Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Whitehead, Mrs. James Harold (Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg) '43

1941 - 1942 - 1943 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. James H. Whitehead 12/25/43 Pd. 1/3/44 Pd. 12/4/44 Pd. 1/10/46 July 46 May 14, 1947 July 15, 1948 July 1, 1949 May 29, 1950 June 1951 June 1952

1958 Address: 1340 Watchung Ave, Plainfield

Maiden name 'Heiberg' from Washington, DC?

Jean Whitehead was the neice of Member Mrs. Harry Godley (Jennie Fitz Randolph) Runkle '15

Jean's mother, Mary Gray Runkle Heiberg, served as a bridesmaid in the Harry Godley Runkle - Jennie Fitz Randolph wedding.

December 20, 1945 Westfield Leader birth announcement

Mrs. Whitehead, of Washington, DC, gave birth to James Mather Whitehead in Washington DC December 3, 1945. Captain James H. Whitehead served with the Marines in the Pacific

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1340 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield

Monday, June 2, 2008 from Gregory Palermo's Plainfield Tree Blog

Flowering dogwood is a tree of four-season beauty. Its spectacular spring floral display is followed by handsome red berries and rich maroon fall foliage. The tree's persimmon-like bark provides visual interest even in winter. A dogwood in fall foliage at 1340 Watchung Avenue is pictured above.

Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg Whitehead

Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg Whitehead
Memorial Photos Flowers Edit
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...
Birth: May 6, 1917
Plainfield
Union County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Feb., 1996
District Of Columbia, USA

Jean married James Whitehead, Jr. on December 13, 1941 in Washington, DC.

Family links:
Parents:
Walter LeRoy Heiberg (1886 - 1946)
Mary Gray Runkle Heiberg (1889 - 1970)

Spouse:
James Harold Whitehead (1910 - 1970)*

*Point here for explanation


Burial:
Unknown

Created by: Merideth Hmura
Record added: Aug 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 74287021

Mary Gray Runkle Heiberg

Mary Gray Runkle Heiberg
Memorial Photos Flowers Edit
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...
Birth: May 29, 1889
New Jersey, USA
Death: Jul. 11, 1970
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Mary was the daughter of Henry G. Runkle and Jeannie G. FitzRandolph. She married Walter LeRoy Heiberg of the US Navy. They had at least one child, Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg who married James Harold Whitehead Jr. Her grand-daughter by Jean, Mary Whitehead married Lt. Alanson Hewes Mabry also of the US Navy.

Family links:
Spouse:
Walter LeRoy Heiberg (1886 - 1946)*

Children:
Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg Whitehead (1917 - 1996)*

*Point here for explanation


Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA

Created by: mariahswind
Record added: Oct 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30935469

New York Times February 5, 1895

SOCIAL JOTTINGS FROM PLAINFIELD

Entertainmnets Which Have Helped to Make the Week Pass Pleasantly

PLAINFIELD, N. J., Feb. 16 – On Wednesday evening a cotillion was danced at the home of ex-Mayor Q. V. F. Randolph of East Front Street.

Herman Simmonds of Watchung Avenue has gone to Florida, to remain until Spring.

Mrs. Dudley Insley of Tacoma and Miss See of Sing Sing are guests of Mrs. E. E. Runyon of Madison Avenue.

Mrs. Howell of Chester, who has been visiting her sister Mrs. F. D. Whiting of East Sixth Street, has returned home.

Next Tuesday evening the ladies of the Monroe Avenue Chapel will hold their annual supper.

Mrs. Robert Downy of Madison Avenue gave a tea this afternoon from 4 to 7.

By far the largest and most brilliant social function that has ever been given in this city was the Ackerman reception at the Casino on Monday night. About 500 guests were present, the largest number that has yet gathered in that pretty clubhouse and ballroom. Mrs. J. Hervey Ackerman received, assisted by Mrs. Robert Rushmore, Mrs. Ernest R. Ackerman, and Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman.

Plainfield Countil of the Royal Arcanum celebrated the addition of the two hundredth member to its ranks Monday night with an entertainment.

William C. Ayers, one of Plainfield's oldest residents, celebrated his eighty-sixth birthday Tuesday. He was born on Feb. 12, 1809, on the same day as Lincoln.

Wednesday evening the ladies of the Seventh Day Baptist Church held a sale and supper in the church.

An interesting meeting of the Monday Afternoon Club was held in the parlors of the Crescent Avenue Church Monday, at which David P. Hall gave a talk on parliamentary usage.

The Third Regiment Cadet Corps of this city will go to Bound Brook on Washington's Birthday to take part in the parade of that place.

Several new members were received into the Plainfield Bicycle Club at a meeting Monday night.

On Thursday evening, Feb. 21, a Martha Washington tea will be given in the First Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday evening Mr. and Mrs. B. O. Bowers of Franklin Place entertained the Musical Club.

The Ladies Committee of the Young Women's Christian Association met Tuesday afternoon and elected the following officers: President – Mrs. Henry M. Maxson; Vice-President – Mrs. J. Wesley Johnson; Treasurere – Mrs. J. H. Manning; Secretary – Miss Embury.

Next month Miss Fannie Westphal will be married to George Gray of Brooklyn.

Tuesday, Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman of West Seventh Street gave a dinner in honor of her guest, Miss Cox of New York. The guests present were Miss Gertrude Waly, Miss Cox, Miss Marion Dumont, Miss Waldron, Miss Lawrence, Miss Carey, Harry Munger, Laurens Van Buren, Fred Waly, Dr. B. Van D. Hedges, Mr. Waring and Mr. Wharton.

A union meeting of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Societies of the Crescent Avenue and First Presbyterian Churches as held Tuesday afternoon at the latter church. The subject discussed as "China," papers being read by Mrs. M. E. Dwight, Mrs. Luchey, Mrs. Cornelius Schenck, Mrs. Pruden, and Mrs. Wyckoff.

Next Saturday Mrs. Henry McGee of Washington Park will give an afternoon tea. The hours will be from 4 to 7 o'clock.

During the week Miss Florence Honneger of New Brighton, S. I., has been the guest of Mrs. J. R. Hill of Belvidere Avenue.

Plainfield's handsome new Young Men's Christian Association Building was formally opened Tuesday night. Addresses were made by Mayor Alexander Gilbert, the first President of the association; the Rev. Dr. William R. Richards and William D. Murray, the present President. The building cost about $50,000.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FA0710F6395911738DDDAE0994DA405B8585F0D3

Westfield Leader 1944

http://archive.wmlnj.org/CityDirectory/1944/pg_0169.pdf

PLAINFIELD SAVINGS BANK, Louis K. Hyde Pres, Asa F. Randolph V-Pres, Harry B. MacDonald V-Pres-Sec-Treas, Austin W. Hutchinson Asst Sec-Asst Treas 102 E. Front (Plainfiled), Tel Plainfield 0742

PLAINFIELD TITLE & MORTGAGE GUARANTY CO., Harry H. Pond Pres., DeWitt Hubbell and John A. Gaffney V-Prests, Frank E. Chobot Sec, F. Irving Walsh Treas, H. Douglas Davis Asst Treas 119 W. Front (Plainfield), Tel 6-1300 (See page 29 Buyer's Guide)

August 26, 1894 New York Times Article: Plainfield, City of Homes

Some of the others who do business in New York and have handsome homes here are ex Mayor Z. V. F. Randolph, manager of the Tilden trust;

Catherine Randolph Webster

http://www.plainfieldlibrary.info/images/Departments/LocalHistory/CWebsterTree1.png

Ladies Home of Plainfield
313 Franklin Place

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

http://crescent-times.blogspot.com/2007/08/bit-of-history-on-catherine-and-her.html

Monday, August 6, 2007
A bit of history on Catherine and her wishes
To continue the Catherine Randolph Webster story, one has to remember, or know, that the Websters along with the Randolphs are an integral part of Plainfield's history. Two of their many contributions are still here. One is Quaker Meeting house in Watchung Avenue, the other: the Muhlenberg Hospital which was built on land given, and thanks to the generosity, of the Randolph family.

Following here is a bit of history on Catherine Randolph Webster and her wishes. We hope that by sharing this information, the reason of us so stubbornly advocating for this house starts becoming clear, not only to us, but to those who are opposed to our raising questions about the recent decision to sell this house under a lack of transparency on the part of the people in charge of the Catherine Webster Estate and the Ladies Home.

Catherine Webster had a tragic beginning on life.

Catherine Randolph Webster was born in her grandfather Webster's homestead, which became know later as the Ginna tract on Watchung Avenue, March 6, 1825. Her mother, for whom she was named, died when Catherine was three weeks old and her father, was fatally injured by a fall from a hay-mow in her fourth year.

Left an orphan, the little Catherine was reared by devoted grandparents, and in 1837, when she was twelve, she moved with them into the house which her grandfather, a well-know builder, had built on the northeast corner of East Second and Church Streets. There she lived until her death, in her eighty-third year, on October 15, 1906.

Miss Webster was educated in Plainfield schools and later attended a Seminary in Renssalaerville, New York. She was a birthright member of the Friend's Meeting and was actively identified with many charitable works in Plainfield.

She worked all night on the outline for a "Home for Gentlewomen" when formulating that plan. In the morning, Miss Webster had clearly in her mind what she wanted to do. She had her will drawn up, signed it on January 27, 1900, appointing Joseph B. Coward and John H. Van Wincle, her executors.

In her will, Catherine requests that all the remainder of her estate be managed by her executors, or the survivors of them; that her real estate be sold at such time and in such manner as they might best for the purpose of said trust, and that they execute with the monies from the sale of her real estate and her goods, the purchase of a lot of land in the City of Plainfield, New Jersey.

A lot, of suitable size, on which to erect or assist in erecting a building for the purpose of founding a Home for the aged and infirm women, to be known as a "Ladies Home".

She then asks that her executors, and the survivors of her executors, and then the successors of such survivors to the executors, that her will be executed and delivered to a corporation to be organized for the purpose of said Ladies Home, to be held by it and its successors and assigns forever.

Her fund amounted back then to $72,000 dollars. In 1927 it had accrued to $115,258.00.

The Ladies Home of Plainfield became incorporated on June 10, 1910 under the New Jersey act of 1898.

On August 3, 1916, the Plainfield Trust Company was appointed Substitute Administrator with the Will Annexed and trustee under the Will of Catherine Randolph Webster.

After unavoidable delays due to the first World War, high building costs, inadequate endowment to maintain a Home such as Miss Webster had envisioned, the Gough property on 313 Franklin place was purchased April 1, 1927 for the amount of $34,856.91. The Catherine Webster Home was first opened in the fall of 1927.

The Grandfather clock that was standing at the front hall of the Home dates back beyond 1802. Miss Webster's grandfather traded a wood lot in the Watchung Mountains for it, the year in which he married her grandmother, Amy King.

The neighborhood association continues to be astonished at the actions of the YWCA, a well respected organization, locally and nationally. Our hope is that they will return our call and sit with us to discuss this house that represents so much to the Crescent Area Historic District. A house that also talks of Plainfield's founding families, the Websters, the Randolphs, and the Vails.

New York Times October 13, 1895

New York Times October 13, 1895

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40E17F93A5911738DDDAA0994D8415B8585F0D3

THE WEEK IN PLAINFIELD

Entertainment by the Dorcas Society – Monday Afternoon Club

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Oct. 12 – A social event of the last week was the entertainment given by the Dorcas Society, King's Daughters, at the home of Miss Maude Lowrie, in Park Avenue, Monday evening. It was titled "The Circulating Library," and was given for the purpose of raising funds for the benefit of the poor of the city. The guests on arriving were given a blank catalogue, with only numbers on it, and they were to guess the titles of books represented. The Reception Committee was composed of Miss Bowers, Miss Brown, Miss Lowrie and Miss Langdon. Those presiding at the talbes were Mrs. Crane and Miss Wyckoff, assisted by Mrs. Clark, Mrs. C. T. Pond, Miss Minnie French, Miss Green, Miss Ella Blish, and Miss Maltly. In the library were Miss Crane, Miss Cornwell, Miss Lou French, Miss Millie Landgon, Miss Etta BLish, Miss Alice Hayners, Miss Bessie Titsworth, and Miss Kline.

S.E. Hull of Duer Street has returned from Broadway, where he spent the Summer.

The Monday Afternoon Club, Plainfield's leading woman's club, held it sifrst meeting of the Fall. On account of repairs being made at the Casino or the Union County Country Club, where the meeings are usually held, the ladies gathered in the parlors of the Congregational Church. The subject upon which papers are to be read for the coming year is "Some Great Florentines and Their Times." Two papers were read Monday – one by Mrs. Josiah Brown and the other by Mrs. Robert Lowry. Next month the paper will be read by Miss Kenyon, Principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary.

H. M. Stevens of Fanwood gave a reception at the Fanwood Clubhouse Friday evening.

Miss Nellie Saums of Ricefiled is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Saums of Clinton Avenue.

George Barton has returned to Keyport after a visit with Mrs. Barton of Madison Avenue.

Edward Hooley of Rockview Avenue has gone to Atlanta.

The Rev. E. L. Hyde of Hyde Park, Mass., is visiting friends in Plainfield.

The Misses Anthony of Crescent Avenue have returned from Europe.

Miss Bessie Booker of Richmond, Va., has been visitng Miss Dryden of West Seventh Street.

James Smith of Elmwood Place has returned from Amesbury, Mass.

Miss May Haberle, who has been visitng her cousin, Miss Lillie Haberle, has returned to her home in Orange.

Miss Mary Ryder of Brooklyn, who has been visiting at the home of Robert Lucky of Fifth Street, has returned home.

Charles L. Case and family of Central Avenue returned this week from their European trip.

Miss Lydia Duffert of Morris County is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Van Dyke of East Front Street.

Mr. and Mrs. John Burnett of Brookyln have been visiting Mr. and Mrs. Charles Doane of Fifth Street.

Charles Potter of West Seventh Street has returned from Philadelphia.

Mrs. Florence Howe Hall of Madison Avenue is in Massachusetts delivering a course of lectures.

Miss Mary and Miss Grace Shreve of New York are guests of B. J. Shreve of Grove Street.

Miss Agnes Baldwin of Brooklyn is the guest of Miss Haviland of Washington Park.

Benjamin Terry of Bridgeport is the guest of the Misses Livergey of Park Avenue.

Thomas H. Keller of East Front Street left this week for a trip South.

C. C. Burke and family have left for their Winter home in New York, after spending the Summer at the cottage on Ravine Road Netherwood.

William Tyler of West Eigth Street has gone to Europe.

David Krymer of West Second Street has gone to Baltimore.

Dr. Frank Searles and Mrs. Searles have returned to Bayonne, after a visit with Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Lourie of Park Avenue.

Dr. John H. Carman and fmaily of Somerset Street returned this week from the Adirondacks.

Dr. B. Van D. Hedges of Watchung Avenue is home from his outing in Maine.

Miss Caroline Fitz Randolph, daughter of ex-Mayor L. V. F. Randolph of East Front Street, sailed Saturday for Europe.

1947 Check Book

No. 622
Jan. 2, 1947
Susan W. Tyler
twine 1.80
fir 5.00
ribbon 30.00
$36.80
War Services

No. 623
Jan. 6, 1947
Ethel Anderegg
wire 5.25
" 5.00
tip 5.00
$15.25
War Services

No. 624
Jan. 6, 1947
Caroline H. Ladd
express on slides
$2.50
Program

In left margin:

Mrs. Anderegg
(xmas paper) 6.30

Mrs. Whitehead
gift $5.00

Anderegg 10.00
Dunellen

Anderegg 20.00
Mr. Louis Watson ??
Rahway 20.00

"Blojocamavi," Residence of Mrs. L. V. F. Randolph, 741 E. Front 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

1928 Plainfield City Directory

1919 Meeting Minutes

2007 Gregory Palermo's Tree Blog

313 Franklin Place

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

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.

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

November 30, 2013: Found in Barbara Tracy Sandford's memorabilia. Written by PGC Member Mrs. Garret Smith

"I call Plainfield the City of Beautiful Trees," and out-of-town visitor remarked to me the other day. "My business takes me to many towns about this size clear across the country. Trees, or their lack, always impress me most about a town. Beautiful building can't make up for the lack of them. Many towns seem to have choice trees only in one or two sections. Others have only a few tree-lined avenues. But every part of Plainfield has not only interesting individual trees, but long stretches of streets where treetops meet in green arches above the traffic. That doesn't just happen. This town must have been founded by tree-lovers."

The stranger was right, as many specimen trees on old private properties testify. They are trees that were rare and expensive when planted years ago. A number of well-to-do property owners appreciated trees and collected choice kinds. The street trees of about this age also show that far-sighted men planned to make the town keep growing more beautiful in ways that everyone enjoys.

Trees have always been essential to Plainfielders. In the early days elms stretched down North Ave. from east to the west city boundaries. Many still remain now 70 to 80 years old. That avenue helped to establish Plainfield's policy of "beautiful trees for every street."

Value Appreciated
The city's mayors and councilmen have appreciate the value of trees . . . Ginko . . . now ripening, in the edge of the station grounds, near the corner of the drug store.

Among its immediate neighbors, at this station are a Red Maple, Austrian Pine, English Elm, Horse Chestnut, several Magnolias and a Sycamore Maple, the latter near the middle of the grass oval. Purple Beech, White Pine and two Hemlocks stand at the west exit.

Lindens at Spot
On the North Ave. side of the station is an interesting clump of three Lindens – no two alike. Evergreens are represented by three Scotch Pines, an Austrian and a White Pine, and a tall, slender Spruce. In this little park are also Sugar Swamp and Silver Maples, and a clump of low-growing Beeches. Looking upward to the railroad level, one sees, besides the specimen Ginko mentioned, two Catalpas, a Weeping Mulberry, two Red Maples and an Austrian Pine. A big Pin Oak, two or three Scarlet Oaks, a . . . .

. . . boats glided over Green Brook and when Plainfield and New York social leaders came in big carriages, drawn by spanking teams, to garden musicals, gay dinners, dances and teas as the Johnston's guests.

All of Plainfield's school grounds are constantly growing more attractive. Environment of vines, trees, plants and shrubs awaken appreciation of Nature's beauty that is a lifelong source of pleasure.

Hubbard School, one of the city's architectural gems, has always been regarded as in a class by itself. Its beauty is greatly enhanced by choice plant material on its ample grounds, partly framed by Barberry. Large specimen Japanese Yews arrest attention, along with Sourwoods, or "Lily-of-the-Valley Tree," whose branches bear long one-sided racemes of white flowers in summer and whose leaves are vivid scarlet in autumn.

White Pine, Cedar, Pfitzer Junipers are shadowy evergreen foils for airy bloom of Weeping Japanese . . .

Among them are the old Elms in North Ave., mentioned before; London Planes from Watchung Ave. to Terrill Rd.; Ash in St. Mary's Ave.; Pin Oaks and Planes in Park Ave.; Sycamore Maples in Bellevue Ave.; Norway Maples in both Leland and Monroe Ave. sections. Tulip trees now grow in Central St., along Maxon School grounds, and Ginkos in Landsdowne Terr. In Cleveland Ave., near Grace Church, the lacy foliage of the decorative Mountain Ash, or Rowan Tree, contrasts at this season with bunches of bright hollylike berries. Many years ago the late Simeon Cruikshank planted Buckeyes along his corner property ["Sacmoore" 831 Belvidere] at Belvidere and Watchung Aves. Much smaller than familiar Horse Chestnut and with brighter pink flower-spikes they have always been greatly admired. In autumn the brilliant, scarlet, star-shape leaves of Liquid-ambar, or Sweetgum, glorifies a patch of Ravine Rd. After a shower, or if bruised, the foliage is fragrant. Corky bark and thorny-skinned fruit like little apples, complete this tree's unique characteristics.

Close to 150 trees, of many species, are part of the Muhlenberg Hospital landscape. The long front path beneath the Maples, and on the west the wide Elm-bordered stretch of green lawn leading to a quiet pool, with its amusing little bronze fountain figure, form two vistas of ever-increasing charm. Wide borders of intermingling trees and flowering shrubs frame the property.

The purple leaves of the two Schwedler Maples attract much attention in the spring. So do the Apple trees and Dogwoods that trim the grounds like big bouquets, set off by Hemlocks, Spruce and Pine. Chinese Dogwoods, given by graduate nurses, are especially prized. Devoted interest of the late Marie Louis, nature-lover and for years superintendent of Muhlenberg, helped turn once common-plant "grounds" into a tree-shaded garden spot both restful and diverting.

Dogwood Favorites
Native Dogwoods are favorites among the city's flowering trees. The Plainfield Garden Club, on its own recent 25th birthday, gave small grove of these "Jewels of the Forest" to Cedar Brook Park. On the T. H. Van Bosckerck grounds on Prospect Ave. is the handsome large group of Dogwoods on private property in town. On Dr. Elmer Weigel's lawn on Belvidere Ave [630 Belivdere – see Mrs. Joost]. Chinese Dogwood bears much larger and later blooms. Directly across the street from this, and close to the sidewalk, a low-growing Witch Hazel (Hamanelis) bears yellow Forsythia-like flowers in winter.

Before the Talmadge dwelling [714 Belvidere], in the the same street, are majestic Copper Beeches. In early days Beeches were popular selections for large grounds. Probably the finest Weeping Beech in the city grows in deserted grounds in Central Ave. Nearby on the Witon property is a huge Purple Beech – both almost perfect. Farther down the avenue, on Wardlaw School grounds [1030 Central Avenue - see Below], is a fine old Ginko.

The only Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) in Plainfield is owned by former Mayor Leighton Calkins [929 Madison – see Below]. Its strange trunk and heart-shaped leaves, purplish when young, are unusual. It grows in front of the house in Madison Ave.

Unique among Plainfield trees is a native Orange of the South. it is today laden with velvety, green fruit in Mrs. Howard Tracy's Prospect Ave. garden [1331 Prospect Ave]. Probably nowhere else in this region can one be found, according to Shade Tree Commissioner Lithgow Hunter. Sent north from Maryville College in Tennessee 50 years ago. . . .

. . . residents seeking permanent homes. These officials have always planned with the Shade Tree Commission since its organization, so that every year more trees come marching in. Some fill vacancies in the ranks of old trees along old streets. Others shade tireless blocks in new sections of town.

For the last 17 years, one man, Sidney Durant, the Shade Tree Commission's expert supervisor of trees, has directed its work. it includes feeding, pruning, watering and repairing the city's 25,000 street trees, as well removal of dead or too-badly-injured trees and planting new ones. For nearly 20 years Thomas F. Hylan has served on the commission, of which he is now president.

Of all the city's trees, the strange Ginko, or Maiden-hair tree, grows to a height of 80 feet or so. The delicacy of its little leaves, resembling those of the Maiden-Hair fern, contrast sharply with the arrow-straight upswept branches of what is considered one of the most beautiful and unusual of all hardy exotic trees. The Ginko's origin is a mystery. Nowhere on earth is it been found wild, yet fossils prove it was once scattered all over the world. Nothing else today resembles the Ginko, so paleontologists reason that some series of misfortunes destroyed all missing links. Today's closest relative is the Yew family, thought at a glance they appear as unrelated as a Chines and a New England Yankee.

Planted Near Temples
Early explorers found Ginkos planted around Chinese and Japanese temples. The Chinese called in Yin-Hing – "Silver Apricot" – referring to the greenish-yellow, fleshy fruit having a single stone. This fruit, slightly roasted, was served throughout the formal Chinese dinners which lasted all day. Guests nibble the finlike fruit between courses as an aid to digestion.

The Ginko did not reach England until 1754. The first specimen in this country was planted in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia. In 1889 the Ginko fruited for the first time there on the grounds of Charles Wister. fifty years ago these newcomers to America were not only scarce, but expensive. That Plainfield has so many beautiful old specimens of these trees is possibly due to the fact that John Taylor Johnston, then president of the New Jersey Central Railroad and a resident of this city, was not only a patron of the arts, but a lover of trees. Each of Plainfield's railroad station grounds had not only fine specimens of the Ginko, but also a varied collection of other trees, evidently selected by an expert.

Netherwood, nearest the Johnston home [see Below], was especially favored. Here, beside the north track, stands a regal Ginko, carefully located as an artist would plan his canvas, so that its top is etched against the sky. This emphasizes the beauty of leaf and branch and trunk as viewed from the eastbound station platform. ?? may see a younger . . .

. . . White Oak and Elms are among the trees fringing the western boundary.

"The property as a whole is a remarkable small arboretum," said a well-known visiting tree scientist recently, after inspecting the Netherwood station park. "In my travels I've seen no other railroad station grounds with such a variety of trees. This landscaping, too, I can see was done by an expert."

In employing such an expert to beautify the railroad property in his home town, Mr. Johnston was carrying out the spirit of the statement he made at the time the Metropolitan Museum of New York City was founded at his Fifth Ave. mansion. He was quoted as saying:

"The public ought to have a chance to see, to hear and to know more about whatever feeds the mind and is inspiring, if we are to have the best kind in America."

To even a novice in landscaping, the Netherwood station grounds show that underlying motive. One could not imagine either the south or north oval either diminished of enlarged – so true is their scale. It would be hard to find more beautiful flowering trees than those Magnolias; or more intriguing contrast of leaf, branch and trunk than offered by the Ginko and the Pine. On the north side the clump of Lindens, combined with an apparently outcropping "pudding stone," make a "garden composition" that suggest to the home gardener similar effective arrangements, though not necessarily identical in material.

Beautiful Estate
Some old residents recall that Mr. Johnston's estate in E. Front St. was lavishly beautified with choice trees, as were those of most of his neighbors along that splendid avenue of that day. Some of those estates are still being kept up as homes of their owners today, while others have been divided into beautiful setting for developments of small homes.

The Johnston estate, however, furnished the basis of another public development of beauty spots. A portion of it became the site of the new Barlow School [see Below]. These school grounds are said to be unequaled in the state in the variety and placement of superb trees. What some consider the finest Weeping Beech in town grows here, also two majestic evergreens, one a White Pine, the other a Spruce. Elm, Ginko, Cucumber tree, Ash, "Button Ball," Willow and Sugar Maple are also outstanding.

Two of the most interesting, although not the most conspicuous of the group, are a true English Oak (Quercus Robur) and a Yellow Wood (Cladrastis lute). The first has smallish leaves, thick-set upon the branch. A strange characteristic is that the stem adheres to the side of the acorn. The writer knows of only one other English Oak in town – Central Ave., near Stelle Ave.

The Yellow Wood has wisteria-like racemes of white fragrant flowers in midsummer. Leaves resemble the locust. Another fine specimen grows on the property of Miss Laura Detwiller in Hillside Ave.

All were here in the days . . . .

. . . when Cherry, Dogwood and Crab. In early spring the large leathery-leaved evergreen Japanese Andromeda (Pieris) unfold delicate, coppery leaves and waxy white racemes of tiny flowers. These are classified as shrubs, but on these favorable grounds, are almost small trees of exceptional beauty.

Preservation is Theme
The good judgement of George R. Zimmer, who for many years has supervised Plainfield's school grounds, is shown not only in what has already been accomplished, but in developments being planned. "What can we preserve?" not "What can we cut down?" is his motto. Before clearing the recently purchased grounds adjoining Maxon School was begun this summer, Mr. Zimmer marked every large and small tree that "might some day be of use somewhere." Workmen were warned to cut not one of these.

The City Police Headquarters and also the old Public Library have a setting of trees. The little Library Park is said to have been reserved from farmland whose native trees – mostly, Red, White and Black Oaks – were left standing. Across the facade of Fire Headquarters are a Ginko, a London Plane and Horse Chestnut – each an unusually fine specimen. Among Netherwood firemen are enthusiastic gardeners. Each spring many of Plainfield's 3,000 commuters take great interest in "what the boys are doing to their grounds." Everything planted seems to do well, even the peonies, marking the line between the firemen's parklike grounds and the railroad cinder-bed.

On spacious City Hall grounds is not only a variety of evergreens, but also of deciduous trees, selected for beauty of form, leaf or flower. Two Cryptomeria, "Aristocrats of Evergreens," donated recently by Plainfield's near-centenarian, Miss Isabel Tweedy, and a tall Himalayan Pine in town was brought here by the late Harry K. Tetsuka, to adorn his well-known Japanese garden in Belvidere Ave [556 Belvidere].

The Holly tree on City Hall grounds is another tree found on but few properties. It was donated by Herbert Moody [see Below], when The Courier-news gift of 5,000 bulbs roused a widespread interest in more beautiful grounds, in keeping with the architectural beauty of the building. Evergreens were given immediately by former Mayor Marion F. Ackerman, and a Dogwood by Thomas F. Hylan, whose keen interest in the property extends back to 25 years ago, when, as Councilman, he served on the City Hall Building Committee. This season former Councilman Orville G. Waring, son of the late Mayor Waring, donated several valuable Pfitzer Junipers.

Not Monotonous
Many species of trees planted along our city streets make green lanes that are not monotonous.

. . . . stood for most of that time in this sheltered nook. The fruits, when ripe, are decorative, but not edible. Edible oranges grown only on grafted stock. The thorny branches of this small tree resemble Osage Orange, or "Indian Bow-wood."

Figs are also ripening now in Plainfield. Within a stone's throw of Netherwood station is Watson Ave. It is only three blocks long and from spring to fall it glows with flowers. In one little garden grows a carefully tended Fig tree that bears fruit yearly. Each fall the owner buries his Fig tree in a deep trench well below the frost-line. Each spring it is dug out and reset.

One great wide-spreading Mulberry (Morus Multicaulus) towers far above the roof-top of Leslie R. Fort's home in Cedarbrook Rd. This venerable tree is the historic survivor of a Mulberry plantation, established during the "Multicaulus Mania," by the late Senator Martine [11 Brook Lane, see Below], as a venture to yield gigantic profits on his farm that included the Cedar Brook tract. He believed with others that New Jersey would be one of the world's silk-growing centers. Convinced that silk was to take the place of cotton, New Jersey farmers set out thousands of acres of "silk-worm mulberries" about 100 years ago, only to cut down the trees when the bubble burst.

One of the most varied private collection of trees in the city is that of Miss Jessie D. Munger in Prospect Ave. In recent years instructors at Rutgers University have brought students to these grounds to study the trees and other plant material as well as the garden design. Last spring the general public enjoyed the same privilege.

Love of trees is part of the tradition that has helped mould Plainfield into a city of pleasant homes on quiet streets. The late Jonas Lie, one of our city's most distinguished citizens, sensed this characteristic of our community. In the Common Council Chamber at City Hall hangs his gift – a mountain woodland scene, interpreted by his illustrious brush as an inspiring message to us all.

To learn more about the history of some of the people and places mentioned in this article, visit these links:

[Maxson School]
Stillman, Mrs. William Maxson (Elizabeth B. Atwood) '15

[630 Belvidere]
Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19

[714 Belvidere]
Dunbar, Mrs. William Kuhn '17
Rock, Mrs. Robert B. '43
Runkle, Mrs. Harry Godley (Jennie Fitz Randolph) '15
Whitehead, Mrs. James Harold (Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg) '43

[1030 Central Avenue – duCret School]
Huntington, Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) '19
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22
Zerega, Miss Bertha Virginia '23

[929 Madison Avenue]
Ackerman, Mrs. Marion S.(Sarah M. Wills) '35

[Johnston Estate on Front Street & Netherwood]
Mali, Mrs. Pierre (Frances Johnston) '18

[Barlow School East front Street – former estate of "Blojocamavi" owned by Lewis V. Fitz Randolph/Johnston estate]
Barlow, Mrs. Carlton Montague (June Simms) '70
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Dunbar, Mrs. William K., Jr. (Elizabeth or "Libby" Hail Barlow) '47
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49
(Also see Mrs. Runkle and Mrs. Whitehead above)

[City Hall]
Moody, Mrs. George T. '22
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49

[11 Brook Lane, Martine House]
MacLeod, Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) '55

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

975 Hillside Avenue

June 2, 2008 Greg Palermo's Tree Blog

Another handsome kousa dogwood is at the rear of 975 Hillside Avenue, pictured below.

1366 Randolph Road

SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2008 Greg Palermo's Tree Blog

Street cherries
One thinks of Japanese cherries as delicate beings whose ethereal beauty is to be contemplated in the setting of a quiet garden. But at least one species of Japanese cherry can be used on the streets. Prunus serrulata, most commonly known in its variety 'Kwanzan', has a vase-like shape that permits it to fit nicely between street and sidewalk. A group of Kwanzan cherries was planted just last week on West Third Street at Muhlenberg Place as part of Plainfield's Arbor Day observance.(1) Kwanzan cherries also line both sides of Randolph Road near Muhlenberg Hospital. A young Kwanzan cherry in front of the early 18th Century FitzRandolph farmhouse at 1366 Randolph Road is pictured below.

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.

May 14, 1983 Centennial The Wardlaw Hartridge School

1949-1950 Program

This small brochure was found in the bottom of a box belonging to Barbara Tracy Sandford '50. 12/22/13

1949-1950 Program

Plainfield Library Bio Card

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Hillside Historic District

August 29, 2015

Hillside Historic District has announced a new website: http://hillsideavenuedistrict.com

They have neatly listed the homes in the district in a similar fashion to our Homes & Gardens page.

It is no exaggeration to say that the PGC helped build Hillside. In fact our first club meeting took place at Mrs. Connor's home at 999 Hillside. Take a look at our PGC Hillside Historic District resident members:

807 Hillside Avenue
Browne, Miss Elizabeth B. '37

810 Hillside Avenue
Barnhart, Mrs. Noah Chisholm (Susan Stevens) '15

816 Hillside Avenue
Zerega, Miss Bertha Virginia '23

817 Hillside Avenue
Lawton, Mrs. Richard M. (Edith Clarke) '21

832 Hillside Avenue
Yates, Mrs. Frederick Washburn (Bertha Kedzie Cornwell) '15

921 Hillside Avenue
Detwiller, Miss Laura Cecelia '29
Detwiller, Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbell), Jr. '57

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

930 Hillside Avenue
Corey, Mrs. Ella J. '15

937 Hillside Avenue
Hunn, Mrs. John T. Sharpless (Hope Ivins) '37
Ivins, Mrs. DeWitt Clinton (Louise Morton Fox) '15
Ivins, Mrs. Clinton Fox (Marguerite Carpenter) '33

945 Hillside Avenue
Stevens, Mrs. Horace N. (Helen Coburn) '15

950 Hillside Avenue
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elise Cochran Martin) '15
Martin, Mrs. Francis A. (Mary Keech Turner) '22

955 Hillside Avenue
Wallace, Mrs. Frederick W. (Grace Seccomb) '15
deForest, Mrs. Henry Lockwood (Amy Brighthurst Brown) '33

966 Hillside Avenue
Warren, Mrs. Frank D. '15

970 Hillside Avenue
Barnhart, Mrs. Noah Chisholm (Susan Stevens) '15
Kroll, Mrs. Alexander (Nancy Dwinnell or Mrs. Prince H. Gordon) '60

975 Hillside Avenue
Runkle, Mrs. Harry Godley (Jennie Fitz Randolph) '15
Albin, Mrs. Leland D. (Jennie Hoag) '36
King, Mrs. Victor E. D. (Yasmina S.) '78
Whitehead, Mrs. James Harold (Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg) '43

980 Hillside Avenue
Hall, Mrs. Frederic L. (Anne Garrigues Wigton) '68
Stuart, Mrs. Linden (Jeanette W.), Jr. '52
Wigton, Mrs. Charles Benson (Garrigues) '45

982 Hillside Avenue
Baker, Mrs. Clifford Myron (Margaret Drayton) '32
Valiant, Mrs. John (Katharine Drayton) '40

985 Hillside Avenue
Stevens, Mrs. John Peters ("J.P.") '15
Stevens, Mrs. Horace Nathaniel (Helen Coburn) '15
Stevens, Mrs. John Peters ("J.P."), Jr. (Edith S.) '37
Stevens, Mrs. Robert Ten Broeck (Dorothy Goodwin Whitney) '37

996 Hillside Avenue
Wallace, Mrs. Frederick W. (Grace Seccomb) '15
Murray Townsend
Mooney, Mrs. Wandell McMaster (Alice Joy McGee) '47

999 Hillside Avenue
Conner, Mrs. William A. (Florence Tupper) '15
Wigton, Mrs. William Garrigues (Ann Hayes) '55

1000 Hillside Avenue
Lawrence, Mrs. Chester B. (Florence B.), Jr. '22

1005 Hillside Avenue
McWilliams, Mrs. Howard (Anna Louise Waldbridge/Mrs. Paul Taylor Brown) '22

1007 Hillside Avenue
Lockwood, Mrs. Frederick M. (Hazel Marshall) '52
Marshall, Mrs. Henry P. (Dorothy Burke) '30

1009 Hillside Avenue
Tracy, Mrs. Evarts '22
Tracy, Mrs. Howard Crosby (Minerva Bingham Lamson) '15
Tracy, Mrs. J. Evarts (Caroline Frederica Streuli) '22

1019 Hillside Avenue
Baker, Mrs. Clifford Myron (Margaret Drayton) '28

1030 Hillside Avenue
Stillman, Mrs. William Maxson (Ethel Lucile Titsworth) '42

1035 Hillside Avenue
Streuli, Mrs. Alfred F. H. (Frederica Michelle Dwyer Hooper) '15

1045 Hillside Avenue
Timpson, Mrs. Lewis Gouverneur (Helen Frances Waring) '15
Waring, Mrs. Orville G. (Dorothy Fleming) '35

1046 Hillside Avenue
Genung, Mrs. Alfred Gawthrop (Dorothy or "Dot" Madsen) '69
Madsen, Mrs. John (Evelyn or "Evie" Wilson) '70

1300 Prospect Avenue
Streuli, Mrs. Alfred F. H. (Frederica Michelle Dwyer Hooper) '15
Tracy, Mrs. J. Evarts (Caroline Frederica Streuli) '22

1234 Watchung Avenue
Stevenson, Mrs. E. Vickers '41

1239 Watchung Avenue
Brown, Miss Edna M. '34