Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Middledith, Mrs. James F. (Sarah Augusta Flanders) '20

1922 Address: Truell Court

1898 Address: Mercer Avenue

1932 Directory*: Not Listed
* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932.

Most likely related to:

Flanders, Mrs. Helen I. '49

1908 Postcard of Truell Court

Truell Hall was formerly the Hotel Netherwood

Also known as Truell Inn and Truell Court

June 22, 1898 New York Times Wedding Announcement

Plainfield, NJ June 21 – A fashionable wedding was celebrated in the Church of the Holy Cross this evening at 8 o'clock when Miss Maude Middledith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James F. Middledith of Mercer Avenue, was married to Morris Sawyer Tremaine of Buffalo. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. T. Logan Murphy. The maid of honor was Miss Mabel Van Deventer of Plainfield. The bridesmaids were Miss Florence Abbott and Helen Clark of Plainfield, Miss Norra Mechener of Washington DC, and Miss Gertrude Snyder of Philadelphia. The best man was Archibald Sawyer of Elizabeth. The ushers were Henry Poole of Buffalo, Clifford Moore of New York, Clarence Merrell, Arthur Fish and Warren Allen, of Elizabeth, and James Middledith of Plainfield.

Morris Sawyer Tremaine

Morris S. Tremaine
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Morris Sawyer Tremaine (February 27, 1871 Fort Dodge, Ford County, Kansas - October 12, 1941) was an American businessman and politician.

[edit] Life
He was the son of Dr. William Scott Tremaine, an army surgeon from New York stationed at Fort Dodge, who was among the founders of the Town of Dodge City, Kansas in 1872. The Tremaine's were an old Cornish American family.[1]

He lived in Buffalo, Erie County, New York where he started work at age 17 as a tally boy on the docks, then built up an insurance business, a lumber business and a steel door company before he entered politics as a Democrat. On June 21, 1898, he married Maude Middledith at Plainfield, New Jersey.

He was New York State Comptroller from 1927 to 1941, elected in 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1936, and 1938. He died in office in the middle of his seventh term.

He is quoted as having said: "Those who believe that we have reached the limit of business progress and employment opportunity in this country are like the farmer who had two windmills and pulled one down because he was afraid there was not enough wind for both."

Augusta Flanders Middledith

James Middledith.James married Sarah Augusta Flanders on 2 Jul 1874 in Brooklyn, NY..

Sarah Augusta Flanders [Parents] was born on 7 Jun 1850 in Brooklyn, NY.. She married James Middledith on 2 Jul 1874 in Brooklyn, NY..

They had the following children:

F i Maud A. Middledith was born on 16 Jun 1875 in Brooklyn, NY..
U ii Jamie F. Middledith was born on 22 Feb 1878 in Plainfield, NJ

New York Times April 11, 1901

PLAINFIELD, N.J., April 10. – The wedding of Miss Lydia Platt Ackerman and Arthur Murphy took place this afternoon at Grace Church. The bride is a daughter of Mrs. Ellen R. and the late J. Hervey Ackerman. Her brothers are New York business men. The bridegroom is the son of the Rev. T. Logan Murphy, the newly appointed curate of the American Church at Paris.

Miss Ackerman was accompanied to the altar by her married sister, Mrs. Robert Rushmore, matron of honor, and by Miss Anna Riker of New York, Miss Mary Scott Denniston of the State College of Pennsylvania, and Miss Catherine DePauw of New Albany, Ind. The best man was Clarence L. Murphy, the groom's brother. The ushers were Marion S. Ackerman, James F. Middledith, and Rufus F. Finch of Plainfield, and Townsend Morgan of New York. The bride's three nephews, dressed in white sailor costumes, were pages.

The service was read by the Rev. T. Logan Murphy, assisted by the rector of Grace Church, the Rev. Erskine M. Rodman. After the marriage at the church a reception was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rushmore.

Washington Park Historic District North Plainfield NJ


Saturday, December 10, 4:00 - 9:00 PM. Tour starts at Church of the Holy Cross, corner of Washington and Mercer Avenues.

Founded in 1988, North Plainfield's only historic district will be featured in a Holiday house tour titled 'Architectural Treasures of North Plainfield'. Nine of the District's homes – mostly Victorians – will be featured, all dressed up for the Christmas holidays.

Tickets are $25 the day of the tour and may be purchased the Holy Cross Church, the tour's starting point, where maps will also be available.

Dear Washington Park Association:

Please link our website to your website. We
will do the same.

Plainfield Garden Club was established in 1915 and many of our early
members were residents of North Plainfield. You can read about the 250+
ladies on the website under "History"

Probably most notable was founding member Mrs. Charles Walter (Mary
Isabella Simpson)McCutchen '15

Other North Plainfield-Plainfield Garden Club Residents include:

Campbell Mabel C. Raper Mrs. William Hall 1928
Eaton Mary Winifred Parlin Mrs. Charles Aubrey 1915
Fleming Helen Hyde Mrs. Austin Lloyd 1919
Foster Fannie C. Groendyke Mrs. John Gray 1915
Hackman Elizabeth or "Betty" Reppert Mrs. Robert K. 1970
Howell Romaine Ray Mrs. Josephus H. 1922
Hyde Helen Miss 1917
Hyde Elilzabeth Kepler Mrs. Charles L. 1917
Hyde Carolyn Knowland Mrs. Frank de Lacey 1919
McGee Emma Louise Whiting Mrs. Henry Augustus 1922
McGee Sarah M. Howell Mrs. Henry Livingston "Harry" 1918
McGee Mary Alice Yerkes Mrs. Walter Miller 1922
Middledith Sarah Augusta Flanders Mrs. James F. 1920
Morison Fanny C. Lemmon Mrs. Nathaniel H. 1916
Murray Mrs. J. Everett 1920
Tingley Miss Dorothea 1932
Trewin Annette Mrs. C. Sidney 1945
Wells Mrs. Henry C. 1920
Wells Nancy G. Mrs. John R., Jr. 1957

We have just begun to post our archival information on line. If
interested, we could send you the addresses of these members. We are
always interested in learning more about them and welcome photographs of
their homes and gardens.

Enjoy the season -

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

April 10, 2013

The Crescent Area and the Great Depression: A signal of the times lies in its converted homes?
First, much thanks to Dan for welcoming the Crescent Area district's new blog/website. His kind words of encouragement and welcome have been appreciated by many of us that are coordinating efforts to make the area more welcoming to residents and neighbors.

Now to what I learned about the district's houses thanks to Dan.

One of the "mysteries" that there was about the district, at least for me, was a more precise time when the houses on Crescent started converting into multi-family homes. Dan mentioned on his post WWII as one of the reasons and talking to a neighbor about this I learned even more!

It was during the Great Depression that many of the area's homes started to convert into multi-family properties. All of a sudden it all made sense! My own home was built, according to both the nomination and information I obtained from the library, for a NY broker, Mr. James F. Middledith.

The Crescent Area nomination to the National Register of Historic Places claims that the area was full of bankers and brokers at one time. It is thanks to the district's nomination (nominations for all districts are online HERE) that one can see that homes in the Crescent Area began converting into multi-families around 1930, the year when the Great Depression started! Additional income needed to come from somewhere and the once single-family magnificent homes were one way to help those families affected by the Great Depression. I doubt anyone back then looked into these homes being sub-divided as an insult to history, how could anyone? History was being written with each sub-division!. The houses, and their owners, needed to move on with the times; today we are lucky that the homes were able to accommodate these conversions without loosing most of their charm.

One can only imagine what the Great Depression meant to those families that lost it all. That these homes were able to help families back then is something that gives a different character to the whole idea of how these homes were converted from single-family homes to multi-family properties. (What has happened afterwards is another story!)

Plainfield, thanks to its architecture, has very strong ties to many periods of great historical value for the USA. That today we can tell, right here in Plainfield and thanks to its houses, when the country was flushed with money, when it lost it all, when racial tensions gave way to a more inclusive society to today's new flush of immigrants, is nothing short of admiration. That these homes have been "gracious hostess" of it all and are still standing is quite an admirable task.

Next time you drive by the Crescent Area Historic District take a second look at the houses around here and think of those families, who in times of the Great Depression, saw their homes as the only mean to help them survive such dire times. Thanks to these families' resourcefulness we can still enjoy the quiet grace that these homes offer to those who take the time to look at them while holding history close to their chest.

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olddoc said...
Maria, Besides conversion into multifamily housing, many units including yours along Crescent Ave and Park Ave were converted to serve as combine residents and professional offices. Park Ave from 9th to Randolph was known as Doctor's Row.It was in the 60s/70s that the professional buildings marked the beginning of the end for this use.

10:21 AM
Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...
Dr. Yood,

You are absolutely right! I often forget that my own house was once a Dental office on the first floor!

When we bought it in 2005 the dentist office was long gone and the house was holding more apartments that we care to share. Today the house is down to a two family house and we couldn't be happier about having picked this property. There are plans, nearer today than yesterday, about restoring the porch and putting back shutters where there were once. We are just one of various homes that are being converted to what makes sense today given the circumstances. Thanks for reminding me that our house once was many people's mouth healing center. Pretty neat if you ask me!

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Avenue Historic District form for the National Register of Historic Places

829 Park Avenue
c. 1890
In 1894, the home of James M. Middledith, "Broker, N.Y."

Projecting canopy windows on the second story.
A building of a newer architectural style which supplanted the predominately Italianate in the rest of the area. It is not offensive to the spirit of the District and is a good example of the evolution in taste.

Monday Afternoon Club Membership