Plainfield Garden Club

Member: MacLeod, Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) '55

900 Park Avenue (childhood home/family home)

1953: 11 Brook Lane, Plainfield

1958: Martine House
also knowns as Cedar Brook Farm. The MacLeod's lived at "Plainfield's oldest home" from 1949 to 1962.

President 1958 - 1960

Most likely related to the following PGC members:
Timpson, Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) '15
Waring, Mrs. Orville T. (Dorothy Fleming) '35
Dunbar, Mrs. William K. '17
Dunbar, Mrs. William K., Jr. (Elizabeth Hail Barlow) '47
Barlow, Mrs. Carlton M. (June Simms) '71
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49
Fleming, Mrs. Austin Lloyd (Helen Hyde) '17
Fleming, Mrs. Howard C. '15

May 23, 2011: A flier inviting the current residents to Shakespeare-in-Bloom Saturday, June 11th was left in the door. Members noticed a sign in front "Cedarbrook Farm"

June 2011: Delivered a Shakespeare-in-Bloom invitation to Martine House.

August 14, 2007 obituary for Carolyn Waring Verbeck

Carolyn Waring Verbeck, West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard
Carolie or Lee Lee Seven Gates Farm born to Edward James Waring and Caroline Value Waring on February 1, 1921 in Plainfield,NJ
Older sisters were Ann Waring Dunbar and Beverly Waring Cutler
Miss Porter's 1939 Traveled and returned to Plainfield in 1948

Three Children:
Merill Macleod Stenbeck (deceased)
Robert F. Macleod Jr. of Malibu, CA
E.J.W. Macleod of Madison, Conn.

Carolyn Waring Verbeck Was Vivacious, Elegant

Carolyn Waring Verbeck of West Tisbury and Vero Beach, Fla., died on August 3 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. The cause of death was ultimately old age aggravated by bone fractures and a subsequent respiratory infection.

Carolie or Lee Lee, as those who loved and knew her, spent every summer of her 86 years on the Island. From 1980 until 2000 she lived year-round at her house in West Tisbury with her late husband, Guido F. Verbeck Jr. She loved the Vineyard and her cozy life at Seven Gates Farm.

She was born to Edward James Waring and Caroline Value Waring on Feb. 1, 1921, in Plainfield, N.J. Following in the footsteps of her older sisters Ann Waring Dunbar and Beverly Waring Cutler, she graduated from Miss Porter's School in 1939, a period she always remembered as one of the happiest times in her life. After her glamorous debut into society she spent a couple of years soaking up all the world had to offer - traveling by steam liner to Hawaii for an extended stay with her Aunt and Uncle in Honolulu, exploring ranch life in the West, taking an animal husbandry course at Rutgers and working briefly in Washington, D.C.

As a young wife and mother, Carolie lived in Oregon and California before returning to Plainfield, N.J., in 1948, where she raised her three children. From 1961 to 1965, she lived in New York city and spent the following eight years in Locust Valley, N.Y.

For the last 25 years she was devoted to her life on the Vineyard where she tended carefully to her beautiful gardens, went for long walks with her dogs and traveled a great deal. The Seven Gates Farm crew learned to dread her calls as she seemed to know every fallen branch or overgrown bittersweet vine on the farm and wasn't afraid to report it - she was even known to bring pruners with her on morning walks. Weekly tennis games and the Edgartown cocktail party circuit were also well-loved elements of her summers here. All her life Carolie turned heads with her elegant, colorful clothes - most of which were her signature blue - her flirtatious, crooked half-smile as well as her vibrant personality and her many opinions. A Sunday afternoon on Squibnocket with her blue striped beach chair and a good book or the latest Vogue was almost as good as it could get. Even when life became more complicated Carolie never forgot the reasons that she loved the Island so dearly - friendship, sunshine, salty water and living a little more simply.

Every day of her life she was a heck of a lot of fun.

Carolie had many close friends and relied heavily upon their presence in her life. Many of them were lifelong friends. Most mornings her phone started ringing at 8 a.m. and barely stopped before 9 p.m.

Carolie was predeceased by her husband Guido F. Verbeck Jr. and her former husband James Butler as well as her daughter Merrill Macleod Stenbeck and her granddaughter Remington F. Macleod. She is survived by two sons, Robert F Macleod Jr. of Malibu, Ca., and E.J.W. Macleod of Madison, Conn., as well as nine grandchildren, many stepchildren, and her sweet black Labrador retriever Tag, all of whom loved her very dearly.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Church in Edgartown, followed by a gathering at her house in West Tisbury.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Martha's Vineyard MSPCA, P.O. Box 2097, Edgartown, MA 02539, or to Miss Porter's School at Alumnae and Development Office, Miss Porter's School, 60 Main street, Farmington, CT 06032.

Martine House

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

The oldest documented European-built dwelling in what is now the City of Plainfield became home to Thomas Gordon on Christmas Day in 1684. The settler from Scotland sold his plantation to William Webster, Jr. in 1717, and Gordon's log cabin was replaced by the tiny, frame English cottage that still stands as the west wing of Cedar Brook Farm on Brook Lane.

Webster's eighteenth century home appears here as it did in a sketch from a Muhlenberg Hospital Auxiliary designer show house program in 1988. From such small beginnings, the farmhouse expanded, one section per century, to the size we see today. Courtesy of Muhlenberg Hospital Auxiliary

For generations of Websters continued to farm the plantation, operate the mill on Green Brook, supply the Revolutionary encampment, provide land for the Quaker meetinghouse, and enlarge their living quarters, completing the central portion of the house by 1800. Early in the nineteenth century, the family moved to Canada, selling the farm on Cedar Brook to David L. Dodge. Dodge shared his home for a time with his daughter, Quaker poetess Elizabeth Stedman, her second husband W. B. Kinney, minister to France under President Pierce, and grandso, Edmund Clarence Stedman.

Daniel Martine purchased the vunerable farmstead in 1858. Five years later, management of the estate passed to his fourteen year-old son. From that time on, James Martine's livelihood was farming; his abiding passion, politics. The combination earned him the affectionate title of Plainfield's farmer-orator. Martine's political ambitions were finally realized during his term in the United States Senate from 1911 - 1917, and in June of 1912, he fired the first legislative salvo in the battle to perserve Monticello as a memorial to Thomas Jefferson.

PGC memer Jeanne Turner remembered the show house on 1988 and remarked how beautiful the house.

James E. Martine

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

In true Jeffersonian style, Martine's hospitality was widely known and readily accepted. It is believed the east wing ballroom was added to the homestead during his tenure to facilitate increasing social obligations. Farmer Jim might even qualify as Plainfield's first historic preservationist, long before the movement gained the prestige it holds today. Entering the twenty-first century, Cedar Brook Farm is lovelier than ever. All of its owners have responded to its charm with appropriate care and pride.

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work
circa 1958 - 1960

by Mrs. William P. Elliott
(Exhibitions Chairman)
Plainfield Garden Club

The second prize awarded to the Plainfield Garden Club this week for te mosaic garden it staged at the International Flower Show in the New York Coliseum was not easily won. Our entry was the product of three months of concentrated effort.

Those who see our exhibit at the show, which opened Saturday and will remain open through Saturday, often ask: "How does one go about such a project."

This is how we did it. Our story starts with the arrival just before Christmas of the Garden Club of America's schedule of classes for the show. We studied it and decided to attempt an entry in the gardens class.

The requirements were: "Four competitive pool plantings, mosaic in design, Flowers and ground cover to be used. Flowers to be predominate. Color combinations, white-yellow, apricot, brown and green. Space approximately 10 feet by five feet. Free form shape. Plant material not to exceed two feet in height from the floor."

Committee Begins Work

As soon as our application was accepted, the committee I headed set to work. Our dedicated members were Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost, Mrs. Linden Stuart, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Victor King, Mrs. Charles Detwiller and Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith.

We conducted research in museums and libraries to find out everything possible about mosaics (both ancient and modern), their designs and techniques.

Trips to greenhouses followed. Our investigation of plant materials available caused us to travel many miles in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Incidentally, there are no finer people to deal with than the nurserymen we met.

The next stop involved our spending many hours with pencil and paper. Finally, we decided to use a design created by Mrs. Frost. Her inspiration was a picture of a mosaic walk in Alicante, Spain, which had been brought back by one of our members, Mrs. David Foster, who recently traveled there.

Mechanical Problems

We then put our "theories" into practice by working with sample plant materials on patterns cut to scale in order to determine the amounts of plant material required and the amount of real moss necessary to fill the given space. We also faced the mechanical problmes of "putting it together."

Then, followed the problem of transporting all our precious materials to the Coliseum March 3. Fortunately, we were able to find a wholesale florist in Scotch Plains who could provide a heated truck and a driver.

The morning of March 8 finally arrived, and with it the snow. What a blizzard that was! In spite of it all, however, our courageous driver collected and loaded the plants and other materials into the truck and set forth to battle the elements en route to the city. We are grateful to him for their safe arrival.

Meanwhile, our president, Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod, had braved the storm to drive to New York to receive our precious cargo upon its attival at the Coliseum. After her job was done, storm and traffic conditions made it impossible for her to return to Plainfield, and she had to spend the night with friends in the city.

Five of us left Plainfield at 7 a.m. the next day and, after a slow but safe drive, reached the Coliseum in time to take the final steps in our project. By 6 p.m. we were finished in more ways than one.

Award to Garden Club Result of Hard Work

May 17, 1957 Club Commemorates Founding of Iris Garden

Caption: GARDEN MARKER VIEWED – Standing before the marker commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park are (left to right) Mrs. Frederick Lockwood, Victor B. King, Jr., John C. Wister, Mr. Richard Tracy and Miss Harriette R. Halloway, founder of this garden. (Courier photo by E. T. Wiggins)

The Plainfield Garden Club and guests yersterday dedicated the the entranceway of the of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park.

Miss Harriette R. Halloway, found of the garden and chairman of the garden of the Iris Garden [not legible] the project was started in 1932, was presented a medal by Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood, president of the Garden Club.

The medal is [not legible] "from the grateful members of the Plainfield Garden Club Harriette R. Halloway founder and director of the Iris gardens of Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield, 1932 - 1957."

[Not legible] viewed a recently installed [not legible] tablet marking the anniversary of the garden.

"Excercise in Perfection"
Victor R. King, president of the Union County Park Commission, led the gathering [not legible] the garden display was "an excercise in perfection is [not legible]," he said.

The park commission provides the setting for the garden and have [not legible] in the project [not legible]

W. [not legible] Tracy, executive had of the Park Commission when the Iris Garden was started paid tribute to Miss Halloway for her "tireless work and painstaking effort."

Another speaker was Dr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pa., president of the American Iris Society when the garden was started and author of [not legible] article about the garden in the current issue of the Journal of the New York Botanical Gardens.

Miss Halloway spoke briefly and [not legible] on the work of the [not legible] who care for the Iris Garden. She introduced Kenneth Smith, one of the largest contributors of plants to the garden [not legible]

Mrs. Lockwood presided at the program. Guests included members of [not legible] garden clubs and contributors to the garden.

The Iris Garden Committee includes Mrs. Morris E. Benton, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Donald E. Luce, Mrs. William K. Dunbar, Jr., Mrs. C. Northrop Pond, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Arthur D. Seybold, Mrs. John R. Wells, Mrs. Willian G. Wigton, Mrs. Robert MacLeod, vice chairman, and Miss Halloway, chairman.

Special slides [not legible] for the chairman were Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Jr., Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost ad Mrs. Edwin M. Treat, Jr.

Mrs. Victor M. King was chairman of the special committee assisted by Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux, Mrs. E. B. Newberry, and Miss Margaret Tyler. Also cooperating were Mrs. N. C. Barnhart, Jr., Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Homer Cochran and Mrs. H. I. Flanders.

Hostesses (not legible)
Other hostesses were Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Leslie E. Fort, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, Mrs. Robert T. Stevens, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Mrs. William S. Tyler. Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck and Mrs. Orville G. Waring.

The Iris Garden now has more than 1,800 named varieties properly labeled, representing all types of Iris and totaling more than 75,000 plants.

The main part of the garden is [not legible] caring Iris [not legible] and is expected to be is good blooms thorugh the rest of the month.

Courier News article June 1995

Garden Club shows off blooms to 2nd-graders

If you go

Cedar Brook Park is open to the public during daylight hours. To reach the Shakespeare Garden, enter off Randolph Road on Rose Street and follow one-way signs to parking near the brick fieldhouse. The garden is open for viewing only.

By Bernice Paglia
Courier-News Staff Writer

PLAINFIELD – Garden Club membes who spend Wednesdays grooming the Shakespeare Garden showed it off to about 65 second-graders Thursday.

The children walked from Cedarbrook School to Cedar Brook Prk and were soon finding seed pods in the johnny-jump-ups, sniffing thyme and lavender, and smoothing furry lamb's-ears leaves against their cheeks.

"This place is cool!" Erice Moorman exclaimed. "I like all the pretty flowers and the way they smell good."

The garden is at its peak with a bed of peonies planted in 1930 ready to bloom once more, and roses, yellow millfoil and pinks flowering along the borders. The garden has formal herb beds and four fat topiary birds. One bed has fancy-flowered relatives of onions and garlic, including giant allium's starry purple globes on a single stalk.

For the visit, the Garden Club set out a dovecote and sundial reminiscentn of Elizabethan garden accessories, and small printed markers with Shakespeare references. Bright sunshine enhanced the sights and scents of teh 16th-century plant varieties.

"They're soft," Melissa Richardson said, fingering a lamb's-ear leaf. Another student learned that the woolly leaves were used in olden times the way Band-Aids are now.

Eduardo Ocotilla held an opened johnny-jump-up seed pod in his hand, its three neat compartments full of seeds. One class brought notebooks and students including Tyesha Davis and Marte Smith wrote down names of flowers as they meandered along the brick-edged paths.

"Just think, there's so much about Plainfield that people don't even know, " parent Mary Haynes said. Taking in the array, she said, "It makes me want to go home and plant some flowers."

Garden Club members who led the outdoor lessons were Bernice Swain, Diana Madsen, Evelyn Madsen, Jeanne Turner, Joan Vivian and Sally Kroll. Club members have also educated third graders at the school on how to pot plants and take care of them

[caption to photo of painting]
Cheryl O'Halloran McLeod's pastel rendition of the bucolic Shakespeare Garden in Plainfield

Cheryl O'Halloran McLeod's pastel rendition of the bucolic Shakespeare Garden in Plainfield

June 1995

Martine House

Plainfield Library Photo File

T-2026 Y Thorn Martine Homestead Front of the Martine house, with two women, one on horseback, caption reads: J.E. Martine Hometead Presently occupied by the Robert F. MacLeods. Mrs. MacLeod is a granddaughter of Mr. O.T. Waring, The Plainfield Trust Company's first president.

Martine House

Plainfield Library Photo File

T-2027 Y Thorn Martine Homestead Cedarbrook Road View of the front, from the front drive, caption reads: J.E. Martine Homestead This is still standing on Cedarbrook Road. The home was built in 1763 on the site of the first log cabin in Plainfield.

Martine House

Plainfield Library Photo File

T-2051 Y Thorn Cedar Brook on the Martine Property View of water surrounded by trees, with a small rustic wooded structure at the edge, caption reads: Scene on the J.E. Martine property At this time Cedar Brook, now covered over, was very picturesque.

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 . . . Orville T. Waring of the Standard Oil Company,

National Register of Historical Places

Waring, Orville, T., House (added 1979 - - #79003252)
Also known as Runyon Funeral Home
900 Park Ave. , Plainfield
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Smith,Charles H.
Architectural Style: Late Victorian
Area of Significance: Architecture, Industry, Commerce
Period of Significance: 1875-1899
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-function: Single Dwelling
Current Function: Commerce/Trade
Current Sub-function: Business

900 Park Avenue

December 4, 2011 Van Wyck Brooks Historic Holiday House Tour

900 Park Avenue

900 Park Avenue

900 Park Avenue

900 Park Avenue

900 Park Avenue

Our last stop on the tour and the famous home of Orville Waring of Standard Oil fame and wealth. Several of his daughters were our members as well as one daughter-in-law:

Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) MacLeod '55, President 1958 - 1960

Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) Timpson '15

Mrs. Orville G. (Dorothy Fleming) Waring '35

900 Park Avenue

Gail Sloan and Anne Shepherd

900 Park Avenue now operates as a catering place, which astounded Anne who remembers it as Runyon Funeral Home. Perhaps the interior will suggest a more festive atomosphere . . . although the current owner already told us a ghost story about Mr. Waring at the previous Shakespeare-in-Bloom. Still, we approach and go inside . .

900 Park Avenue

May 28, 1923
Died. Orville Taylor Waring, 84, a colleague of John D. Rockefeller in the Standard Oil Co. and one of its original incorporators, of cancer, at Plainfield, N. J. He is survived by his second wife and eight children.

900 Park Avenue

Our stay was not long. We did see the very unusual white and gold painted staircase to the second floor and the Tiffany window on the landing. A favorite feature was this gigantic stone bench inset to the port cochere.

900 Park Avenue

The Castle
The Orville Taylor Waring house on Park Avenue in Plainfield's Van Wyck Brooks Historic District is one of the homes on "An Old-Fashioned Christmas House Tour" next weekend

Several PGC members were Waring-related:

Mrs. Orville G. (Dorothy Fleming) Waring '35

Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) MacLeod '55, President 1958 - 1960

Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring)Timpson '15

Photo by Dan Damon

April 24 - May 30, 1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showhouse

Many PGC members were also members of the Muhlenberg Auxiliary that staged amazing designer homes in Plainfield in an effort to raise money for the hospital.

In 1988, the designer showcased home was Cedar Brook Farm which had also been the home of a PGC member, Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) MacLeod '55, PGC President 1958 - 1960

To see the progam and learn the history of the house, click these links:

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Cover to Page 25

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 26 to 50

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 51 to 75

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 76 to End

New York Times May 1, 1988

New Jersey Guide

Information: (201) 836-6233 CEDAR BROOK TOURS

Plainfield's oldest home, the 1717 Cedar Brook Farm, is open for tours through May 30 to benefit the critical-care pavilion at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center.

The home, at 11 Brook Avenue, has been redecorated as a designer showcase with newly landscaped gardens, a boutique, art gallery and luncheon pavilion. A totla of 28 rooms and areas have been done in historic themes.

Cedar Brook is open from 10 AM to 4 PM daily (Thursday to 8 PM) and noon to 4 PM Sundays, when champagne brunch is available for $12. General Admission is $8, with group rates available.

The home, begun by William Webster Jr. in 1717 and finished by his son John, has been bought by the Muhlenberg auxiliary and will be resold after May 30, with proceeds of the tours applied to the auxiliary's pledge of $2 million toward the medical center pavilion.

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

Download the Entire Program: 1974 Designer Showcase Martine House

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

In addition to saving the 1988 Program for the Designers Showhouse of Cedar Brook Farm (aka The Martine House) which was organized by the Muhlenberg Auxiliary, PGC Member Anne Shepherd also kept the 1974 Designers Showcase of the very same home, organized by the Junior League.

Within the program pages, you will find mentioned many PGC members. They include: Clawson, MacLeod, Kroll, Davis, Wyckoff, Stevens, Loizeaux, Swain, Hunziker, Connell, Foster, Dunbar, Elliott, Fitzpatrick, Gaston, Hackman, Holman, Lockwood, Morrison, Royes, Rushmore, Sanders, Williams, Barnhart, Bellows, Burger, Burner, Carter, Clendenin, DeHart, Detwiller, Eaton, Eckert, Fort, Frost, Gonder, Keating, Laidlaw, Loosli, Madsen, Mann, Marshall, Miller, Moody, Moon, Morse, Murray, Mygatt, Barrett, Peek, Perkins, Pfefferkorn, Pomeroy, Pond, Royes, Samek, Sandford, Sheble, Stevens, Shepherd, Stewart, Stout, Trewin, Vivian, Zeller, Cochran, Mooney and Hall.

Seven Gates Farm for rent on the Vineyard

January 6, 2012

Enchanting Seven Gates Farm
Property ID: sto85n

This expanded cape style home is the essence of the civil wilderness vision that is central to Seven Gates Farm. Restoration work in 2000 aesthetically blended modern amenities in the renovated farmhouse style kitchen with the existing charm of an historical home. The home features a guest suite, master suite, two additional first floor bedrooms and one other under the hand-hewn eaves of the second floor. Formal living and dining rooms feature fireplaces with period molding and mantles, wide board floors, and a stone floored sun porch that overlooks beautiful grounds with rolling hillsides, a serene brook, and extensive stonewalls. A short walk to the sandy private community beach.

Town: West Tisbury
Property Type: Single family home
Location: Rural
Beach Access: Private
Private beach: 0.04 mile
Pets Allowed: Maybe
Smoking Allowed: No
Property ID: sto85n Property Size
Bedrooms: 4
Full Baths: 4
Half Baths: 1
Showers: 3
Bathtubs: 3
Sleeps: 8
Dinner Seating: 12
Structure Size: 4000 sq ft
Main House Bed Size Level Private Bath
MBR Queen 1st Yes
2nd BR Queen 1st Yes
3rd BR 2 Twins 1st No
4th BR Queen 2nd Yes

Phone Lines: 1
A/C: central
Alarm Clock: No
Answering Machine: No
Blender: Yes
Cable: Yes
CD Player: Yes
Coffee Maker: Yes
Computer: No
Dishwasher: Yes
Dryer: No
DVD Player: No
Electric Mixer: No
Portable Fan: Yes
Ceiling Fan: Yes
Fax Machine: Yes
Usable Fireplace: Yes
Food Processor: Yes
Heat: forced hot water
Internet: dialup
iPod Dock: No
Iron: No
Ironing Board: Yes
Lobster Pot: Yes
Long Distance Block: No
Microwave: Yes
Radio: Yes
Satellite: Yes
Sofa Bed: Day Bed
Stereo: Yes
Stove: Dual
Toaster: Yes
Toaster Oven: No
TV: Yes
Unlimited Long Distance: No
Vacuum: Yes
VCR: Yes
Washer: Yes
Woodstove: No Outdoor
Deck: No
Outdoor Furniture: Yes
Outside Shower: open
Patio: Yes
Pool: None
Porch: Yes
Screened Porch: Yes
Tennis: Association
Road: Dirt
Other Features
Ferry Reservations: No
Guest House: No
Linens: Landlord
Winter Rental: No
Rental Info
Property ID: sto85n
Minimum Stay: 7
Security Deposit: 10% minimum
Cleaning Fee Included: Yes
Turnover Day: All
Check In Time: 2pm
Check Out Time: 12pm

New York Times Obituary for Mrs. MacLeod's sister

Paid Notice: Deaths DUNBAR, ANNE W.
Published: March 07, 1997

DUNBAR-Anne W., age 82, died Friday, February 14, 1997 at her home at Wake Robin, Shelburne, VT. She was the widow of Charles E. Dunbar and daughter of the late Edward J. and Caroline (Value) Waring. Born in Plainfield, NJ, Survivors include three daughters; Beverly D. West of Londonderry, VT., Elizabeth Koven of Green Village, NJ and Laurie Bullard of Washington, DC and New Bedford, MA; two sisters, Beverly Cutler of New Vernon, N.J., and Carolyn Verbeck of Vineyard Haven; ten grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Los Angeles Times Obituary for Robert F. MacLeod

Obituaries January 17, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer
Robert F. MacLeod, an All-American football player at Dartmouth College in the 1930s who went on to fashion a career in magazine publishing, has died. He was 85.

MacLeod died Monday at a care facility in Santa Monica of complications from a stroke he suffered just before Thanksgiving.

Born in Glen Ellyn, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, MacLeod was a standout on offense and defense (halfback) for the Dartmouth team coached by Earl "Red" Blaik. He was an All-American in 1937 and 1938. He placed fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1938.

New York Times Obituary for Robert MacLeod

Robert MacLeod, 85, Athlete and Publisher
Published: January 18, 2003

Robert MacLeod, an all-American football player at Dartmouth in the 1930's who had a long career in magazine publishing, died Monday at a Santa Monica care facility. He was 85.

He died of complications from a stroke.

MacLeod was an offensive and defensive back and a basketball player for Dartmouth. He was a football all-American in 1938 and was fourth that year in the Heisman Trophy voting.

He played one season with the Chicago Bears before becoming a Marine fighter pilot in World War II. He was discharged as a major.

MacLeod joined Liberty magazine and moved to the Hearst Corporation, where he was vice president and advertising director for 13 publications. In 1961 he became publisher of Seventeen magazine. Two years later, he became marketing head of Subscription Television, an early cable television enterprise.

From 1963 to 1994, he was editor and publisher of Petersen Publishing's Teen magazine.

He is survived by his wife, Louise Jardine MacLeod of Malibu; three sons, Robert F. MacLeod Jr. of Malibu, Edward J. MacLeod of Madison, Conn., and Ian Dana MacLeod of Seattle; a daughter, Merrill MacLeod Stendeck of Glen Head, N.Y.; and 10 grandchildren

St. Andrews School Scholarship

The Merrill M. Stenbeck Headmaster's Chair
There is only one named Headmaster's Chair. The Fund produces $150,000 annually in year one, to supplement the Headmaster's Mission and Leadership budget. The use of the funds is at the discretion of the Headmaster as approved by the Board of Trustees.

The Merrill M. Stenbeck Headmaster's Chair was established in 2010 by a gift from Cristina '95 and Alexander Fitzgibbons.

Mrs. MacLeod's grandaughter: Cristina Stenbeck

Cristina StenbeckFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cristina Mayville Stenbeck, born 27 September 1977 in New York, USA, is a Swedish American business woman and the heiress of the Swedish capitalist Jan Stenbeck.

Cristina grew up in Long Island but with strong connections to Sweden. She learnt Swedish in nine months in 1997 when studying at Lund University, Sweden. Since September 2005, Cristina Stenbeck has been married to the English businessman Alexander Fitzgibbons.

In 2002 her father died, and his children became the heirs of his business empire, which revolves around the investment company Investment AB Kinnevik. The estate covered many holdings in different domiciles, why the finalisation of the estate process was not until 2006.[1]

Since her father died, Cristina has been the family's representative on the board of directors of Investment AB Kinnevik. She has presided over the capital restructuring of the associated companies Millicom and Metro as well as the merger between Invik and Investment AB Kinnevik and the acquisition of Assidomän Cartonboard.[2]

Stenbeck's wife gets nothing -- Swedish News (Mrs. MacLeod's daughter)

Stenbeck's wife gets nothing
Published: 31 Jan 06 16:51 CET | Double click on a word to get a translation

The illegitimate son of millionaire financier Jan Stenbeck will receive a large inheritance, while his wife will receive nothing, according to documents handed to the Swedish tax authorities today.

Stenbeck, who died in 2002, left net assets of 638 million kronor. But the real value of the businessman's legacy is much higher than the value shown in the estate inventory. This is bcause the taxation value of Stenbeck's shares, calculated at 263 million kronor, is only a fraction of their market value.

According to calculations by news agency TT, the actual value of the share portfolio is 580 million kronor - 317 million more than the taxation value. This takes the total value of the estate to around 955 million kronor.

Stenbeck left two wills. According to the most recent of these, signed in Luxembourg in 1993, the Liechtenstein-based Sapere Aude Trust receives half of the estate. The rest is to be shared between the five children, who get ten percent each.

According to Swedish law, Stenbeck was still married when he died. But as both Stenbeck and his estranged American wife, Merril MacLeod, were resident in the United States she cannot benefit from the Swedish law that gives spouses an automatic right to inherit when the other spouse dies. The pair had started divorce proceedings before he died.

In addition to his illegitimate son, Stenbeck had four children with MacLeod - Cristina, Hugo, Sophie and Max.

"The estate's total value is calculated on its value when he died, and does not reflect its current worth," said Per Gratte, lawyer for Stenbeck's illegitimate son.

"It is hard to say how it will all look at the end of the day, as there are assets and laws in other countries, and there will also be a distribution of the assets."

According to lawyer Magnus Kindstrand, representing Stenbeck's estate, there is no argument between the beneficiaries. He added that it was now down to the tax authorities to decide how much inheritance tax the estate was liable for.

Stenbeck died before Sweden axed inheritance tax, meaning his estate will have to pay a substantial amount in death duties.

TT/The Local

Hugo Stenbeck, Mrs. MacLeod's grandson

Swedish challengers are used to the brink
By Christopher Clarey
Published: Monday, May 7, 2007

VALENCIA, Spain – Eighteen months ago, the crew and support staff of Victory Challenge were on the verge of unemployment.

They are back in the same position with the round-robin portion of the America's Cup challengers series coming to a boil. But this time, the mood is much less grim at Victory Challenge's base, where a large Swedish flag flaps in the suddenly reliable breeze and where the memory of the team's founder, Jan Stenbeck, looms larger.

For a one-boat program that once had serious financial problems, the Swedes and their hired international hands have fared rather well in the less-is-not-more world of Cup sailing, although with two races remaining, they need to win them both to claim the last available semifinal spot. They also need for Desafio Espaņol of the host country to lose both.

"The problem we've got is it's out of our hands in some ways," said Victory's British grinder, Ian Weighell. "If the Spanish pick up a win, they qualify for the semis, and we don't, so that for me is a bit of a shame. But it's quite exciting." It was certainly exciting Monday, as Victory stayed afloat by eking out a victory over its direct rival, crossing the finish line seven seconds ahead of Desafio despite some misadventures.

There was a jettisoned spinnaker after a botched takedown at the end of the first downwind leg, which caused the Spanish to consider filing a protest (they ultimately did not). There was also a poorly executed jibe late in the final run that reduced the final margin from comfortable to very close.

Still, it was a victory for Victory.

With victories worth two points, Desafio now has 29; three more than the Swedish team. Desafio has the tougher final two races: facing round-robin leader BMW Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa Challenge. But if Victory is to have any hope of advancing, it will have to find a way to beat second-place Emirates Team New Zealand, which it has never defeated at any stage of this competition. They were scheduled to race Tuesday.

Victory's employees have grown accustomed to living on the brink, but they are wary of favoritism. Michel Bonnefous, chief executive of America's Cup Management, or ACM, has already said that the popular success of the event was directly linked to the success of the Spanish team.

"Of course, we have some conspiracy theories that someone could throw a race to let the Spanish in," said Hugo Stenbeck, the head of the Swedish syndicate, in an interview before Monday's race. "It will be very, very advantageous for ACM to have the Spanish for TV ratings, just for the overall, even for the spectators and public arriving to the port here.

"But if I smell something unsportsmanlike, we're going to crack down on them. We've already got a plan for it. If they have anything up their sleeve, we're watching. That's just not the way it should be."

Victory was uncertain about challenging for this Cup after taking a crash course in the event the last time in Auckland, New Zealand, and finishing fifth. Its campaign was rocked when its founder, Jan Stenbeck, a Swedish media mogul, died of a heart attack in Paris in May 2002, shortly before the racing began. But Hugo Stenbeck, his American son who was only 23 at the time, left his studies at New York University and took over the team.

He then began another campaign in 2005, convinced that the Cup's return to Europe for the first time in 156 years would be a guarantee of sponsorship interest. "I would say I was a bit naīve," said Hugo Stenbeck, whose mother, Merrill MacLeod, was an American. She died last year.

By October 2005, with future funding in doubt, the team's leaders called a meeting at the team's still-unfinished base in Valencia. They gave the staff three months' notice in compliance with Spanish law. Meanwhile, staff members were being reassured privately by the skipper, Magnus Holmberg, and others that the money would eventually come.

"We had our ups and downs, but I think that builds the character of the guys on the boat," said Stenbeck, some of whose employees consider him a laissez-faire leader, as interested in the social aspects of the America's Cup as the competition itself.

"He's a playboy," said the communications director, Bert Willborg.

Still, there were only two significant defections, one of them Sten Mohr, who is now backup helmsman for BMW Oracle. By March 2006, the financial outlook for Victory had brightened, and the true reprieve came in June, when the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull signed on as primary sponsor.

The team had the means to follow the lead of the Cup defender, Alinghi, and train in Dubai over the winter. But there was no longer enough time to build two new boats, which has become a prerequisite to Cup success. Of the top five teams in the standings here, Victory Challenge is the only one-boat program.

Victory's crew did not get to sail in its only new boat until Feb. 10, little more than two months before the start of the challenger series. Starting that late was a big, if calculated, risk. But the team preferred to give its lead designer, Mani Frers, and the builders more time to get the one boat right than to have more sailing time with a potentially flawed product.

Frers, who designed two boats at Jan Stenbeck's request for the last Cup, used the existing boats cleverly this time to test new masts and sails while the hull of the new boat was still a work in progress.

New York Times Obituary for Merrill MacLeod Stenbeck

Paid Notice: Deaths
Published: February 12, 2006

STENBECK – Merrill Mac Leod. Died peacefully on February 10, at home, surrounded by her beloved family and dogs. Devoted mother of Cristina, Hugo, Sophie and Max; beloved daughter of Carolyn Verbeck and sister of Robert and Jay MacLeod. The funeral service will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Medical Center of New York.

Cancer Research Institute

Real Stories: Stenbeck Foundation Fights Ovarian Cancer

September 15, 2009

Stenbeck Foundation Makes $1 Million Gift to CRI for Ovarian Cancer Research

The Stenbeck Foundation, a family foundation established in 2008 by the heirs of Swedish industrialist Jan Stenbeck, has made a generous gift of $1 million to the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). The gift will support the Institute's ovarian cancer research efforts underway within the CRI Ovarian Cancer Working Group (OCWG), a program of the CRI Coordinated Cancer Initiatives, and the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC), a joint program of CRI and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd (LICR).

According to the terms of the gift, $300,000 will go to the OCWG to support its efforts to find biological markers that will help doctors diagnose ovarian cancer at earlier stages of the disease, and $700,000 will support the CVC site at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where clinical trials of therapeutic ovarian cancer vaccines are underway.

Sophie Stenbeck, together with sister Cristina and brother Max, established the Stenbeck Foundation as a way to combine their extensive philanthropic work and achieve greater impact. According to Sophie, who presently serves as president of the Foundation, its mission is to honor causes that are close to the siblings' hearts as well as causes that were important to their parents.

Among the Foundation's main interests are research-based medical developments, primarily in early disease detection. The importance of medical research to the Stenbeck family is readily understood: a heart attack claimed their father's life at age 59 in 2002, and four years later their mother, Merrill, lost her battle with ovarian cancer within a year of her diagnosis.

"For our first grant," Sophie explained in an interview with CRI, "we wanted to choose causes that truly honored our parents. For my mother, obviously, that was an ovarian cancer study. Right away we felt we wanted to do something that would potentially save lives and prevent others from experiencing what happened to her."

According to Sophie, doctors didn't detect her mother's cancer until after the disease had already progressed to an advanced stage. She underwent aggressive treatments with chemotherapy in an attempt to bring her cancer under control. "It was very, very difficult for me to watch her go through that," Sophie shared.

Ovarian cancer is called "the cancer that whispers" because it often has no obvious symptoms until it has progressed to late stages. There also currently are no screening tools that are highly reliable and easy to use. The disease claims the lives of more than 14,000 women each year in the United States.

When considering which organization to select, the Stenbeck Foundation sought to go beyond the standard approaches to cancer treatment and diagnosis. "We didn't want to fund just another trial of some aggressive chemotherapy."

The family looked for a worthy charity, but none seemed to resonate with them. Then they learned about the Cancer Research Institute and its work in cancer immunology. "CRI immediately felt different from other organizations," Sophie said. "CRI scientists are developing treatments that work with the body as an interconnected whole. That's very important to me. It gave me hope that there are studies like this being done."

The Ovarian Cancer Working Group, an international coordinated initiative under the direction of Dr. Kunle Odunsi, director of gynecologic oncology and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, aims to provide a molecular and cellular understanding of the immune system's ability to recognize and destroy ovarian cancer cells with the ultimate goal of developing effective immunotherapies for the disease. He and colleagues have recently identified a number of potential biomarkers in ovarian cancer. The identified proteins appear to play a critical role in ovarian cancer progression and may be a predictive marker for early detection of the disease.

Dr. Odunsi also is the principal investigator for the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative clinical trials of ovarian cancer vaccines at Roswell Park. He is working to increase the immunological and clinical potency of these vaccines by testing various delivery mechanisms, forms of cancer targets called antigens, and the effect of adding various immunological stimulatory molecules to the vaccine. Data from these trials are shared with the global network of CVC sites and also will help inform CRI efforts to develop effective therapeutic vaccines for many other cancer types.

"Dr. Odunsi is incredible," Sophie said of her meeting in 2008 with him, CRI executive director Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, and other CRI staff. "He's not only passionate about his work, but he's also a true scientist who knows all the patients in his studies." She added, "I trust everyone I met from the Cancer Research Institute. They're all there because they each have a personal connection to their work. Cancer has somehow struck very close to home for them, too."

Sophie Stenbeck, Mrs. MacLeod's grandaughter

Sophie Stenbeck, president of the Stenbeck Foundation, lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 2006. In 2009, the Stenbeck Family's foundation awarded $1 million to the Cancer Research Institute to support CRI's ovarian cancer research efforts

Merrill MacLeod Stenbeck, Mrs. MacLeod's daughter

Merrill Stenbeck battled late-stage ovarian cancer but succumbed to the disease within a year of her diagnosis.

Plainfield Public Library Archive

**Date unknown. Post-1955

STUDY ROSES IN DESIGN – Members of the committee planning the Rose Garden Center of the Plainfield Garden Club admire some examples of china and fabric in rose design. Mrs. Francis P. Day (left) co-chairman, looks on while Mrs. Robert McLeod, poster chairman, holds a china plate and Mrs. Edward H. Ladd, co-chairman and Mrs. William P. Elliott, head of rose collections, unfold some fabric. The center will be open to the public at the Plainfield Public Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archive

1958 Check Book

No. 1315
July 12, 1958
Carolie W. MacLeod
fare to York Harbor

[Annual Meeting of the Garden Club of America where PGC Member Harriette R. Halloway honored by the GCA]

1958 Check Book

No. 1328
Dec, 11, 1958
C. MacLeod

Mrs. MacLeod

Cedar Brook Farm

Cedar Brook Farm

September 14, 2013 Trip to Kykuit

The road from Plainfield to Kykuit was traveled once again on Saturday as 19 made the trip to see the famed estate of John D. Rockefeller.

"Once again" you say?

Why, yes. Many Plainfielders worked for Mr. Rockefeller in his New York Standard Oil offices as well as offices located in the oil refineries right off Route 1 in Linden where the descendant companies of Standard Oil still store, refine and ship petroleum. These Plainfielders perhaps were not invited to Kykuit, but Rockefeller's lifelong friend and spirtual advisor most likely was an invited guest . . . and perhaps even his wife, founding PGC Member Mrs. Charles A. Eaton '15

Mrs. Eaton and her husband had their lives and fortunes changed upon meeting the owner of Kykuit. Mr. Eaton was the preacher at Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, situated on Cleveland's 'millionaire's row,' and as a result he came to the attention of John D. Rockefeller, a summer resident of Cleveland who attended church there. Rockefeller and Eaton became lifelong friends, and this connection influenced Eaton's future path.

This connection with Rockefeller also influenced Mr. Eaton's favorite nephew, Cyrus S. Eaton, who went to work for Rockefeller as a college student and later became one of America's greatest industrialists. He is best remembered (for those of us that can remember back to the '70's) for his role in US relations with the Soviet Union. In the late '60's his business deals with Communist Russia and the Rockefellers earned quite a bit of bad press.

In 1909, the Eatons followed Rockefeller by moving to what is now Watchung, but at one time was considered part of Plainfield. Their house still stands on Valley Road. Although a "dairy farmer" on their Valley Road estate "Sunbright," Mr. Eaton's main role was that of preacher to a prominent Madison Avenue Baptist Church congregation. However, after Mrs. Eaton helped found the PGC in 1915, in 1924, Mr. Eaton ran for Congress, won his seat and stayed there until 1952.

Congressman Eaton rose to become chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and served on the Select Committee on Foreign Aid. Eaton signed the original United Nations Charter in San Francisco as part of a delegation representing the United States Government. He helped gain support for the Marshall Plan, also known as the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, which was passed by Congress in 1948 by a vote of 329 to 74. For several years, he served in Congress alongside his nephew William R. Eaton, a Representative from Colorado.

Eaton was a steadfast opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. However, he was frequently invited to the White House for meetings with both presidents Roosevelt and Truman because of his sharp understanding of international politics.

While in Congress, he and Mrs. Eaton entertained many foreign dignitaries at their home. Between raising her family, and supporting her husband's career, Mrs. Eaton was very active in the PGC, serving as President twice, 1921 - 23, and then again in 1928-30.

The other likely Plainfielder to have made visits to Kykuit would have been the original owner of "The Castle" located at 900 Park Avenue. Mr. Orville T. Waring lovingly built that house and was partners with John D. Rockefeller, after selling his petroleum interests to him and then becoming Director of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Mr. Waring's daughter was founding member Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) Timpson '15. His daughter-in-law was Mrs. Orville G. Waring '35.

Mr. Waring had eight children and two wives, and many of his progeny were elite members of the Plainfield Garden Club: Fleming, Hyde, Mellick, Tweedy, and MacLeod. When Mr. Waring's daughters were wed, the news appeared in the New York Times along with reports of Mr. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s attendance at the events and their gifts of "gold and silver ornaments."

To view the photos from the most recent trip to Kykuit, click here: Field Trip to Kykuit

Other members associated with the Standard Oil Company and the Rockefellers included the large McGee clan:
McGee, Henry Augustus (Emma Louise Whiting) '22
McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Sarah M. Howell) '18
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22

And of course Barbara Sandford was Rockefeller's neighbor on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, her father & John D. belonging to all the same clubs with the most notable distinction of being residents of "Millionaire's Row."

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

May 28, 1958

NEW FLOWER BOXES – Douglas Davis, president of the Plainfield Trust Company, and Mrs. Robert MacLeod, president of the Plainfield Garden Club, admire one of the new flower boxes placed over windows in the bank. The project was sponsored by the garden club. (Coronnet Photo by E. T. Wiggins)

May 28, 1958 Mrs. Robert MacLeod


Caption: GARDEN CLUB GIFT – Mrs. Albert L. Stillman, chairman of the Shakespeare committee of the Plainfield Garden Club, places identification card on English hawthorne in Cedar Brook Park. Watching, left to right, are: Mrs. Morris S. Benton, Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd and Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, club members. (Coronet, Photo by E. T. Wiggins)

100 Attend Open House at Shakespeare Garden

About 100 persons attended an informal tour of the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park yesterday afternoon. The outdoors open house marked the 30th anniversary of the garden, one of about a dozen in the United States.

Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod of 11 Brook Lane, president of the Plainfield Garden Club, and members of the club's Shakespeare committee, headed by Mrs. Albert L. Stillman of 73 Leland Ave., described to visitors the 100-odd varieties of plants and shrubs in the garden.

The Garden Club, the Shakespeare Club and the Union County Park Commission established the garden 30 years ago. It now consists of 17 beds and two long borders in a park area of about 150 by 40 feet, located off Randolph Rd.

The ideas was to include all the plants and shrubs – there are 44 of them, Mrs. Stillman said – mentioned by Shakespeare in his plays and sonnets.

Other Plants Included

But the garden was so large, Mrs. Stillman said, that it was agreed upon to include other plant varieties in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

All of the 44 varieties mentioned in the bard's works are labeled by markers, which include the particular Shakespearean quotations referring to them.

The garden was laid out 30 years ago by a landscape architect from Olmsted Brothers of Boston. The Garden Club and the Park Commission split the cost. The garden is cared for by a Park Commission gardener, and supplemental work is done by the Garden Club's Shakespeare committee.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter Jr. of 940 Woodland Ave., the club's first Shakespeare committee chairman was unable to attend the outdoors open house yesterday.

Termed "Second Finest"

Mrs. Carter, author of the book, "Shakespeare Gardens," has termed the Plainfield garden the second finest in the nation. She has said top honors belong to a Shakespeare garden in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Established in 1915, the Cleveland garden was one of the first to be planted in the United States.

Mrs. Stillman said Shakespeare gardens bring together flowers grown in England in one period of garden history from being lost to U.S. gardens. The projects also add beauty to public parks and provide a place where Shakespeare poetry is illustrated with living plants and shrubs.

Mrs. Stillman's Shakespeare committee includes Mrs. Morris F. Benton, Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, Mrs. Victor R. King, Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. George J. His.

Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, horticultural chairman of the club, was also among those who pointed out features of the garden to guests.

The hospitality committee included Mrs. Henry DeForest, Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Ladd, Mrs. His and Mrs. King.

Punch was served by Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Trewin and Mrs. His.

November 1958 NewsLeaf

The Plainfield Garden Club presents Christmas in the gracious home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod, 11 Brook Lane, a residence which is Plainfield's oldest landmark. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 9th and 10th, from 1 to 9 P.M. you will be greeted by the hostess in costumes of the period and escorted through rooms made festive in the holiday manner.

Refreshments prepared from century-old recipes will be served and a corner cupboard will offer delicacies for call, all made by members.

Mrs. William P. Elliott is chairman of the benefit and proceeds will be used for civic planning.

Apply to Mrs. Homer P. Cochran, 961 Oakwood Place, PL 6-2123, for tickets at $2 each

1958 ticket to house tour








May 21, 1959

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'

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia From the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford

This is a sampling of materials saved by Barbara Sandford in her "Plainfield Historical Society" file.

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia

Index (73 pages)

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

We had three known members of the Waring clan in the PGC. The first two are:

Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) MacLeod '55, our President in 1958

Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) Timpson '15, a founding member of the PGC

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

The Warings

We learned about the Warings on the recent trip to Kykuit as the senior Orville Waring was a business associate of J.D. Rockefeller. His beloved home is now a Plainfield landmark on Park Avenue.

With the snow, it is hard to tell, but this marker seems to be for "our" Mrs. Waring – see her initials on the right "D.F.W" and her husband's on the left "O.G.W."

Mrs. Orville G. (Dorothy Fleming) Waring '35

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

The Center of the Waring Cross

"IHS" are the initials in the center of the cross. These represent the Greek letters Iota (Ι), Eta (Η) and Sigma (Σ), which are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek.

December 12, 201 Sally Booth's memory of Mrs. MacLeod

Sally spoke of Mrs. MacLeod and remembered her well. She said, "She was very beautiful with beautiful brown hair that swept around [moved hand from her face to ear]. I also remember daughter, who has died, was also beautiful. Mrs. MacLeod's husband worked for a magazine and they divorced."

February 9, 2014

February 9, 2014

Having a web presence if fun! We get interesting email like this one:

name: Mary Waring Waldron


I was looking through the internet for information on my great grandfather, Orville T. Waring, and came upon your very interesting history, which starts with a notice of the death of "Aunt Dorothy." I am a member of the Greenwich Garden Club.

In response, we referred Mary (Greenwich Garden Club is a GCA Club) to her relatives that we know were PGC members (there could be more):

MacLeod, Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) '55, President 1958 - 1960
Timpson, Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) '15
Waring, Mrs. Orville G. (Dorothy Fleming) '35

The Waring family was a very prominent Plainfield family. Sally recently reminisced about Mrs. MacLeod, whom she remembered as being a very attractive woman. The few photos we have of Carolyn Waring MacLeod confirm that. Mr. Waring, if you remember, was in business with Mr. Rockefeller – much discussed on the recent foray to Kykuit in the Fall.

1916 Metal Industry

William Andrew Conner, of Plainfield, N.J., died suddenly December 6, 1t his office in Perth Amboy, N.J. He was born in Baltimore, September 12, 1859, and began his business career in 1876 in Pittsburgh, in the oil refining business, in which he reached the position of assistant manager for the Standard Oil Company. In 1883 he took charge of the first plant built by the Standard Underground Cable Company, which manufactured copper wire and cables, of Canada, Limited in Hamilton, Canada, and from then to the time of his death he was the head of the manufacturing business of that company; including large plants planned and built by him in Pittsburgh, Pa; Perth Amboy, N.J., Oakland, Cal, and Hamilton, Canada. He was a director for ten years and first vice-president since 1909. He was vice-president of the Perth Amboy Trust Company, in whose inception he had an active part.

He was cousin of E. J. Waring of the Standard Underground Cable Company, and of the late Richard S. Waring, founder of the company and the inventor of "Waring" cables.