Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Devlin, Mrs. James Lawrence (Florence Eugenia Dame) '27

1929 Treasurer Book Active $5.00 (Not listed in the 1928 Treasurer Book)
1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 Treasurer Book Active

1932 Directory* address: 1203 Putnam Avenue, Plainfield
*= This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. James L. Devlin 1/6/38 Pd. 1/3/39 Pd.

1940 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. James L. Devlin 1/3/40 Pd 1/8/41 Pd

1941 - 1942 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. James L. Devlin 1/25/41 Pd. 1/24/42 Pd. Her name is then crossed off with the notation "resigned"

1942 Address: 1203 Putnam Avenue

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

1941 - 1947 Club History by Etheldreda Anderegg

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

1984 Questover Designers Showhouse Program

Questover Program pages 1 through 55

Questover Program pages 56 through 106

Questover Program pages 107 through 131

Courier News articles "Devlin"

Devlin Alexandria 5/21/1987 News death
Devlin Hugh Robert 7/18/1957 News
Devlin Hugh Robert 2/11/1978 Obituary

Plainfield Public Library Archives

June 17, 1938

Editor's Note: Members of the Plainfield Garden Club prepared material for this week's garden page exclusively for Jersey Life. Guest contributors next wee will be members of the Northfield Garden Club of Livingston

Plainfield Garden Club Began Iris Garden
Inspiration Came From Iris Society
by Harriette Halloway

Two questions frequently asked about this garden are answered in the following paragraph; but the answer to a third – constantly asked – requires all the rest of the space!

The Iris Garden was inspired by The American Iris Socity whose officers and members give nearly all the plants. The Plainfield Garden Club, after having a share in establishment and development, continues active interest in it; and the Union County Par Commission which supplies the land and the labor is officially in charge.

"When is the best time to see the iris?"

The dwarf border – so suitable for the front of borders, for rock gardens, for groups with daffodils – usually are in full bloom duirng the first wee of May. There are rug-like masses – a hundred varieties – in all colors except pink. So that the first week in May is a "best" time.

The last of the these dwards and the first of the intermediate bearded always overlap. Between the 15th and the 20th of May there can be seen about 80 varieties of intermediate some of the crested and a few of the species, and the majority of the superb progocyclus. The handsome new intermediates cannot be ever-praised; and the same is true of the pogocylus. Although the colors of the later are not gay like the former, they are of Persian richness; and the one huge beg with 40 varieties, is an unforgettable mass of breath-taing beauty. No other public planting or garden has such a collection of these royal artistocrats. As just stated, their maximum bloom usually occurs between the 15th and the 20th of May, and consequently that is another "best" time.

The greatest numbers of flowers of the tall bearded iris in all colors are open between the 20th and the 25th and as there are 800 varieties that is the most spectacular (thought not the most interesting, nor the most important) week of bloom. It is also one of the two most enjoyable times for people who can see the garden only by driving past it – because unable to walk around in it. So the third week in May is another "best" time.

At the same time, the Siberians – over 40 varieties – have been blooming and the species getting under way. This collection of Siberian includes some of the handsome new orginations from Canada. The iris species, which are native wild iris of our own and other lands, and their hybrids – 50 varieties – fill three beds. These latter in fascinating shades and charming forms – the most pleasing of all iris for flower arrangements – are far too little known and used. For seeing these, the "best" time is the latter part of May and the first week in June.

The Japanese – over 100 varieties – which begin to open before the last of the species have gone, continue all through June and well over the Fourth of July holiday.

So the answer is – "What kind of iris does the questioner want to see?" For there are these five "best" times – all of them average dates, depending on the weather!

In Honor Of Shakespeare
by Dorothea Tingley

What more fertile field for the exercise of creative imagination than gardening! Few can resist it. In 1928 the Plainfield Shakespeare Club became imbued with the unique idea of making an old English Garden full of plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's palys. They turned for help to the Plainfield Garden Club and the Union County Park Commission. The idea appealed to them. The Shakespeare Garden in Cedarbrook Park came into being.

The rustic arbor which forms its upper boundary can be seen from the drive on the left. The garden occupies a curving, shallow terrace, with a rustid fence along the back and a low retaining wall in front. The flower beds have sawtooth brick edgings and their contents are all mared with two kinds of labels – one with the correct botanical names of the sweet growing things; the others with appropriate quotations from Shakespeare's plays.

The four beds at the lower end of the garden are devoted to herbs. All of the flowers used in this garden are old-fashioned varieties. No modern hybrid, however lovely, is allowed. Beneath the arbor are some seats, and at one end a modest boulder with a bronze commemorative plaque.

Plainfield Garden Club
by Alice R. Welles

Shortly after its organization, the Plainfield Garden Club began a policy of putting aside every year a sum of money to be used in "the beautifying of the city. The first of the activities which have grown from this policy was the gift of a number of dogwood trees to Cedar Brook Park.

The interest and the aid of Mr. R. W. Tracy, the Union County Park executive, was secured and with his help, trees were purchased and a suitable place selected for planting.

Shortly before the committee . . . .

Ten Groups Make Use of Garden Center

Club Sponsors Idea

The Union County Garden Center was established in 1935 under the auspices of the Plainfield Garden Club. Through the courtesy of the Union County Park Commission, the lower floor of the Field House in Cedarbrook Park, Plainfield, was placed at the disposal of the committee and was furnished by the Plainfield Garden Club as a resting place and center of information for gardeners.

During the past three years the work of the center has been . . on by the following garden groups – Plainfield Garden Club, Plainfield Spade & Trowel Club, Mountainside Garden Club, Fanwood Garden Club, Westfield Garden Club, Cranford Garden Club, Watchung Garden Club, Metuchen Garden Club, Watchung Nature . .. Club, an organization of . . . who specialize in dahlias. Public meetings dealing with topics of interest to gardeners, demonstrations of seed planting, bulb planting, pruning, soil testing, etc., flower shows and classes in flower arrangement have been held from time to time at the Center. There also is available a small library of horticultural books and garden magazines. Its location opposite the Iris Garden, rated as one of the finest in the East, and close to the Shakspeare Garden makes it a pleasant gathering place for those who come from a distance to study these plantings.

The Wild Flower Garden and the Daffodil Garden, recently added to the Park are also points of interest for visitors. The Center has until this year been in charge of Mrs. Frederic M. Goddard and Mrs. James Devlin both officers of the Garden Club of New Jersey. It is now under the direction of Mrs. Stephen Van Hoesen of the Fanwood Garden Club, who is planning the activities for the coming season. Associated with her are representatives of the Member Clubs.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Attractive arrangements of Spring flowers are featured in the section occupied by the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey at the International Flower Show in Grand Central Palace, New York, this week.

Upper Left – Four members of the Plainfield Garden Club with Mrs. H. P. Marshall's prize winning arrangemnet of early tulips. They are Miss H. R. Halloway, Mrs. James Devlin, Mrs. Lester R. Fort and Mrs. Henry L. DeForest. Mrs. Marshall, a fellow member, was not present when the award was made.

circa 1930's

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, left, and Mrs. James L. Devlin, right, inspecting first prize entries in the first flower show held by the Union County Garden Center at Cedar Brook Park.

circa 1936

Plainfield Garden Club Archives

Wednesday, May 20, 1936

Garden Club Executives and Prize Cup

. . . Garden Center flower show yesterday in Cedar Brook Park were, left to right, Mrs. . . of the Plainfiled Garden Club; Mrs. Frederic W. Goddard, president of the Garden . . .; and Mrs. James L. Devlin, chairman of the county Garden Club arrangements. . . presented by Mrs. Goddard, may be seen in the center of the table. It was won by Mrs. William B. Tyler

County Garden Center Holds First Show

First flower show in the Union County Garden Center, Cedar Brook Park, was held yesterday afternoon, with Mrs. James L. Devlin as chairman of arrangements.

Associated with her were the following members of the Plainfield Garden Club, Mrs. Leslie Runyon Fort, president; Mrs. Henry L. deForest, Mrs. William A. Holliday and Mrs. Frederic W. Goddard, president of the Garden Club of New Jersey.

Member garden clubs in the county, which exhibited, included Mountainside Garden Club, Cranford, Westfield, Watchung Hills, Fanwood, Spade and Trowel and the Neighborhood Gardeners of Rahway and Colonia.

Judges for the show were Mrs. David L. George, South Orange; Mrs. Arthur Hetherington, Bound Brook, and Mrs. Frederick Hood, East Orange.

A coveted prize award was a silver vup offered by Mrs. Frederic W. Goddard to the exhibitor winning the greatest number of points. This resulted in a tie between Mrs. Leslie Runyon Fort and Mrs. William B. Tyler. On a draw, the award went to Mrs. Tyler.

There were a total of 90 entries in each of the 12 classes, with first, second and third awards and honorable mention in each.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archive


Mrs. Clifford Baker Heads Garden Club; Reports Stress Recent Civic Improvements

Election of officers of the year's work, especailly that of a civic nature recently undertaken, and an address by Mrs. Otto Lane, who gave instructions in making conservation Christmas wreaths, featured the annual meeting of the Plainfield Garden Club yesterday at the home of Mrs. George W. Fraker in Rahway Road.

Mrs. Leslie Runyon Fort, retiring president, was in charge of the business session. These officers were chosen for the coming year: President, Mrs. Clifford M. Baker; vice-presidents, Mrs. Harry P. Marshall and Mrs. Raymond V. V. Miller; recording secretary, Mrs. Anna Stewartl corresponding secretary, Miss Laura Detwiller; treasurer, Mrs. Frederick W. Yates.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter, Jr., gave a report of the work in the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. During the year there were a number of plantings in the garden which have added to its attractiveness.

Mrs. Thomas R. Van Boskerck requested donations of jellies for the Flower, Plant and Fruit Guild for distribution among the sick and shut-ins. They can be sent to her home, 1232 Prospect Avenue.

The following letter was received from Edward Baker, Jr., president of the Lions club:

"I am writing you in behalf of the Lions Club of Plainfield in regarde to the very wonderful work the Plainfield Garden Club is doing around our city. Some of the members of our club have seen the work in Cottage Place and also, the brook in Watchung Avenue, which is about completed. We just want you to know that we consider this one of the finest pieces of civic service which has been rendered Plainfield. As citizens and members of the Lions Club we certainly appreciate this work."

A report of unusual interest was presented by the conservation committe of the club. It was in part as follows:

"In early October, 1931, at the request of the Chamber of Commerce a survey was made by our president, Mrs. Leslie R. Fort and the chairman of the conservation committee of the Chamber of Commerce. This report embodied suggestions for work at conscpicuous places in the city . . . be of help in unemployment relief the club made an appropriation to be used as far as possible for wages only. Great interest was at once shown not only by club members, but also by people in many walks of life.

"Two projects were undertaken. The one first begun was Cottage Place close to the railroad tracks. Following some publicity for the work being attempted, gifts came freely – top soil, manure, plants, trees and shrubs. City officials, those of the park and street departments and the New Jersey Central, co-operated gernerously.

"Today a beautiful little park awaits the spring. There have been planted 31 trees where none stood before; 26 rose bushes and over 375 other plants and shurbs have been most carefully set out. This work employed 139 hours at 50 cents an hour and 312 hours at 40 cents an hour. The expenditure was $169.50. Cottage park has been evolved.

"It was evident when the work at Cottage Place was well underway that a second piece of work could be begun. The south bank of Green Brook at the Watchung Avenue bridge was chosen as the worst eyesore in the city. Here, as in Cottage Place, advice was generously given that nothing could be done. But the gardeners just kept on working. Gifts kept coming. A tractor was brought in to cope with stones and debris impossible for men to move. Today another pleasnt little park created by the garden club also awaits the spring.

"Because in pioneer days the little stream, now called Green Brook, was called the Sahcunk River, streams, and the tribe dwelling here along its banks were teh Sahcunk Indians, this little park made by our club is now called Sahcunk Park. In those early days from Rock Avenue to Bound Brook there was located Waccaho-vo-howiohy Village, the name meaning "where you can dig into the ground."

"In two projects 28 1/4 hours at 50 cents an hour and 211 3/4 hours at 40 cents an hour made an expenditure of $99.30. The total planting of 51 trees, 89 roses and 750 other plants and shrubs cost $268.60. Every cent went for wages so the garden club has the enviable record of being able to dispense 100 per cent relief. The fine co-operative spirit shown in every direction made every moment a delight.

"Those of us who really dug in the gardens are quite conscious that many defects may be discovered easily by those so minded. But we trust that these plots, slected as behicles for helping those in distress will be filled with flowers and restful shade. And we hope that each succeeding year will find these spots a little lovelier because of our civic interest in them and that this part of co-operative effort will not be forsaken."

Among the women who were actively engaged in these enterprises were Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, president; Mrs. J. L. Devlin, Mrs. Thomas R. VanBoskerck, Mrs. Garret Smith, Mrs. Henry L. DeForest, Mrs. Clinton Ivins, Miss Elsie Harman, Mrs. Charles A. Eaton and Mrs. Henry Wells.

Thursday, May 30, 1940 The Westfield Leader

Mrs. N. F. Derrey Wins Flower Sweepstakes

Mrs. VanDoren is Runner-Up
In Mountainside Garden
Club's Largest Show

Mrs. N. F. Derry of East Dudley Avenue won the sweepstakes award for specimen exhibits in the Mountainside Garden Club's annual spring flower show Friday. She scored twenty-two points. Mrs. A. E. Van Doren of Springfield road was runner-up with twenty-one points.

Mrs. R. E. Powell, Mrs. Elliott Ramney and Mrs. H. L. Brooks, club members, tied for sweepstakes in artistic arrangement with fifteen points each.

Mrs. Powell's entry of lilacs in the arrangement, combined with amaryllis leaves in a low sopper container was judged the outstanding arrangement in the show.

An arrangement by Mrs. Brooks of purple tulips against beige wallpaper in a copper container made by her husband also attracted much favorable comment.

A wooden cranberry picker filled with a line arrangement of pine with red geraniums as an accent won a blue ribbon for Mrs. Ramney. Mrs. Mortimer Armstrong won a red in the same class with a line arrangement of bleeding heart with purple accent in a low container harmonizing in color with the flowers.

The show was the largest ever held by the lcub, with thirty-five classes for adults and five for children, with the Mountainside Junior Garden CXLub ?king a deep interest.

Mrs. L. E. Steiner's arrangement of weeds in a wooden container painted to harmonize with a awater color of the exhibitor won a blue in a novice class. Mrs. Robert L. Duncan won a first in the international table ?ings class with an arrangement of fruits on an Italian table.

A bird sanctuary exhibited by the Union County Parks Commission and tea room under director of Mrs. ? M. Hinton were additional features. Members of the junior club assisted as waitresses.

Mrs. Carl E. Ackerman of Summit, Mrs. James L. Devlin of Plainfield, Mrs. Reginald A. Saunders of South Orange and John Jennings of Springfield judged the show. Mrs. Robert W. Davidson, president, entertained the judges at luncheon at ? A? Chateau, Mountainside. Mrs. Alfred H. Wolfs was show chairman and Mrs. Maxwell vice chairman.

Blue ribbon winners were:
Tulips, collection, Mrs. Walter Messenger; any variety, Mrs. Charles F. Lewis; iris, beared, white, Mrs. Van Doren; purple, Joseph Chattin of Mountainside; yellow, Mrs. Derrey; ? and collection, Mrs. Van Doren; beardless, any variety, James Logic of Westfield; columbine, Mrs. C. D. ? Clark of Westfield; columbine, ? spurred, Mrs. Derrey; pansies, Mrs. Derry; lily of the valley, Mrs. Chester Wallace of Westfield; roses, Mrs. Donald C. Maxwell; any other flowers. Albert G. Ingalls of Cranford
Flowering shrubs, deutzia, Mrs. Duncan; weiglia, Mrs. Judson Bradf;
spirea, Mrs. Wallace; any other le, Mrs. Minna Crandall.
Artistic arrangement, flowers in
li kitchen mold, Mrs. lirooks; fresh
iwcrs trimming hat, Mrs. F. L.
Heather of Westfield; flowers grown
xhibitor, Mrs. Powell; pansies
[ith own or other foliage, Mrs. Pow-
!; arrangement vegetable leaves,
.rs, Kanney; miniature still life in
hU'd niche, Mrs. Brooks; miniare
arrangement not exceeding four
inches over all, Miss Mildred Sawyer
of New York and Mrs. Derrey.
Junior club, arrangement flowers
in any container, Peggy Lou Armstrong;
miniature garden on tray,
Shirley Lantz; arrangement for smaV
table, Reed Carter; miniature arrangement,
Ernestine Rocker; kitch
en jungle of growing vegetables
Mary Wolfs

Mrs. Devlin

1936 - 1937 Meeting Minutes

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

Film of the Devlin Garden

The Westfield Leader, Thursday, May 30, 1940

Mrs. Devlin is a judge at a local flower show

The Westfield Leader, Thursday, May 30, 1940

The Westfield Leader, Thursday, May 30, 1940

The Westfield Leader, Thursday, May 30, 1940

1922 The Fourth Estate: A Weekly Newspaper for Advertisers and Newspaper Makers

James L. Devlin

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.

The New York Sun, Saturday, March 31, 1934


The Plainfield Garden Club tied with the Garden Club of East Orange for first place in competition among the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey in the twenty-first international flower show, held last week in the Grand Central Palace. Each club won 2,642 points. The Garden Club of Bound Brook and that of Montclair won second and third place, respectively.

The Garden Club of Plainfield carried off six blue, thirteen red and four yellow ribbons.

Mrs. Garret Smith's original poem "Aprils's Mirror," written for this occasion and arranged for illustration by Mrs. Frederic W. Goddard and Mrs. James Devlin received the second award.

1940 Census

Florence E Devlin in the 1940 Census
Age 56, born abt 1884
Birthplace Canada English
Gender Female
Race White
Home in 1940
1203 Putnam Avenue
Union, New Jersey
Household Members Age
Head James L Devlin 58
Wife Florence E Devlin 56
Daughter Kathleen D Brownlee 33
Servant Lottie Johnson 23

Kathleen Devlin Brownlee

Kathleen Devlin Brownlee

Birth: 1902
Death: 1968

Family links:
James L Devlin (1877 - 1943)
Florence E Dame Devlin (1872 - 1962)

Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Created by: Dianne Delitto
Record added: Jun 20, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131612285

Hillside Cemetery

Florence E. Dame Devlin

Birth: 1872
Death: 1962

Family links:
James L Devlin (1877 - 1943)

Kathleen Devlin Brownlee (1902 - 1968)*

*Calculated relationship

Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Created by: Dianne Delitto
Record added: Jun 20, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131612226

Dr. James L. Devlin

Birth: 1877
Death: 1943

Family links:
Florence E Dame Devlin (1872 - 1962)*

Kathleen Devlin Brownlee (1902 - 1968)*

*Calculated relationship

Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Created by: Dianne Delitto
Record added: Jun 20, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131612151

Kathleen Estelle Devlin Brownlee

Husband: James L Brownlee
Birth/Chris: at ...
Death/Burial: at ...

Wife: Kathleen Estelle Devlin
Birth/Chris: ... 1902 at ...
Death/Burial: ... 1968 at ...

Florence Eugenia Dame Devlin

Florence Eugenia Dame
Found 10 Records, 7 Photos and 114,207 Family Trees
Born on 25 Mar 1878 to John A Dame and Cora Elizabeth Hodge. Florence Eugenia married James Lawrence Devlin and had 2 children.

Family Members
John A Dame
Cora Elizabeth Hodge

James Lawrence Devlin

Kathleen Estelle Devlin
Beatrice Lucille Devlin

Kathleen Estelle Devlin Brownlee

Found 10 Records, 9 Photos and 116,695 Family Trees
Born in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, USA on 1901 to James Lawrence Devlin and Florence Eugenia Dame. Kathleen Estelle married James L Brownlee. She passed away on 25 Nov 1968 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, USA.

Beatrice Lucille Devlin Schavoir

Found 10 Records, 5 Photos and 116,695 Family Trees
Born in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, USA on 16 Oct 1905 to James Lawrence Devlin and Florence Eugenia Dame. Beatrice Lucille married Fredrick Henry Schavoir and had a child. She passed away on 11 May 1977 in Norton, Connecticut, USA.

1901 New York Medical Journal

Monday Afternoon Club Membership