of the Garden Club of America. (Courier-News photo by Fred Keesing).

Plainfield Library Archives

June 5, 2002

Peg Tyler, Bernice Swain, Mary Kent, Tucker Trimble (facing away), Ann Wigton

June 5, 2002

?, Tucker Trimble, Peg Tyler, Bernice Swain, Mary Kent, Ann Wigton and Mary Ann Gonder

September thru December 2007 Board and General Meeting Minutes

September thru December 2002 Board and General Meeting Minutes

2002 October thru December Newsletters

2004 September thru December Board and Meeting Minutes

2004 September thru December Newsletters

June 2, 2001 Shakespeare-in-Bloom

Betty Hackman, Evie Madsen, Peg Tyler and Nina Weil

October thru December 1999 General Meeting Minutes & Sign In Sheets

2000 January thru June General Meeting Minutes and Sign-in Attendance

2000 September thru December Meeting Minutes

2001 January thru June Meeting Minutes and Sign in Attendance Sheets

October and November 2001 Newsletters

2001 September thru December Meeting Minutes and Sign In Attendance

2002 January thru June Executive Board Meeting Minutes

2002 January thru June Meeting Minutes and Sign In Sheets

2002 February thru June Newsletters

1996 October thru December Board Meeting Minutes

1995 May and June Board and General Meeting Minutes

The Dismal Swamp in Edison

Jane Tousman, Raritan Valley Conservation Advisor and the NJ Sierra Club's National Delegate, has been working for many years to preserve the Dismal Swamp, which is one of the last remaining wetlands in a highly urbanized environment. The Dismal Swamp (located in Edison, Metuchen, and South Plainfield) is 660 acres and is designated a "priority wetland" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Unfortunately, this beautiful property, an area of unique ecological value, is again under threat of development.

Edison Township Open Space Advisory Committee letter to Township Council

In 1983 Nicholas Visco bought property behind Block 595-C at a public auction.

In 1988 the Planning Board approved Edison Tyler Estates which included abandoning Tyler Rd to avoid backyard variances. It is not clear where Tyler Rd. was. One document speculated that it is now Alexis Ln. The township obtained possession of half of Tyler Rd.

In 1999 the Edison Township Open Space Advisory Committee presented a report on open space in Edison. One of the areas recommended was at the end of Alexis Lane which included Township and private land. It recommended that this be placed on the Recreational and Open Space Inventory (ROSI).

In 2004 township land including 595-C at the end of Alexis Lane was added to the ROSI.

In August 2009 the Jehovah's Witnsses and Delores Visco requested an extension of Alexis Ln to provide access to a 13 acre plot owned by Delores Visco, so she could donate 3 acres to the Jehovah's Witnesses for a church.

In July, 2010 we passed a Resolution requesting further review of the proposal.

In November, 2010 the Township of Edison issued a resolution regarding their settlement with the Jehovah's Witnsses and Delores Visco regarding the development. It included a diversion of Green Acres there now to another area.

Contact Jane Tousman Edison 908-561-5504

Swamp wars: Group looks to protect Central Jersey wetlands, Article at 6/26/2011
Triple C Ranch - 206 Tyler Road, Edison, NJ
Edison Wetlands Association 732-321-1300
"New commission to watch over Dismal Swamp", Nov. 2009, Sentinel Article
Dismal Swamp Viewing Area
Edison Greenways Group

Tyler Road

Dismal Swamp Redux: How to Get There, What to Do There, How to Help
By Jana Siciliano on November 24, 2008 11:38 AM | 4 Comments
New Jersey Public Television (NJN) has begun filming the bi-weekly protests that the Edison Wetlands Association is holding at the Raritan River Basin for a documentary about their continued efforts to make corporate polluters responsible for their environmental foibles. David Wheeler, Director of Operations for EWA, told us that "we will be holding our second rally tomorrow (Tuesday, November 25) at noon, at the intersection of Meadow Road and Midvale Road" in Edison. He encourages all interested citizens to attend.

Woodbrook Pond, photo courtesy of Metuchen Environmental Commission

The Edison Wetlands Association has its headquarters at Triple C Ranch in the Dismal swamp. Metuchen Matters will follow all stories regarding the Preservation Act as well as the continued protests. One of our intrepid reporters will even find out why such a lovely place has such a yucky name. But, in response to the queries we got about the swamp, we're going to give you all the information you need to find, contact and enjoy the Wetlands and the Dismal Swamp. The EWA offers guided tours and hikes for the public so here's how to get in on the action.
About the Triple C Ranch and Dismal Swamp
The 5.27-acre Triple C Ranch is located in the middle of the Dismal Swamp, a 650-acre environmentally sensitive wetland, and is adjacent to 275 acres of protected land owned by Edison Township. In April 2001, EWA completed the purchase of the ranch, which had fallen into considerable disrepair. EWA has since restored the Triple C Ranch as the only working farm in the Edison-Woodbridge area, and one of the few remaining farms in northern Middlesex Country.
The Dismal Swamp is the largest continuous wetlands in northern Middlesex County, spanning portions of Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield. As the last viable ecosystem within an encroaching urban/suburban environment, the Dismal Swamp provides natural flood control and wildlife habitat, while its forests produce oxygen, and its wetlands clean and purify water.

To arrange for a guided hike or tour or for additional queries, please contact:
Edison Wetlands Association
Triple C Ranch & Nature Center
206 Tyler Road
Edison, NJ 08820
Phone: 732-321-1300
Fax: 732-372-7866
For directions on how to get to the Triple C Ranch, please click on this link.
A. Sardone | November 25, 2008 8:08 AM | Reply
According to "Woodbridge and Vicinity, The Story of A New Jersey Township" written in 1873 by Rev. Joseph W. Dally, the native Americans called the swamp "Maniquescake " while the English called it "Dismal". This History also refers to "Matochshoning" as the northern most on Woodbridge Township (which eventually became "METUCHEN"). This very interesting book also claims Sir George Carteret purchased this property from three native Americans by the name Conackamac, Capatamin and Thingorawis for the price of "one hundred fathoms of white wampum, six match coats, four blankets, three guns ,six shirts, twenty bars of lead, twenty double hands of powder, one anker of rum, twelve axes, two half vats of beer and six kettles"

The original Woodbridge Charter, granted June 1, 1669 also calls the swamp "Dismal"

Thanks so much for "Metuchen Matters". You are doing a great job.

Anonymous replied to comment from Anonymous | November 24, 2008 6:02 PM | Reply
Oh, duh! I was so focused on reading the article I did't even notice the accompanying photo was of Wood Brook Pond!

Anonymous | November 24, 2008 1:17 PM | Reply
For a picture of Wood Brook Pond, check out the Metuchen Environmental Commission's Blog,

My kids were shocked to find such a spot existed in Metuchen.

Scroll down, the photo is on the right.

Anonymous | November 24, 2008 1:10 PM | Reply
I commend the Edison Wetlands Association for their efforts in preserving and promoting the Dismal Swamp. But the Triple C Ranch is not the only way to experience the swamp.

Metuchen has preserved ten acres of the swamp that can be accessed from the end of Liberty Street or from Durham Ave between Weston Street and Lisa Lane. You can also access the Edison portion of the swamp by walking down the old railroad right of way behind St. Joseph's High School, also starting at Liberty Street. Once you pass under the trestle of the Port Reading line, the swamp is on your left. Walk a couple hundred yards or so and Woodbrook Pond will be on your right.

Peggy in the Shakespeare Garden

1984 Bev Reid's party

Peg Tyler

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

November 16, 2013

Celebration of the Life of Barbara Tracy Sandford

Phyllis remembered hearing the store that "the putti" engraved in stone in the Crescent Avenue chapel were of Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler's son John, who was married to PGC member Peggy Tyler.

Tyler, Mrs. Cornelius Boardman (Susan Tilden Whittlesey) '25, President 1944 - 1947

Tyler, Mrs. John (Margaret or "Peggy") '59

Is this the face of John Tyler?

Mrs. Tyler's son John

The chapel

There are 8 stone carvings in all

The chapel

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1973-1974 Park Schedule Chairman

1974-1975 Directory

1987 Correspondence and Documents from the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford

This is just a small sampling of meeting minutes, correspondence and notes from the memorabilia of Barbara Tracy Sandford. Barbara was the Garden Club of American Zone IV (NJ) Director in 1987. 1987 is the same year Zone IV hosted the Annual Meeting of the Garden Club of America.

Also mentioned assisting with the planning and execution of the Annual Meeting are PGC Members: Kroll, Hackman, Hunziker, Fitzpatrick, Reid, Vivian, Madsen, Booth, Tyler and King.

1987 Documents From the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford

1996-1997 PGC Annual Report

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1995-1996 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Cocktail party circa 1984 at Bev Reid's

Liz Nash speaking to Fanny Day
Cath Detwiller and her sister Mrs. Davis speaking to Peg Tyler on right

(There are some that feel the lady in the green is not Dot Davis . . . ?)

1994-1995 Annual Report

October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Sally does it again!

Over our 100 year history, the PGC has submitted TEN local gardens for inclusion in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Gardens. As you know, it has been the Garden Club of America's great initiative to document gardens across the nation and have their photos and plans preserved there. Our own Mary Kent just concluded her two-year term as the National Chairman of that GCA committee titled "Garden History & Design." GCA clubs from across the US have painstakingly documented gardens for the Smithsonian. But as most of us can recall, technology wasn't what it is today so some things became "lost" in the great vaults of the Smithsonian. One of these things were the submitted photographs of 1332 Prospect Avenue in Plainfield.

1332 Prospect Avenue was home to Plainfield Garden Club Founding Member Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck '15. Later, it was home to Honorary Member Bernice Swain. Before it became the current home of Jim McGreevey, it belonged to Chris and Kathleen Onieal. Your Editor was once showed these photographs as they were told "they stay with the house" but again, they had been misplaced.

In comes Sally. Sally is friends with Mrs. Van Boskerck's granddaughter, Caroline Norman, who resides in Seattle. Sally remembers visiting 1332 Prospect Avenue often as a child and tells great stories of playing in the attics. Sally, who is a third generation member of the PGC, inquired once more of her friend Caroline if she could locate these mythical photographs. And today they were found and returned to us – and the six sepia photographs are every bit as beautiful as Your Editor remembered.

In addition, Caroline sent along never-before-seen photographs of her Aunt Ethel Tyler and her house at 520 8th Street. We also received our first photo of Mrs. Noss. And perhaps best of all, we are the recipients of some beautiful photographs of 17 year-old Sally, a dashing young Carter and Sally's beautiful children. ENJOY!!

1332 Prospect Avenue and other photos for the Van Boskerck, Tyler, Clendenin, Noss, Genung, Madsen & Booth Families