Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Smith, Mrs. Henry "Harry" Brokaw (Olive May Willett) '59

1963 Address: 678 West 8th Street

[address also printed as 676 West 8th Street]

1970 Address: Woodhollow, Colts Neck NJ 0722
NOTE: Handwritten next to her name: Resigned April 1971

The daughter-in-law of Mrs. Garret Smith '27

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

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

Monday Afternoon Club

http://www.plainfieldlibrary.info/Departments/LH/FindingAids/MondayAfternoonClubREV.html

Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith
President 1938 -1939

New York Times Wedding Announcement August 18, 1940

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F11F63554107A93CAA81783D85F448485F9


Olive Smith Wed To G.D. Roberts; She Has 5 Attendants at Her Marriage in North Plainfield –Wears Ivory Satin

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. ();
August 18, 1940,
, Section Society News, Women's News, Page 42, Column , words
[ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ]

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Aug. 17– Miss Olive Willett Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith of this place, was married to Geoffrey Dorning Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Roberts ...

Catalogue of the officers and alumni of Rutgers College (originally Queen's College) in New Brundswick, N.J., 1766-1916

HARRY BROKAW SMITH
Born at North Plainfield, N. J., Aug. 6,

1928 May Designers Showhouse: 1127 Watchung Avenue

Cover to Page 25

Page 26 to Page 51

Page 52 to Page 75

Page 76 to Back Cover

**PROGRAM: Mr. Richard Smith
PUBLICITY: Mrs. Richard E. Smith

Residence of Frank H. Smith, 707 West Eighth Street

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

Residence of DeWitt P. Brokaw, 176 Rockview Avenue

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

February 10, 1964 Letter to the Drake House by Barbara Sandford

Dear Mrs. Mann,

The Plainfield Garden Club wishes to resubmit its landscape plan for Drake House Museum in applying for the Sears Roebuck grant of 1964 "New Jersey – Preservation of the Past."

Because the Historical Society and the Junior League of Plainfield have been working away on the inside of "Drake House, Plainfield's only museum" and because of our plan and small efforts to "do something" for the grounds around Drake House, "the need has sprouted" and, praises be, the city Tercentenary Committee looked favorably upon our project and agreed to undertake all the work of the following paragraph. They are in the process of spending almost $5,000 donated to them by the city for paint, labor, bricks and laying medium on the driveway. It is most thrilling and heart warming.

You will notice that this plan has been redrawn with several changes; i.e., the driveway has been enlarged to permit parking and the mouth of the drive has been widened to allow cars to proceed in and out at the same time. Some "off center" planting behind the sign in the form of an American Hornbeam hedge has been added to hide the cars from the street. The walks are being created from blue stone flag to brick and new a new walk is added for convenient approach to the side street. The flag pole has been reset and is of a type that can be lowered for painting and repairs. The museum itself has received a coat of paint and looks very trim.

Along with the Spade and Trowel Garden Club has put in a memorial planting (again according to our plan) of three white dogwood trees and 100 vinka plants.

But for the drought last fall, the Drake House landscape committee would have had the area for the gardens leveled and put in a random planting across the back line of white pines and hemlocks with clumps of rhododendrons and laurel intersperced. This to be done at the first possible chance this spring. The next day ! we plan to begin laying out the brick paths of both the herb garden and the knot garden and to fertilize and seed the lawn.

Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith will be in charge of planting the herb garden. Last years grant was earmarked for leveling and laying out the brick paths. This years grant, if we are lucky, will go toward the small hedge of holly which surrounds that garden.

With this tremendous boost, we feel at last that the ball is rolling and with luck, our goal will be reached.

Our goal? To have the grounds around Drake House a true demonstration of landscaping as it was in 1777, when Washington stood on the porch and directed his troops in the battle of the Short Hills.

Plainfield's part in the celebration of New Jersey's Tercentenery is to reenact this battle in June with the help of the Queen's Guard, an R. O. T. C. unit of Rutgers University.

Please help us to be ready.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara T. Sandford
Plainfield Garden Club

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Application to the National Register of Historic Places

719-23 Watchung Avenue
c. 1880
Interesting gable with central square campanile tower with cross shape plan and flat roof with balustrade.

1885, the home of George R. K. Smith, "soap, N. Y." Later, also the home of C. Benson Wigton, Mayor of Plainfield

Projecting cabinet head windows, supported by small scrolled brackets – diamond shaped applied molding above the double arched window in the gable pediment – tower treatment.

Saturday, April 29, 1961

City Garden Club Planning Tour

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

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

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

by Jill Koehler

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

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

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

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

Covers 3/4 of Acre

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

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

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

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

15-foot Holly

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


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

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

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

Herb Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Plantings

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

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

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

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

Sandstone Birdbath

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

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

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

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

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

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

Formal Garden

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

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

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

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

1962

December 1963

A Medieval Design
Herbalist Has a Tudor Knot Garden
by Alice Dennis

Visiting the herb garden of Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith in Plainfield is not only an education in herbs, their culture and history, but an adventure in other aspects of horticulture and in landscaping.

The Smith garden is really a series of connected gardens and hidden away in their midst like a sanctuary is a Tudor knot herb garden, surrounded by old-fashioned garden roses with a statue of St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, placed in the background in a shrine above a bank of thyme. The shrine is under a late-blooming Chinese dogwood.

Mrs. Smith is a recognized authority on herbs. She is a vice president of the Herb Society of America, a former chairman of the New York Unit of this society and now chairman of the planting committee of the unit which maintains the Herb Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. She retired last spring as horticultural chairman of the Garden Club of New Jersey and also from that office of the Plainfield Garden Club.

She also is a member of the New Jersey Arbor and Garden Committee appointed by Governor Hughes for next year's New York World's Fair. She has written numerous articles on herbs for horticultural publications and also is a the author of a book on Gaspe Pennisula where the Smiths formerly spent their summers, "Gaspe Romantique."

But she credits her husband with being a better horticulturalist. He is an engineer by profession, but his hobby is raising hollies from cuttings and cross-breeding English varieties. his most prized achievement is a large tree, now over 20 feet high in their garden, grown from one of his cultivars and named for his wife, "Olive Smith."

The Smiths' gardens frequently have been visited by horticultural classes from Rutgers University and opened on local benefit tours.

Connected Series
Presumably these tours followed the route along which Mrs. Smith guided us which revealed one surprise after another. We started on the side of the lawn where daffodils, azaleas, mallows, hardy orange, white and French lilacs and other flowers and shrubs bloom in season.

Between cascades of two mock orange trees which make a natural gateway we entered a large oval garden "room" designed around an ancient apple tree which must have been there before the garden was started about 30 years ago. Three huge branches, themselves like trunks, curve out just above the main trunk of this tree to form a natural seat.

At left of the entrance to this hidden room is a rock garden, with a tiny stream of water cascading down over rocks into a deep fish pool at the side. At right of the entrance is an armillary of aril which – like a sundial tells the time. The instrument includes a pedestal holding a bronze sphere on which the hours are marked in Roman numerals and two arrows. The time is signified when the shadow of an arrow falls on a numeral. A rain gauge is nearby.

Forget-me-nots bloom around the pool all summer. Arrowhead or sagittaria, an aquatic herb, also blooms around the edge and Mountain laurel is among shrubs in the background. Flowering trees, and shrubs – including witch-hazel, spindle-tree (euonymus alaetes) English hawthorne, and viburnum tomentosum, start blooming around the circle of the garden in early spring, then in July come the long-lasting pink racemes of aibizzia. A Franklinia tree is also a late bloomer. There is a rose border below the armillary.

The side which continues down from the rock garden leads just to the left of the tall holly tree. Here the shrubs are parted to admit the visitor to a path for meditation, which the Smiths call "Enoch's Walk." This leads between rhododendrons and azaleas, through a wild garden and past Smith's holly nursery. Circling along a hedge of lilacs, past white birches and "His and Hers" compost heaps, one turns right into the secluded herb garden.

The herb collection numbers more than 100 varieties in medicinal, culinary and fragrant categories including some herbs mentioned in the Bible. Mrs. Smith sometimes arranges a collection of these for Christmas exhibits, including Lady's Red Straw, said by some to have been the straw in the manger at Bethlehem.

White strawberries obtained from a nursery and seed house in Paris grow in the herb area.

Plaints of different textures and varying shades of green make the knot garden design stand out. Varieties used in the design include several thymes, germanders (teucrium) with T. chamaedrys at the center of the knot, santolina (lavender cotton) and other lavenders. Outside the knot are all the other numerous herb varieties.

December 1963

December 1963

Caption: TUDOR KNOT HERB garden of Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith of Plainfield is planted in front of shrine to Saint Fiacre, Patron saint of gardeners, under which Mrs. Smith sits on a stone bench covered with thyme.

December 1963

December 1963

GASPÉ THE ROMANTIQUE

Gaspesian Heritage Web Magazine

AUTHOR: Book description by CASA

Book cover
Writing in 1936, Olive Willett Smith, a Gaspé native, began her travel book Gaspé the Romantique this way: "In summer, as the thermometer hovers in the nineties and the humidity tags along, go to the Northland; to Gaspé, that eastern arm of the Province of Quebec stretching out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the air is like champagne."


By the wayside, Matapedia.
Throughout the book, the author portrays the history and legends of the Gaspé as well as some of her personal experiences in her "desire to bring to the public a deeper appreciation of the traditions, customs and simple beauty of the lives of these people and the grandeur of the country in which they live."


Unloading fish on Chaleur Bay
In the vein of modern-day tour books, the reader is provided with all the information needed to make a successful road trip through the region. Starting in St. Flavie, through Chaleur Bay to Gaspé and around the coast, the reader will find descriptions and interesting facts about the various towns and villages along Perron Boulevard of 1936, now known as Highway 132. Readers familiar with the drive along the coast will find themselves effortlessly visualizing scenes of the past in the familiar landscape.


View of Percé
Printed in New York by the Thomas Y. Crowell Company in 1936, the book contains 156 pages with black and white photos, illustrations, a map and other useful information for the traveler. This book is available for purchase from antique book dealers or for consultation at the CASA office in New Carlisle.

Array

GASPÉ THE ROMANTIQUE

1936

Olive May Willett Smith

Birth: May 21, 1893
Death: 1977

Daughter of John Benjamin Willett and Annie Smith Willett

Family links:
Spouse:
Harry Brokaw Smith (1889 - 1977)

Burial:
Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Created by: Dianne Delitto
Record added: Aug 10, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 115219074

GASPÉ THE ROMANTIQUE

Travelogue of the Gaspé peninsula, the 'Cradle of French America', once an important fishing base, with historical anecdotes; illustrated with sixteen b/w photos and many line drawings. INSCRIBED by the author on the front end sheet: "For Richard A. Gallagher: Greetings to a grand 'boss' and with the hope that he will enjoy his trip to the Gaspe. From the author, Olive Willett Smith, Nov. 2, 1943." Second printing, says the jacket flap. Hardcover, full green cloth with gilt lettering. Spine ends show some wear, top edge darkened; jacket tanned, especially on spine, which is also faded to the point of being difficult to read; small chips at head of jacket spine. Text clean; 156 pages, map, index, road signs, Q&A for tourists, b/w photos, line drawings.
Quebec, Canada, Travel, Tourism

2001 The Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and

Smith, Olive Willett. Olive Willett was born in the Gaspe, Quebec, a land that she adored. On her marriage she became Olive Smith.

In Gaspe the Romantique, Willett wrote a book "to bring to the public a deeper appreciation of the traditions, customs and simple beauty of the lives of these people and the grandeur of the country in which they live." She describes towns and village along the new highway around the peninsula, which "has been the means of bringing the world of today to this isolated coast and more firmly uniting a people who for centuries have lives in a social and religious harmony." Her observations include a gamut of topics such as eel fishing, shrines, provincialisms and jails, as well as historical details.
Bibliography
Smith, Olive Willett. 1936 Gaspe the Romantique. New York: Crowell, 159 pp.

2001 The Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and

by Library of Congress 1941
Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [C] Group 3. Dramatic Composition and

The Herb Society Award Winners

1966 Helen de Conway Little Medal of Honor
Smith, Olive Willett

www.herbsociety.org

This award is given annually at the discretion of the Awards Committee to honor someone who has made outstanding contributions to The Herb Society of America or to the world of horticulture in general.

New York Times Wedding Announcement August 18, 1940

New York Times Wedding Announcement August 18, 1940

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F11F63554107A93CAA81783D85F448485F9


Olive Smith Wed To G.D. Roberts; She Has 5 Attendants at Her Marriage in North Plainfield –Wears Ivory Satin

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. ();
August 18, 1940,
, Section Society News, Women's News, Page 42, Column , words
[ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ]

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Aug. 17– Miss Olive Willett Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith of this place, was married to Geoffrey Dorning Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Roberts ...

Olive's father: John Benjamin Willett

ID: I17802
Name: John Benjamin WILLETT
RFN: 17802
Change Date: 5 AUG 2011
Sex: M
Birth: 1 AUG 1852
Change Date: 5 AUG 2011
Death: 16 FEB 1913 in New Richmond, Bonaventure Co., Québec, Canada
Change Date: 5 AUG 2011

Ancestry Hints for John Benjamin WILLETT

3 possible matches found on Ancestry.com


Father: Peter Benjamin WILLETT b: 13 OCT 1800 in New Richmond, Bonaventure Co., Québec, Canada
Mother: Mary Sarah HAMILTON b: ABT 1811 in Québec, Canada

Marriage 1 Ann Eliza (Elizabeth Ann) SMITH b: 11 JUN 1859 in New Carlisle, Bonaventure Co., Québec, Canada
Married:
Change Date: 5 AUG 2011
Children
Sarah Ann(3) WILLETT b: 4 FEB 1880
Benjamin(1) WILLETT b: 21 FEB 1882
William Thomas(2) WILLETT b: 19 FEB 1884
Henry Howard WILLETT b: 7 APR 1886
Isabella WILLETT b: 5 NOV 1886
Florence Ruby WILLETT b: 7 JAN 1891 in New Richmond, Bonaventure Co., Québec, Canada
Olive May WILLETT b: 21 MAY 1893
John Clifton WILLETT

September 2, 1985 NY Times: Olive's grandson Geoffrey Dorning Roberts Jr.

Barbara A. Lent Weds Geoffrey D. Roberts Jr.
Published: September 2, 1985

Barbara Anne Lent, a daughter of Representative Norman F. Lent of East Rockaway, L.I., and Washington, and Nancy B. Lent of Cape Coral, Fla., was married yesterday to Geoffrey Dorning Roberts Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts of Boxborough, Mass., and Punta Gorda, Fla. The Rev. Dr. Frederick Hummel performed the Methodist ceremony at the Church by the Sea in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Mrs. Roberts recently received an M.B.A. degree from the University of Miami, from which she and her husband graduated. She is a granddaughter of the late Judge Norman F. Lent of the Nassau County Court. Her father, a Republican, represents the Fourth District on Long Island.

Mr. Roberts is a candidate for an M.B.A. degree at Florida Atlantic University and a project manager for the Florida Power & Light Company in Boca Raton. His father, who is retired, was a consulting engineer.

June 1, 1964 Courier-News

Area Garden Clubs Get Awards from State Unit

"Mrs. Henry Brokaw Smith of Colts Neck in recognition of achievements as an outstanding herbalist."

Wednesday, May 25, 1966 Courier-News

Former Plainfielder Cited by Herb Group

Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith of Colts Neck, formerly of Plainfield, this week received the Helen de Conway Little Medal of Honor for 1966 awarded by The Herb Society of America.

She was cited for "her educational contribution of lectures, writing and gardens and her devotion to the ideals of The Herb Society of America and her deep interest in its future."

1975-1976 The Junior League of Plainfield

Mrs. William B. Smith (Mary Ann)
Voting Board Members, Provisional

November 3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 6, 1992 Historical Society of Plainfield Secret Gardens Tour

June 6, 1992 Historical Society of Plainfield Secret Gardens Tour

1. Drake House
2. Shakespeare Garden
3. Victorian Hideaway, 935 Madison Avenue

4. Holly, Box and Ivy, 836 Arlington Avenue
King, Mrs. Victor R. (Elizabeth J.) '48

Back in 1875, when farmland was fast giving way to suburban residential lots, three town houses were erected across the way from Library Park on speculation. The builder specified identical interior plans, with facades reflecting the wonderful variety of 19th century architecture. The Victorian Eclectic home in the middle of the row, now painted in authentic tones of camel, cream and evergreen to blend with its surroundings, conceals a tranquil garden behind its stalwart presence.

Cascades of climbing hydrangea along the driveway fence mark passage to a shady, hidden garden. Pass under the rustic ivy arbor entwined with roses to a fish pond sheltered under silvery, gray birch – and the garden is revealed. An amazing wealth of plant material is tucked into this tiny Eden. Brick-edged beds overflow with plants both familiar and unfamiliar, among them astilbe, cone flower, Solomon's Seal, autumn flowering crocus and strawberry begonia. Girding a compact lawn – spangled in spring with the gold of winter aconite and the blue of ajuga – Olive Smith holly, viburnum, mahonia and jasmine contribute verticle interest to the verdant horizontal plane. Clematis montana trails across the yew and prunus lifts dainty blossoms against the boundary fence, leading the eye to a beautiful hornbeam tree in the yard beyond. Here and there, escapees from established beds have seeded themselves willy-nilly, adding to the casual charm. Hemlock tower over all, libed to allow more light to reach the growth below.

Boxwood and andromeda, rhododendron and azalea weave their way throughout the garden and foundation plantings. You'll never note the lack 'midst all the greenery, but a number of robust boxwood left the garden in early May to form the nucleus of new plantings at the Drake House. We're delighted to share the bounty from one of Plainfield's most cherished secret gardens.

At sundown, labors done, slip away to a private corner near the rock garden to await the first fireflies of a summer evening. The garden is at peace, lulled by the gentle trickle of the fountains, the last sleepy chitter of birds gone to rest.

5. Green-Wreathed Carriage House, 825 Carlton Avenue
Lare, Mrs. William Sloane (Dorothy) '54

This is the Carriage House to 1127 Watchung Avenue
Ginna, Mrs. Daniel F. (Katherine Whiting Lewis) '15

6. England Revisited, 922 Hillside Avenue
Atterbury, Mrs. Albert Hoffman (Emma H. Baker) '15

7. Hillside in Bloom, 1314 Highland Avenue
Noss, Mrs. Henry (Edith Edwards Tyler) '66

8. Elegant Serenity, 1332 Prospect Avenue
Van Boskerck, Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) '15

9. Hidden Harmony, 1401 Chetwynd Avenue

10. Petals on the Paving, 1081 Rahway Road
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65

11. Woodland Idyll, 1275 Denmark Road
Sandford, Mrs. Webster (Barbara Tracy) '50

1970 Corresponding Secretary file

Monday Afternoon Club Membership