Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Ginna, Mrs. Daniel F. (Katherine Whiting Lewis) '15

1919 Address: 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield

1922 Address: 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield

1928 Treasurer Book April 15th $5.00
1929 Treasurer Book Active April $5.00
1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936 Treasurer Book Active

1932 Directory* Address: 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield
* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932

1937 Treasurer Book: Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna [crossed out]

1937 Treasurer Book, under Associate: Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna 8/5/37 Pd.

1938 - 1939 Treasurer Book, Associate: Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna 1/10/38 Pd 2/23/39 Pd. 2/8/40 Pd. 1/10/41 Pd. 1/7/42 Pd. 12/5/42 Pd. 1/8/44 Pd. 11/27/44 Pd. 10/8/45 May 14, 1946 May 10, 1947 June 14, 1948 June 12, 1949 June 15, 1950 June 1951 June 1952

1942 Directory: 1127 Watchung Avenue
NOTE: Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna is listed as an "Associate Member"

NOTE: The carriage house to the Ginna estate at 1127 Watchung Avenue was located on the adjacent avenue, Carlton, and called the Carlton News. It was renovated by a future Plainfield Garden Club member, Mrs. William S. Lare '54

1958: 122 Westervelt Avenue, South Plainfield

Please also see the following members:

Mellick, Mrs. Roger Drew (Catherine Whiting Ginna) '28

Mellick, Mrs. George P. (Ella Hartley) '15

McGee, Henry Agustus (Emma Louise Whiting) '22

January 9, 1914 New York Times obituary for Daniel F. Ginna

January 6, 1914 died of typhoid fever at home.

Monday Afternoon Club purchased Mrs. Daniel Ginna's home on Watchung Avenue

Plainfield Library Archives

Monday Afternoon Club, 1889-2007

Club annual report cover, 1935.

Finding aid revised and updated by Sarah Hull in July 2009; processed in 2009 by Sarah Hull.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Records of the Monday Afternoon Club, 1889 - 2007.

Creator: Monday Afternoon Club

Call Number: PPL-MSS-2009-7

10 linear feet of records
Comprised of 8 boxes:
Three (6) 10" x 15" x 12" archival storage boxes
One (1) 6.5" x 12" x 5.5" card box
Four (4) 16" x 20" x 3" oversize storage

Repository: Plainfield Public Library, Local History Department, 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Abstract: The Records of the Monday Afternoon Club document the creation and history of the Club from 1889 to 2007, with bulk dates of 1940 to 1988. The Monday Afternoon Club was founded in 1888 by a prominent Plainfield resident, Eliza Elvira Kenyon. It was the oldest club in Plainfield when it disbanded in 2007. Although its primary purpose was to serve as a literary outlet for women, the club was very active with city events, education, and outside organizations. The collection includes administrative documents, financial records, legal agreements, and publications such as the Club's magazine, histories and event programs. There are seven scrapbooks that contain photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings, and seven press books that contain only newspaper clippings. Additional related library materials are referenced.

Language: The records are in English.

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Administrative Information

Access & Restrictions
The Records of the Monday Afternoon Club are available for research. Access is restricted to materials prepared by the Local History department staff. All materials must be viewed in the Plainfield Room and may not be removed to another area of the library without permission of the Library Director or designee. Materials must be handled carefully and kept in order. Materials must not be leaned upon, altered, folded, ripped, or traced upon. Marks may not be added or erased from materials. Materials must be returned directly to Local History department staff and inspected before the researcher leaves the Plainfield Room.

One photocopy may be made (by Plainfield Public Library staff) of each document for the purpose of research; official Local History departmental reproduction fees may apply. Permission to publish must be obtained by the Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees as delegated to the Library Director. Permission to publish does not constitute a copyright clearance. The researcher is responsible for further copyright restrictions. The Plainfield Public Library is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material.

Preferred Citation
Identification of item; Date (if noted); "Records of the Monday Afternoon Club," Box and Folder Number; Local History Department, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acquisition Information
The initial donation was made prior to 2001; the remainder of the collection was donated in 2009 by the Monday Afternoon Club.


Library staff vertical file and additional newspaper articles regarding Club events.

Processing Information
This collection was processed by Sarah Hull in July 2009. The finding aid was written and encoded by Sarah Hull in July 2009. Finding aid content follows the guidelines suggested by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

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Historical Note
Eliza Elvira Kenyon founded the Monday Afternoon Club in 1888 after seeing a need in Plainfield for a permanent organization for women with an interest in literary study. The first meeting of 50 members was held in the library of the Plainfield Seminary for Young Ladies (founded by Kenyon in 1866). The Club incorporated in 1889. For several years, the regular meeting place was the Seminary's assembly room. In the beginning, programs were limited to Literature, History, Music and Art. Topics were broadened to include Current Events, Sanitary Plumbing, Evolution, Socialism and Women's Suffrage. Dues were five dollars per year and each member was required to write a paper when requested to do so.

The Monday Afternoon Club became the charter member of the State Federation of Women's Clubs in 1894 under the leadership of Miss Kenyon. She played an active role in the Club until her death in 1919. She was named the Freedom of the Club - an honor higher than an honorary membership. Miss Kenyon is the only member ever to have been bestowed with that honor. After 1919, the meeting place was moved to the Parish House of the Congregational Church on Central Avenue. In 1931, membership rose to 431, but the depression took its toll and by 1934 there were 337 members.

In 1949, the house of Mrs. Daniel Ginna on Watchung Avenue was purchased and served as the Clubs home for several decades. Membership numbers gradually rose. The Club was strong in the 1950s after the move to what is now commonly called "the Monday Afternoon Club House" on Watchung Avenue. In 1970, there were close to 250 members. When the building was not being used for Club activities, it was available to other organizations for meetings and events. Gradually, numbers dwindled and the large house was no longer practical. The organization continued to meet at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church until its final meeting in May 2007.

Throughout its entire history, the organization was very active in the city. In addition to working in coordination with the Muhlenberg Women's Auxiliary (also founded by Eliza Elvira Kenyon), the Monday Afternoon Club contributed to events, such as the Sixth Avenue Drama Festival, and Flower and Garden Shows. The Club had a popular Junior Women's Club (frequently with a long waiting list), an American Home Department, Ways and Means Committee, Program Chairs and Departments, Education Department, Public Affairs Department, and Social Service Department.

In addition to events and outside activities, the Club published a regular magazine. Bound magazine volumes are available in this collection, as well as in the Plainfield Public Library Local History Department. Catalog information can be found below.

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List of Presidents, 1888 to 1988
Miss Eliza Elvira Kenyon, 1888-1890
Mrs. David O. Hall, 1890-1892
Miss Eliza Elvira Kenyon, 1892-1894
Mrs. Isaac L. Miller, 1894-1896
Mrs. William H. Sterling, 1896-1897
Mrs. Edward C. Perkins, 1897-1899
Mrs. John M. Whiton, 1899-1901
Mrs. Edwin W. Conklin, 1901-1903
Mrs. Robert Lowry, 1906-1907
Mrs. Henry M. Maxson, 1907-1909
Mrs. Eugene H. Hatch, 1909-1911
Mrs. Hugh Francis Fox, 1911-1913
Mrs. Orton G. Dale, 1913-1915
Mrs. Alan Cowperthwait, 1915-1917
Mrs. Harold D. Corbusier, 1917-1919
Mrs. Henry D. Hibbard, 1919-1921
Miss Alice Corey, 1921-1924
Miss Emelyn B. Hartridge, 1924-1927
Mrs. Horace N. Stevens, 1927-1930
Mrs. Harlan. A. Pratt, 1930-1933
Mrs. Wilbur H. Rogers, 1933-1937
Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith, 1937-1939
Mrs. William F. Finney, 1939-1941
Mrs. Seth W. Candee, 1941-1945
Mrs. Stanton H. Davis, 1945-1947
Mrs. Maurice B. Cooke, 1947-1951
Mrs. J. Sewell Elrich, 1951-1953
Mrs. Albert J. Glaeser
Mrs. John W. Shuster, 1957-1961
Mrs. Horace Hatfield, 1961-1965
Mrs. Harris W. C. Browne, 1965-1969
Mrs. Harold M. Miller, 1977-1979
Mrs. Frederick J. Handschuch, 1979 Acting President 1980
Mrs. Charles L. Hill, 1980-1983
Mrs. Arthur W. Lederer, Jr., 1983-1987-1988
[Source: The Monday Afternoon Club History, 1988]

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Scope and Content Note
The Records of the Monday Afternoon Club include a variety of historical material spanning from 1888 to 2007, with the bulk of records dating from 1940 to 1988. Record types include: annual club programs, specific event programs, constitution and by-laws, financial ledgers and records, membership lists, Club magazines, photographs, ephemera, scrapbooks, and decades of newspaper clippings.

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Organization and Arrangement
The Records of the Monday Afternoon Club are arranged into four series:

Series 1: Administrative material, 1888 to 2003
Series 2: Financial records, 1960-1987
Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1940-1960
Series 4: Press books, 1940-1965

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Index Terms


Kenyon, Eliza Elvira (1836-1915)


Monday Afternoon Club, Plainfield, NJ

Plainfield (N.J.)

Plainfield (N.J.)–History
Plainfield (N.J.)–Clubs and organizations
Women - New Jersey - Plainfield - History

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Related Items
The Monday Afternoon Club Magazine [Monday Afternoon Club, 1938-1979] PR 051 M74

Memories grave and gay, by Florence Howe Hall [1918] PR B HALL F

Excerpts from Ms. Eliza Elvira Kenyon's Journal, by Mrs. Robert P. Coates [1973] PR 974.939 C63

Miss E. E. Kenyon [1908], PPL Photograph Collection ID# X-100012

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper documents, photographs and ephemera that do not require any additional technology for access.

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Series Description
Series 1: Administrative Material [1889 to 2003]
Series Arrangement
Series 1 is arranged chronologically and fills 2 boxes.

Series 1 contains annual Club programs, magazines, membership lists, letters, event programs, constitution and by-laws (1889 to 1945), and other records related to the administration of the Club. It is composed solely of paper documents which are typed or handwritten.

Return to the Table of Contents
Series 2: Financial Records [1960 to 1987]
Series Arrangement
Series 2 is arranged chronologically and fills one box..

Series 2 contains of blank checks, receipts, paid bills, magazine ad ledgers, and miscellaneous banking material. It is composed solely of paper documents and three bound ledgers. Documents are typed and handwritten.

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Series 3: Scrapbooks [1940 to 1960]
Series Arrangement
Series 3 is arranged chronologically and fills 4 boxes.

Series 3 contains six scrapbooks. Taped to pages, or loose, are photographs, magazine issues, constitution and by-laws, event programs and related material, newspaper clippings, letters, cards, and assorted ephemera. Documents are typed and handwritten.

Return to the Table of Contents
Series 4: Press Books [1940 to 2007, with gaps, undated]
Series Arrangement
Series 4 is arranged chronologically and fills 1 box.

Series 4 is composed solely of newspaper clippings about Club members and activities.

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Container Listing

Series I: Administrative Material [1889 to 2003]


Constitution, By-Laws & Membership Lists (booklets)

Blank stationary

Signed guest book

Blank event forms

Member commission & postulates (booklet)

Program MAC in Cinamascope (sic): PR 051 M74

PPL vertical file documents (events and magazine pieces)

Constitution & Bylaws

Antiques exhibitor agreements (legal)


History booklet (13 copies)

Plainfield Public Library exhibit letter

24 Constitution, By-Laws & Membership Lists (booklets) 1988, 1989, 1990

MAC Magazines (bound)
Nov 1942 to May 1946

MAC Magazines (bound)
Oct 1946 to May 1950

MAC Magazines (bound)
Oct 1950 to may 1954

MAC Magazines (bound)
Oct 1954 to May 1958

MAC Magazines (bound)
Oct 1962 to May 1966

Series 2: Financial Records [1960 to 1987]


Blank checks







Antique Show financials

Program and tea



Series 3: Scrapbooks [1940 to 1960]


Scrapbook (tagged #1)

Scrapbook (tagged #6)

Scrapbook (tagged #7)

Scrapbook (tagged #8)

Scrapbook (untagged)

Scrapbook (untagged; plays, loose items in back)

Series 4: Press Books [1940 to 2007, with gaps, undated]


Press Book

Press Book

Press Book

Press Book

Press Book

Press Book

Press Book

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May 1923 Passport information

August 26, 1894 New York Times article

Plainfield City of Homes

1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield

Horse chestnuts, Aesculus hippocastanum, make a spectacular display of huge, white flowers at this time of year. The large horse chestnut pictured in flower above is on the front lawn at 1127 Watchung Avenue.

from 2008 Gregory Palermo's Plainfield Tree Blog

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard

Culling photographs for approbriate illustrations is the most enjoyable part of preparing a book like this. It can also leave one in a quandry. Does a particular dwelling qualify as a farm house or a town house? In the case of the Ginna residence, the choice could go either way. The house was erected for Daniel Ginna in 1902 on part of the property once the site of the circa 1862 Stephen Ginna "farm." The tract was once part of Cedar Brook Farm before the plantation was divided into residential lots. Across the street stand the stone pillars marking the lane to Senator Martine's homestead, just a block away.

Daniel Ginna did not need to provide credentials as a country squire. He already owned Woodbrook Farms, a large dairy operation in the Oak Tree section of Raritan Edison. The home erected on Watchung Avenue was not farmland per se, but its link to horticulture was undeniable. The earliest photograph extant of the Ginna mansion, pre-1910, seems to show greenhouses west of the residence. Despite a lack of any other visual or verbal confirmation of that fact, Ginna was widely known as a grower of championship chrysanthemums. A greenhouse for his prized plants would not have been beyond the realm of possibility.

In 1910, the Ginnas built an extension to the west front, later attaching a pillared, screened conservatory to its facade. A 1926 photography displays the new construction. Courtesy of Courier News – Bridgewater, New Jersey

In 1948, the Monday Afternoon Club purchased the mansion and, between 1949 and 1961, removed the open-air conservatory and altered the west wing to provide auditorium facilities. So it appears in a recent photograph and so it stands today, after conversion back into a family residence (2008) The history of this gracious home has come full circle.

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard

A Courier News article once headlined "Carlton Mews" as "Plainfield's most elegant hayloft." No one would ever argue the point. The carriage house of the Ginna estate was converted by the Lare family between 1921 - 1924 and beautifully renovated by Lucy and Raymond Rose in 1961. Many original features including the G-for-Ginna weathervane and tiles unearthed from a three-hundred-foot rose arbor along Carlton Avenue were preserved and recycled.

Throughout the Roses' tenure, Carlton Mews contributed its incomparable charm to the city's many charitable functions through architectural tours, a designer show house, and summer garden parties. That tradition continues today in a setting of floral abundance.

Our camera catches a view rarely seen in present-day Plainfield – the entrance to an old, brick-walled stable yard. Preserved by the Roses to provided a dining terrace outside the kitchen door, its narrow dimensions originally helped steady the horses during daily grooming sessions.

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

Mrs. Ginna's house now known as Queen's Acre

YMCA Honors Local NFL Player
Posting Date: May 17 2011

PLAINFIELD - In a planned "Meet and Greet" 2011 Dr. Jerome M. Wolff Achievement Award winner Donald Jones will address local youth and pose for pictures and autographs at the Plainfield Area YMCA. The award recipient of the award exemplifies what is best about Plainfield last year's winner was 1956 gold medalist Milt Campbell.

As a rookie for the Buffalo Bills, the 23-year-old Jones started five games at wide receiver and caught 18 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Jones' route to the NFL was not easy as he traveled from Lackawanna College in Scranton Pennsylvania to Youngstown State in Ohio before latching on as an undrafted free agent with the Bills.

The Plainfield High School grad will receive the award during the Plainfield Area YMCA's 134th Annual Meeting and Spring Gala Friday May 20 in the ballroom at the home of Wendy and Rashid Burney, 1127 Watchung Ave. in Plainfield - formerly the Monday Afternoon Club and now known as "Queen's Acre."

Queens AcreServices: Ceremony VenuesPhone: (908) 922-9995 | 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dan Damon blogs about the Monday Afternoon Club mansion

Friday, June 4, 2010
Property taxes: A mansion vs. mini injustice?

The mansion pays less than the cottage.

Plainfielders, like other New Jerseyans, love to hate their property taxes, among the highest in the nation.

But nothing sets a taxpayer's teeth on edge more than the perception that he or she is being taxed unfairly in relation to other taxpayers in their community, or even in their neighborhood.

Recently, my attention was called to one such disparity.

Here are the facts.

Modest cottage pays more taxes than mansion.

Property Number One

This snug two-story frame cottage was built in 2002 on a postage-stamp sized lot (less than a quarter acre) for which special approvals were needed. A modest 2,176 square feet, it is nestled among the 1920s-era houses on its little cul-de-sac, its soft blue clapboarding the only feature that sets it apart from its neighbors.

Block 630 Lot 19
Lot size: 50x128 irregular (< .25 acre)
Total Assessed Valuation: 210,000 (Land: 43,700; Improvements: 166,300)
Taxes: $13,038

The Mansion pays less than the cottage.

Property Number Two

This mansion, built in 1902, is one of the grandest (at an estimated 7,166 square feet) in Plainfield, occupying a prominent corner lot and is a keystone property of its historic district. Once home to Plainfield's wealthy Mellick family, in later years it was owned and operated by the Monday Afternoon Club. A low point in its recent history, some say, was its appearance in the 1990 horror flick Basket Case 2 (see more here).

Block 638 Lot 9
Lot size: 175x404 irregular (1.76 acres)
Total Assessed Valuation: 198,200 (Land: 127,000; Improvements: 71,200)
Taxes: $12,306
So, the cottage pays $732 more in property taxes than the mansion. The only way such a gross disparity in taxes will be addressed is in a total revaluation of the properties on the tax rolls.

Whether the mansion ended up paying more, the cottage paying less, or some middle ground, only a total revaluation would even begin to address this and other property tax inequalities throughout Plainfield.


We had two members with the last name of "Mellick"

1. Mellick Ella Hartley Mrs. George Phelps 1915 1932 Woodland Avenue, Plainfield (1919/1942) Giggleswick, Woodland Avenue Melick House on Inman Avenue

2. Mellick Catherine Whiting Ginna Mrs. Roger Drew 1928 1931 Woodland Avenue (1932)

And we had one member with the last name of "Ginna"

1. Ginna Katherine Whiting Lewis Mrs. Daniel F. 1915 1958 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield (1919/1942) "Carlton Mews" 122 Westervelt Avenue, South Plainfield (1958)

1127 Watchung Avenue

Plainfield Library Photo File

C-40752 Collier Monday Afternoon Club, exterior 1127 Watchung Exterior view of residence used for Monday Afternoon Club, which was located on 1127 Watchung Avenue. undated.
290 C-40753 Collier Monday Afternoon Club, exterior 1127 Watchung Exterior view of residence used for Monday Afternoon Club, which was located on 1127 Watchung Avenue. undated.
291 C-40754 Collier Monday Afternoon Club, exterior 1127 Watchung Exterior view of residence used for Monday Afternoon Club, which was located on 1127 Watchung Avenue. undated.
292 C-40755 Collier Monday Afternoon Club, exterior 1127 Watchung Exterior view of residence used for Monday Afternoon Club, which was located on 1127 Watchung Avenue. undated.
293 C-40756 Collier Monday Afternoon Club, exterior 1127 Watchung Exterior view of residence used for Monday Afternoon Club, which was located on 1127 Watchung Avenue. undated.

New York Times November 14, 1895


In Aid of Muhlenberg Hospital – Good Attendance and Reason for Expecting Financial Success – The Booths.

PLAINFIELD, N. J., Nov. 13 – There was a grand opening of the kirmess at the Columbia Cycle Academy Monday night, and the building was decorated very elaborately.

Not since the charity ball have the society fold here been interested in a like event for such a worthy cause. The kirmess is given for the benefit of Muhlenberg Hospital, and, judging from the attendance at the opening night, the hospital will be greatly bettered financially.

Booths have been very prettily arranged about the academy, making an exceedingly tasty show. The equipment of the booths is as follows:

French Booth – Mrs. Albert Hoffman Atterbury, Mrs. Irving H. Brown, Mrs. Charles B. Corwin, Miss Bessie Ginna, Mrs. George C. Evans, Mrs. Charles J. Fisk, Mrs. Ellis W. Hedges, Miss E. E. Kenyon and Miss Whiton.

Florentine Booth – Mrs. I. N. Van Sickle, Mrs. David E. Titsworth, Mrs. W. M. Stillman, Mrs. John D. Titsworth, Mrs. F. A. Dunham, Miss Louise Clawson, Miss Bessie TItsworth, and Mrs. Lulu Lewis.

Gypsy Booth – Mrs. Joseph W. Reinhart, and Mrs. Howard Fleming.

Venetian Booth – Mrs. Hugh Hastings, Miss Emelie Schipper, Mrs. George A. Chapman, Miss Havbiland, Mrs. Samuel Huntingont, Mrs. Emil Woltman, Mrs. Samuel St. J. McCutchen, Mrs. Conklin, Mrs. C. S. West, Mrs. W. E. Lower, Miss E. R. Cock, Mrs. Frank O. Herring, Miss Huntington, Miss Maud Van Bosckerck, Miss MacCready, Miss Clara D. Finley, Miss Ahrens, Miss Aynne MacCready, Miss Mondanari, Miss Graff, Miss Yerkes, Miss Gertrude Walz, and Miss Pierson.

Japanese Booth – Mrs. Charles Seward Foote, Mrs. George Clay, Mrs. S.P. Simpson, Mrs. L. Finch, Mrs. Constantine P. Ralli, Mrs. William Lewis Brown, Mrs. L. Dennis, Mrs. WIlliam Pelletier, Miss Ellis, Miss Anthony, Miss Dryden, Miss Morgan, Miss Bowen, Miss Lawrence, and Miss Rodman.

Spanish Booth – Mrs. S. A. Cruikshank, Mrs. A. T. Slauson, Mrs. J. F. Wichers, Mrs. T. H. Curtis, Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman, Mrs. T. A. Hazell, Mrs. H. L. Moore, Mrs. D. T. Van Buren, Mrs. E. H. Mosher, Miss Harriott, Miss Louise Patton, Miss Maud Lord, Miss May Kirkner, Miss Louise Van Zandt, Miss Annie Horton, Miss Titsworth, and Miss Meredith.

German Booth – Mrs. Mason W. Tyler, Mrs. Logan Murphy, Mrs. John H. Oarman, Mrs. Charles J. Taggart, Mrs. Benjamin R. Western, Mrs. J. E. Turill, Mrs. Arthur T. Gallup, Mrs. Horsley Barker, Mrs. John Haviland, Mrs. George Wright, Mrs. Amra Hamragan, Mrs. William L. Saunders, Mrs. William Wright, Miss Annie Murphy, Miss Wright, Miss Western, Miss Bartling, Miss Helen Warman, Miss Emma Adams and Miss Ann Thorne.

Stationery Booth – Mrs. John Gray Foster, Mrs. Elliott Barrows, Mrs. A. W. Haviland, Mrs. John D. Miller, Mrs. James R. Joy, and Miss Emily R. Tracy.

Parisian Flower Stall – Mrs. Harry M. Stockton, Mrs. Evarts Tracy, Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna, Mrs. W. H. Ladd, Mrs. Frederick Yates, Miss Marlon Dumont, Miss Ginna, Miss Baker, Miss Huntington, and Miss Van Bosckerck.

Refreshments were dispensed by Mrs. Orville T. Waring, Mrs. George W. Van Bosckerck, Mrs. John Bushnell, Mrs. Gifford Mayer, Mrs. George H. Goddard, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. H. P. Reynolds, Mrs. C. C. Guion, Mrs. N. P. T. Finch, Mrs. Henry McGee, Mrs. De Revere, Mrs. Ruth C. Leonard, Mrs. George W. Rockfellow, Miss Annie Opdyke, Mrs. Van Alstyne, Mrs. Utzinger, Mrs. Nelson Runyon, Mrs. Henry Tapsley, Miss Martine, Miss Edith Allen, Mrs. J. Parker Mason, Mrs. J. K. Myers, Mrs. Walton, and Mrs. H. C. Adams

1127 Watchung Avenue

–––––––––- Original Message –––––––––-
Subject: 1127 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield NJ 07060
From: "Info" <>
Date: Fri, August 12, 2011 9:18 am
To: "mary r jones" <>

Dear Mary:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the ticket you found. 1127 Watchung
Avenue is the original home of one of our founding members, Mrs. Katherine
Whiting Lewis Ginna. You can read more about Mrs. Ginna and her beautiful
home at this link:

When Mrs. Ginna died, the house became the property of the local
Plainfield club called the "Monday Afternoon Club." You can find links on
the above page to the Plainfield Library's records of this club.

We wonder how the ticket came to land in South Carolina? We did have some
older members that retired to South Carolina. Perhaps this is how the
ticket came to be in the pocketbook?

The current owners of 1127 Watchung Avenue would probably be very
interested to see the document as well as the Plainfield Library. If you
would be so kind please mail it to:

1127 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Or perhaps it is easier to scan the image and attach to an email?

Thank you so much for contacting us.

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

> A new guestbook entry has been submitted from IP address
> To manage guestbook entries, log in at
> The contents of the new entry:
> Name: mary r jones
> Email:
> Address: 611 long leaf loris sc 29569
> Message:
> i found a ticket from easter at home donation 1.00 march 14.1966 with the
> address 1127 watching ave titled the afternoon club , in a pocketbook
> that i found at salation ary store. could you give me any imformation on
> this. thank you mary
> –––––––––––-

New York Times February 5, 1895


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.

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 . . .; Stephen A. Ginna, of the Japan Works;

Catherine Randolph Webster

Ladies Home of Plainfield
313 Franklin Place

Catherine Randolph Webster

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.

Courier News article: Plainfield's Renaissance Showhouse

May 18, 1982

1127 Watchung Avenue

May 1982 Program: Plainfield Renaissance Designers' Showhouse

Cover to Page 25

Page 26 to Page 51

Page 52 to Page 75

Page 76 to Back Cover

New York Times October 13, 1895

New York Times October 13, 1895


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.

The History of the Perkins Mansion

The Perkins Mansion was a splendid wedding gift to Elizabeth Thompkins Ginna and Erickson Perkins from her parents, the Stephen Ginnas of Plainfield, New Jersey. The modified English Tudor-style house and its 23 rooms, designed and built by Master Builder George Hollister in 1907, is made of hollow concrete blocks with brick facing. That new technique made the16-inch thick walls both strong and well insulated. The curved gable facing East Avenue is in the Elizabethan style with a Dutch influence which is repeated in the detached Carriage House.

The interior of the Mansion, decorated by the Rochester firm of Hayden Company (which also decorated the Eastman Theatre lobby, Tiffany's, the New York Public Library, Library of Congress and the National Gallery) features square and diamond shaped leaded panes in the many windows. Each one of the nine fireplaces has a distinctive facing, with one featuring charming nursery rhymes in Delft tiles. The richness and beauty of the craftsmanship is evident in the flooring, moldings, paneling, railings and doors.

Erickson Perkins, a passionate gardener, designed those that surround the House and planted the majestic purple beech tree that still shades the front lawn. It was a gift from George Eastman, who brought them for his neighbors from Holland to beautify East Avenue. Mr. Perkins died in 1941, and Mrs. Perkins, feeling the burden of maintaining the house, was thinking of selling it by 1946. Fortunately she learned that the Rochester Branch of the American Association of Collegiate Alumnae (predecessor of the AAUW) was looking for a permanent home. A happy agreement was reached that the House would be gifted to the Branch and Elizabeth Perkins would retain a lifetime residence on the second floor.

The official opening of the new home of the American Association of University Women was held on April 22, 1947, the 50th anniversary of the Branch. Elizabeth Perkins said on that occasion, "The world is so in need of sanity, tolerance, discretion, wisdom, faith and love. Women need to return to the art of giving tender and loving care in the home and to the community. Education should include more of God and love. I wish for the members of this house a wide future. I wish that this house may send out in the years to come, thoughts and actions that are going to count in making this world of ours a far better one than it is today." Since that time, a small elevator has been installed and the House has been made handicapped accessible. In the 2004, the almost 100-year old Mansion became the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Symphony Show House for 29 days. It was repainted and wallpapered. New lighting fixtures and custom window treatments, generously donated by the decorators, were installed. The Perkins Mansion was well prepared for the next 100 years.

The Perkins Mansion, Rochester, New York

New York Times Wedding Announcement June 19, 1902

Perkins - Ginna

PLAINFIELD, N.J. June 18 – The wedding of Miss Elizabeth Tompkins Ginna, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Ginna, to Erickson Perkins or Rochester, N.Y., took place this evening at the home of the bride's parents, The Pines. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, pastor of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, officiated. The bridesmaids were Miss Benice Perkins of Rochester, a sister of the bridgegroom, and Miss Meta Van Ness Hutton of Baltimore.

John Porter Bowman of Rochester was best man. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins will reside in Rochester, where Mr. Perkins is engaged in the banking business.

January 12, 1896 New York Times

A WEEK'S EVENTS IN PLAINFIELD.; Numerous Receptions – Doings of Clubs and Societies.

PLAINFIELD, Jan. 11. – A reception was given by Mrs. I C. Pierson of Watchung Avenue, Tuesday evening. She was assisted in receiving by her daughters, Mrs. Malcolm MacKenzie of New-York and Miss Mabel Pierson; Miss Corbitt of New-York, Miss Cochran of Wilmington, Del., and Miss Hunter of North Adams, Mass.

The members of the North Plainfield Dramatic Club were entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Bailey, Jackson Avenue, Tuesday evening. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. Andrew E. Keneey, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Neeley, Mr. and Mrs. James Harper, Miss Mary Hughes, Miss Ellen Mullon, and Frank Off.

A Past Master's jewel was presented to Calvin H. Rugg of Jerusalem Lodge, F. and A.M., Tuesday evening. The same evening John J. Lynch, for several years President of the Plainfield Catholic Club, was presented with a gold-headed cane by the members of the club.

A. D. Shepard and family of the Gables have gone to Buckingham, New York, for the Winter.

The class of '96 of the North Plainfield school was entertained by Miss Emma and Miss Bertha Stevens Wednesday evening.

Mrs. John Valiant of Craig Place gave a reception and tea Wednesday. She was assisted in receiving by Mrs. H.K. Carroll, Mrs. A. A. Tafty, Mrs. F. H. Randolph, Miss Grace Carroll, Miss Bessie Valiant, Miss Florence Valiant, and Miss Mary Steiner.

The Park Club gave an entertainment Wednesday night at the clubhouse on Washington Avenue. The patronesses were Mrs. C. A. Reed, Mrs. Samuel St. John McCutcheon, and Mrs. J. H. Howell.

Miss Imogene See of Sing Sing, N.Y., is a guest of Mrs. Elmer E. Runyon of Madison Avenue.

Miss Eda Mills of Summit Avenue gave a party to her friends Wednesday night.

Miss Mollie Lawrence of New York and Miss Mather of Bound Brook are guests of Mr. and Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman of Crescent Avenue.

Miss Emily Coriell of Church Street is visiting in Brooklyn.

Miss Edith Allen of Webster Place is spending the Winter in Flushing.

Mrs. J. H. Ackerman and daughter, Lydia, have returned from a two month's trip to the Pacific coast.

Miss Randolph, daughter of Thompson F. Randolph of New-York, is visiting her sister Mrs. Judson Bonnell of East Front Street.

Mrs. Lewis of Binghampton, N.Y., is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. D. F. Ginna of Watchung Avenue.

Miss Rachel Fay Buckley of Newburg, N.Y., and Harry Ellis Green of Plainfield were married Wednesday night at the bride's home.

Mr. and Mrs. C. O. Moore of Ithaca, N.Y., are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. George Squires of North Plainfield.

Miss Laura J. Runyon of East Fifth Street is visiting friends in Philadelphia.

Miss Harriet Loomis of New York City is a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Morse of Franklin Place.

Miss Josie Burlingham of Albany Normal College is a guest of ex-Councilman Seymore G. Smith of Crescent Avenue.

Miss Jennie Foster of New York and Howard Foster of Princeton Colelge are guests of D. N. Groendyke of Mercer Avenue.

Miss Helen L. Moore of New York is the guest of her sister Mrs. S. A. Cruikshank, of Belvidere Avenue.

Miss Freeman of Rahway is visiting her aunt, Mrs. W. C. Ayres, of West Second Street.

Miss Baldwin of Baltimore has gone home, after a visit with her uncle Councilman J. H. Valiant of Craig Place.

Howell Division, no. 97, Sons of Temperance, celebrated its twenty-seventh anniversary Wednesday evening. AMong those present form the out of tow were A. P. Sutphen of Somerville, Grand Worthy Patriarch Ross Slack of Excelsior Division of Trenton, Past Grand Worthy Patriarch Fred Day of Newark and Worthy Patriarch Evenson of Newark, and Worthy Patriarch Evenson of Philadelphia. James J. Perine of Brooklyn is the only living charter member of the division.

Mrs. Yerkes, wife of the Rev. Dr. D. J. Yerkes of the First Baptist Church, has gone to Greenville, S.C., to visit a daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest R. Ackerman, who are making a tour around the world, are now at Hongkong.

Residence of Katharine L. Ginna, 1127 Watchung 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

Residence of Charles L. Lewis, 737 Berkeley 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

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. D. F. Ginna
1127 Watchung Avenue

Wood Brook Farm

Wood Brook Farm was at the intersection of Talmadge Road and Park Avenue where the Woodbrook Corners Development is now located. The dairy was started in 1906 and by 1922 it was delivering milk to over 150 towns and cities.

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

1936 - 1937 Meeting Minutes

1918 Meeting Minutes

1965 50th Anniversary Celebration

The black-tie dinner celebration for the 50th Anniversary of The Club was held at the "Monday Afternoon Club" or the former home of Mrs. Ginna.

Mrs. William Seymour Tyler '15 was honored at the event – the last surviving founding member of the Plainfield Garden Club. What she must have thought walking into her old friend's house?

To see the interior of the house as it was in 1965 – including the elegant fireplace mantle where Mrs. Tyler was honored:

1965 Archives


PLAINFIELD, N. J., June 28. Miss Caroline Frederica Streuli, daughter of H. Alfred Streuli of Hillside Avenue, a New-York silk manufacturer, was married at high noon to-day to Evarts Tracy, son of J. Evarts Tracy, a New-York lawyer, who lives in West Eighth Street here. The ceremony was witnessed by a large and fashionable gathering, which entirely filled the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards officiated.

The bride wore a beautiful gown of white satin with old lace trimmings. Miss Kathryn Yates was the maid of honor. The bridesmaids were Miss Bessie Ginna, Miss Marion Dumont, Miss May Tracy, Miss Margaret Tracy of Plainfield, Miss Lillian Brooks of New-York, and Miss Sidney Wharton of Pittsburg. Percy A. Stewart was best man. The ushers were Lewis S. Haslan of New-York, Yale Kneeland of Brooklyn, Wallace D. Simmons of St. Louis, Henry M. Sage of Albany, and Alfred Streuli and Robert S. Tracy of Plainfield.

313 Franklin Place

Pinterest Page by current owner

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

1975-1976 The Junior League of Plainfield

Mrs. R. Hunter Lewis
Voting Board Member, Ways and Means

May 18, 2008 Greg Palermo's Tree Blog

Horse chestnuts

Don't eat them. They're poisonous. Horses should abstain as well. But horse chestnuts do have their uses. The British government paid schoolchildren to collect them during World War I. Horse chestnuts even had a role to play in the creation of the state of Israel. See below.

Horse chestnuts, Aesculus hippocastanum, make a spectacular display of huge, white flowers at this time of year. The large horse chestnut pictured in flower above is on the front lawn at 1127 Watchung Avenue.

The attractive leaves are palmately compound, their leaflets arranged like a seven-fingered hand.

Beautiful as these trees are, they have an Achilles' heel: drought and fungal leaf blotch reliably disfigure the foliage by midsummer. I daily pass by a row of horse chestnuts used as street trees at the corner of Hillside and Evergreen Avenues. In July I look for early signs of damage. By August I avert my eyes; the sight is painful.

The hybrid red horse chestnut, Aesculus x carnea, is less troubled by leaf problems. Red horse chestnuts are uncommon in Plainfield. Two were planted in front of City Hall two or three years ago. There is a wonderful red horse chestnut that can be glimpsed from the street in the rear garden at 429 Stelle Avenue. This beautiful tree was recognized by the City of Plainfield as a specimen tree of special note at the Arbor Day observance in 2006. Its age is estimated at 120 years.

Uses of horse chestnuts:

Nutritional: Although horses shouldn't eat horse chestnuts, the nuts do provide nourishment to public enemies number 1 and number 2: deer and squirrels.

Medicinal: Horse chestnut extracts are used as herbal medicines.

Recreational: Horse chestnuts are the "conkers" used in the game of conkers played in the British Isles.

Military?: Indeed. Back to the creation of Israel: Chaim Weizmann, Zionist and first president of Israel, began his career as a chemist. Professor Weizmann of Manchester University refined a method of producing acetone by bacterial fermentation of starches in various foodstuffs just before World War I. Acetone was crucial to production of cordite, smokeless gunpowder. The Weizmann process was used to make acetone for the war effort. When war made corn and other starches scarce in Britain, Weizmann adapted his fermentation process to use horse chestnuts in place of corn. Schoolchildren were enlisted in the war effort to gather horse chestnuts to produce munitions. Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George, who had worked with Weizmann, became prime minister. Lloyd George's gratitude for Professor Weizmann's war contributions was such that it led to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which stated Britain's support for "a national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.(1)

(1) For more detail on the role horse chestnuts played in the creation of Israel, see

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

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

Giggleswick by Marjorie Blackman Elliott, 1989

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

1905 American Homes & Gardens

November 1905 American Homes and Gardens page 315

The House of Daniel F. Ginna, Esq.
Plainfield, New Jersey

The house built for Daniel F. Ginna, Esq., at Plainfield, N.J., is designed and carried out in a simple type of the New England Colonial Architecture of the Georgian period and its tall, stately columns and portico at the front form the principal characteristic of this particular style. The entire outside is covered with clapboards and painted white. The roof, covered with metal, is painted red. The blinds are painted green. The red brick which is used for the underpinning is also used in the chimneys, and both are laid in red mortar. The front of the home is supplanted by a grassed terrace, and the building has a very pleasing setting among a clump of pines and poplars.

The house has been designed and planned, in every sense of the word, as a home; the arrangement of the rooms shows this conclusively, for they are large and commodious, and yet perfectly simple and dignified in their treatment and form. The family and private piazza at the side of the house is so designed and located as to afford ample shelter from the sun, and at the same time be swept by the prevailing breezes. At the other side of the house, and as a necessary adjunct, is the porte-cochere, while at the front there is a portico and entrance to the main hall. This hall forms a very interesting entree to the entire general scheme, for, upon entering, a vista is obtained of all the principal rooms of the first floor. It is of considerable length, and in order to break its elongated effect massive beams have been placed in the ceiling at certain distances apart, and the whole supported on Colonial columns and pilasters, forming a colonaded effect.

The typical Colonial staircase built in at the end of the hall, and rising from either side to a broad platform, is the principal feature of the hall. The risers, treads and balusters, over the newel posts, which formed of a cluster of balusters. Underneath the landing there is an open fireplace, built with pressed brick facings, tiled hearth and mantel-shelf.

To the right of the entrance is the reception-room, which is treated in the Empire style, pink, green and white in color, the walls being paneled in silk.

The library is treated with white enamel paint, and the walls are covered with a soft green texture. The fireplace has a green tile facing and hearth, and a mantel. The billiard-room, which is placed beyond the library, is trimmed with cypress, and is treated with stain in the forest-green effect. it has an open fireplace, built of field stone, with facings of the same, and summounted by a massive stone shelf. The den at the rear of the library is finished in a Flemish brown, and it has a lavatory and an open fireplace.

The dining room is placed on the opposite side of the house, is treated in white, while the walls are covered with Japanese leather. This room is oval in form, and it makes a very attractive apartment. The fireplace has tiled facings and hearth and mantel. The butler's pantry is fitted with dressers, drawers, cupboards, sink, etc. The kitchen is fitted with a pantry, which is quite unusual for the modern house, and contains the ice-box, which has an outside entrance. The kitchen has an open fireplace, pot closet, sink and counter, and is fitted with all the best modern conveniences.

The second floor throughout is trimmed with pine and treated with white enamel paint, while doors are finished in mahogany. This floor contains a large, open hall, the front of which is devoted to a sitting-room and five bedrooms with large closets, and three bathrooms, the latter having tiled floors and wainscoting, and porcelain fixtures and exposed nickel plated plumbing. There is also on this floor a linen closet of large dimensions, well fitted with shelves and drawers, and a cedar closet. The third floor contains the servant quarters and bath and trunk rooms. A cemented cellar contains the laundry, the heating apparatus, fuel rooms, cold storage, etc.

Messrs. Tracy & Swartwout, architects, 244 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.

Plainfield Library photo of The Monday Afternoon Club

Plainfield Library photo of The Monday Afternoon Club

Plainfield Library photo of The Monday Afternoon Club

Plainfield Library photo of The Monday Afternoon Club

Plainfield Library photo of The Monday Afternoon Club

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership