Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Pratt, Mrs. Harlan Butterfield (Jane Brewer Atwater) '46

1946 - 1947 Treasurer Book: Listed under "Juniors" Mrs. Harlan Pratt May 6, 1947 June 14, 1948 July 1949

1947 - 1953 Treasurer Book: Listed under "Junior Members" Pratt, Mrs. Harlan

1953 was Mrs. Pratt's given join year as she must have been made a full Active Member.

1958 address was Valley Road, Watchung

Pond, Mrs. Harry H. '25 related to the Atwater Family.

The Atwater History

5134– page 254– JANE BREWER, b. Sept. 2, 1920, in the Dominican Republic;
m. June 31, 1942 in Providence, Harlan Buttfield Pratt. Residence
Watchung, N. J.; active member Plainfield Garden Club (Garden Clubs
of America ) ; Junior League of Plainfield and Republic Party. Elected
Republican Co. Committee Woman from my district and G.O.P. Munici-
pal Chairman of Watchung, (Somerset County).

Harlan Butterfield Pratt obituary

Harlan Buttfield Pratt

NEWTOWN, Pa. - Harlan Buttfield Pratt, 92, formerly of Watchung, N.J., and Portsmouth, N.H., died on Friday, March 23, 2007, at Pennswood Village Retirement Community.

Mr. Pratt was born in East Orange, N.J., attended Loomis Academy, and, after designing and marketing what became a signature stove base coffee table, established the well-known Valley Furniture Shop in Watchung in 1947.

An authority on antiques and an accomplished wood craftsman, he applied his skills in both the furniture and building businesses. One of the many buildings he built in Watchung served as the family's residence until 1973 and has been the town's library and community building since then. He built homes in Mantoloking and Pittstown, N.J. He designed and built reproduction cannons, patterned after the first American naval ship, "Ranger," for the town common in Greenland, N.H., and was a board member of Wentworth-Gardner & Tobias Lear Historic Houses Association.

Mr. Pratt's marriages to Jane Atwater, Lois Cook and Joan Bennett ended in divorce. He is survived by his five children: Virginia Malcolm of the Bahamas; Deborah Dawson of Norwalk, Conn.; Laurens Erban of Spokane, Wash.; Jane Reynolds of Rochester, N.Y.; and Richard Harlan Pratt of Hightstown, N.J.; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his companion, Germaine Russell. Interment will be in the Pratt family ancestral cemetery in South Paris, Maine.

Harlan Pratt home in Watchung

March 19, 2010
Watchung announces semifinalists for library project
c-n.com
By LAURIE LEVOY STAFF WRITER March 15, 2010

WATCHUNG – Three architectural firms have been named to submit their formal proposals to remediate crowded building conditions at Watchung Public Library.

Debra Downs, chairwoman of the Library Advisory Committee, made the announcement at Thursday's 3/11 Borough Council meeting.

This step comes nearly four years since the borough appointed study and then advisory committees to address the conditions at the library, which essentially is the 2,000 square-foot, 1945 home of Harlan Pratt, who opened his Valley Furniture Shop in 1947 just yards from his home on Watchung Circle.

The library has become overcrowded from the increasing amount of technological equipment its patrons want and use. The building also is not a sufficient meeting destination for the community.

Doug Poswencyk, director of the library for nearly 20 years, said the library for some time has found it difficult to operate as a modern public library.

The Library Advisory Committee has met regularly for more than 18 months to research and make recommendations about the library's issues.

Each of the architectural firm candidates have been asked to have their proposals include the following:

A recommendation to either build a new structure or renovate and expand the current building;

Create a multipurpose room to accommodate 150 people, to function as a community hub;

Have certification in a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building program that promotes "green" initiatives;

Provide a preliminary design, layout and floor plan the community can examine;

Provide a project timeline and identify any zoning and environmental issues that need to be addressed;

Proposed, estimated costs.
The winning architectural firm will be chosen before the end of the year.
"This is a big investment to make and that's why a preliminary design the towns can look at and put online is important," said Councilman Steve Pote.

A referendum question and public donations could be part of the process in determining how to fund the library project, said Mayor Albert Ellis.

The library is a member of the Somerset County Library System and receives funding for staff and books. The municipality pays for and maintains the facility.

Laurie Levoy; 908-243-6614; llevoy@MyCentralJersey.com

Plainfield Library Archives for the Monday Afternoon Club

Mrs. Harlan B. Pratt President of the Monday Afternoon Club, Plainfield, 1930 - 1933

Smith College Alumnae Directory

Mrs. Harlan B. Pratt '11

Directory

Valley Furniture Store, Watchung

Valley Furniture Store, Watchung

Watchung Library

formerly Harlan B. Pratt home

Watchung Library

30 Valley Road

Plainfield Public Library
Detwiller Collection

http://collections.plainfieldlibrary.info/collections_
browser/search;collection=blueprints/search_results;
architect=detwiller;collection=blueprints;_page=18/
blueprint;id=9702;num=448/


Collection Detwiller
Title Pratt Showroom and Shop
Description Show room and rental shop; residential exterior with gambrel roof; addition to standing building
Building Type Business
Building Use Business
Work Type Alteration and/or Addition
Elevation Yes
Condition Acceptable
Blueprint ID D-9702
Permit NOP385
Year of Permit
Microfilm Roll 0213
Microfilm Frame 0681
Condition 1003
Address 30 Valley Road
Historic District
City Watchung
Architect Charles H. Detwiller Jr.
Architect Firm
Owner Harlan B. Pratt
Business Owner

1982 May Designer Showhouse: 1127 Watchung Avenue

Cover to Page 25

Page 26 to Page 51

Page 52 to Page 75

Page 76 to Back Cover

**PATRON: Mr. and Mrs. Dickson J. Pratt

May 9, 1974 Spring Potpourri Guestbook

1956 Check Book

No. 1197
March 21, 1956
Jane Pratt
publicity note book
$2.50

1950 Check Book

No. 817
Feb. 10, 1950
Interstate Printing Corp.
Letterhead 3.75
Correspond. Sec. cars 37.00
$40.75

No. 818
Mar. 10, 1950
Anne Marie Seybold
Royalty for script 5.00
8 scripts @.11 3.28
Program
$8.28

No. 819
Mar. 10, 1950
Jane Pratt
Flowers for Lyons
$6.00

In left margin:

Feb. Donation from (Reserve Fund)
Mrs. McLellan 10.00

1950 Check Book

No. 844
Aug. 14, 1950
Harlan Pratt
signs for Shakespeare Garden
$10.00

No. 845
Aug. 14, 1950
Snyder Bros.
Hosp. Services
$5.00

No. 846
Aug. 14, 1950
Gray's Florist
Hosp. Services
$10.00

September 12, 2012 Article from Important News

Ever wonder where the Shakespeare Garden wood signs came from? (I believe we have lost the one that used to hang on the fence . . . perhaps we should ask Union County Parks if they have it by chance?)

While entering the check stubs from 1950, we learn that check number 844, dated August 14, 1950 for $10.00 was made to Harlan Pratt. The notation reads: signs for the Shakespeare Garden

Harlan Pratt was the husband of PGC member Mrs. Harlan Butterfield (Jane Brewer Atwater) Pratt '46.

Harlan passed away in 2007 and his obituary included this description:
Mr. Pratt was born in East Orange, N.J., attended Loomis Academy, and, after designing and marketing what became a signature stove base coffee table, established the well-known Valley Furniture Shop in Watchung in 1947.

An authority on antiques and an accomplished wood craftsman, he applied his skills in both the furniture and building businesses. One of the many buildings he built in Watchung served as the family's residence until 1973 and has been the town's library and community building since then. He built homes in Mantoloking and Pittstown, N.J. He designed and built reproduction cannons, patterned after the first American naval ship, "Ranger," for the town common in Greenland, N.H., and was a board member of Wentworth-Gardner & Tobias Lear Historic Houses Association.


Is it possible that the sign that hangs today on the pergola is the same sign built by Harlan Pratt in 1950? Perhaps it is signed or marked is some way?

Jane Pratt was the first of three wives for Harlan. To learn more about them, click the blue link above.

1914 The Stevens Indicator

'04
The engagement has been announced of Harlan A. Pratt and Miss Mary Blanche Buttfield, of Plainfield, N.J.

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

Shakespeare Garden pergola sign

West Border Gate Sign

Editor's Note, December 8, 2013: This sign has been missing for some time – roughly went missing about 4 years ago when the picket fence was replaced. It was still there in 2006.

December 8, 2013

December 8, 2013

Today was the Opening Reception for Virginia Carroll at the Watchung Art Center. The title of her show, "Serene Winter," is taken from a fairly large painting she did of her neighbor's garden at 996 Hillside Avenue.

This was the former home & garden of PGC Member Julie Shortridge. The house was built by founding member Mrs. Frederick W. (Grace Seccomb) Wallace '15. Click Mrs. Wallace's link to learn more about this impressive home and garden –plus see Virginia's painting "Serene Winter" – which is for sale!

"Serene Winter" Paintings by Virginia Carroll

She writes, "Last Dec. I won first place in the Members Show at the Watchung Arts Center and the honor of having a solo show in their Lower Gallery. I've been working toward this goal for a year and I'd love to invite you to see the paintings .Hope you can stop by for light refreshments and conversation on a Sunday afternoon. Friend of the PGC, Virginia Carroll" Thanks for sharing and inviting us!

Coincidentally, the gallery shares a parking lot with the Watchung Library. This library used to be the residence of PGC member Mrs. Harlan Butterfield (Jane Brewer Atwater) Pratt '53 Mr. Pratt established the well-known Valley Furniture Shop and it is he who crafted the signs, one of which still remains, at the Shakespeare Garden.

Watchung at one time was part of Plainfield. In addition to Mrs. Pratt, PGC members included Senator Eaton's wife, the daughter of one of the first mayors of Watchung and of course the owner of Hillcrest – that estate we keep meaning to document right off of Hillcrest Road (naturally) which leads from the Watchung Circle to Interstate 78.

There were quite a few more Watchung residents that were members of the Club – see them here. Another estate to explore would be Mrs. Barr's "Middleridge."

December 8, 2013