Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Zerega, Miss Bertha Virginia '23

1903 Address: 926 Park Avenue, Plainfield

1918 Address: 447 West Seventh Street, Plainfield

1928 Treasurer Book Sept. 12th $10.00

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

Related to PGC Member Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) Huntington '19 and Mrs. Horace G. Philips '25

October 26, 1918 Christian Science Sentinel

Radiation and Supply

In Jesus' beautiful utterance which is recorded in the fourth chapter of John, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work," there is a lesson on supply which is of great value to those who are at work today in the Father's vineyard, for by it Jesus attested to the sustaining, nourishing, and vitalizing power of spiritual radiation – doing the works. To perceive the underlying truth contained in his words it is helpful to review briefly the circumstances which led up to this inspired declaration of the Master.

In the chapter above referred to we read that in departing from Judea to go into Galilee, Jesus and his disciples were obliged to travel through Samaria, a section of the country proverbially hostile not only to the teachings of the Master but also to the doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees, and against whose prejudiced citizens Jesus had warned his disciples when sending them away into surrounding cities and villages to preach and to heal, saying, "Into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." And yet right here in the city of Sychar, in the midst of pronounced opposition to the truth, Jesus, discerning the spiritual receptivity of the Samaritan woman who came to draw water out of the well on which he was seated, was able to impart an inspiring message of comfort and hope to this people; for so impressed were many of the Samaritans with what the woman told them of her conversation with Jesus that they came to hear more of his teachings. Always intent upon doing his Father's will by radiating the truth upon all with whom he came in contact, Jesus did not wait until he had reached Galilee to make use of his healing ability, but seizing the first opportunity which presented itself in the unpromising district of Samaria, he reflected so much spiritual light and love that the mental barriers of prejudice and unbelief were dissolved, and his former antagonists now offered him the hospitality of their homes, where he remained two days.

No wonder that after his spiritual discourse with the woman at the well Jesus could say to his disciples when they came offering him food, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of," He who had been weary with his journey when they left him to buy food, was on their return so refreshed and invigorated by the spiritual act of imparting the Word, that he could direct the thoughts of these students to the contemplation of man's existence in Mind – as God's idea of Himself, divinely conceived, nourished, and sustained in Spirit, wholly apart from the beliefs of the flesh, the man whose life purpose it is to radiate the truth that God's work is finished, perfect, and eternally present for all of His children to recognize and to enjoy. To Jesus, then, there was nothing depleting in the activity of giving out, since energy, understood as spiritual potency, is exhaustless. Radiation, which is only another word for reflection, was his life mission among mankind. He taught his disciples that Life was neither in the body nor in an abundance of material possessions. True living consists in actively reflecting and diffusing mental light, spiritual ideas, which through the operation of divine law illuminate and dispel the dark ignorance manifest as sickness, limitation, sin, and death. Jesus proved that by letting his light – his knowledge of the truth – shine compassionately upon men he was liberating them through his works from bondage to material beliefs, and was himself thereby practically fed, clothed, and sheltered. Through his demonstrations of God's power and goodness, substance and supply became identified with, because directly dependent upon, right mental activity, the radiation of infinite Love, Truth, and Life.

On page 307 of "Miscellaneous Writings" our Leader says: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment." When we look to God as the source of all our happiness, and pray each day for more spiritual strength, grace, and understanding to do His will; when we consecrate our lives – our aims and affections – to the inspiring task of intelligently finishing each day the work which God sends us to do; when we welcome every problem which presents itself for solution as an opportunity for individual advancement in the knowledge of God and His laws, we need fear no evil, no lack of any good thing; for we are putting into operation in our lives the unfailingly available law of compensation. We need only come into harmony with this law to receive its infinite blessings. By using the one talent which we possess, – radiating even the least understanding of the truth which has come to us in demonstration, – we find ourselves correspondingly saved from discord and limitation; for the unselfed effort to do good inevitably reverts to the progress and protection of the earnest worker in divine metaphysics.

"To love, and to be loved," as we read on page 127 of "Miscellaneous Writings," "one must do good to others, The inevitable condition whereby to become blessed, is to bless others: but here, you must so know yourself, under God's direction, that you will do His will even though your pearls be downtrodden." The will of the Father is that each of His children shall reflect the divine nature, illuminating the darkness of materiality. This healing consciousness, or spiritual self-knowledge, becomes our refuge as the belief in the power of evil is courageously combated and overcome and as we glean from every experience a lesson which is priceless in its accumulative treasures of watchfulness, patience, meekness, moral courage, love, and peace. We acquire these spiritual riches as unfolding wisdom detaches thought from a material, personal sense of existence, to unite it with divine, impersonal Life and Love.

Spiritual self-expression demonstrates supply, because it is the reflection of infinite Love, and abides confidently in communion with divine Principle, which cherishes its own ideas. We win our way into this infolding presence, immune from the distorted beliefs of poverty, loneliness, discord, and oppression, as we learn to trust the activity of radiation, and fearlessly, freely, give of our substance – our time, our financial support, our mental and moral assistance, our entire cooperation – to the cause of Christian Science. We are working for this great cause in every least effort to radiate love to others, in every sincere attempt to live up to whatever demands are made upon us. The doing of our part is individual radiation. Let us guard against mental apathy and self-indulgence, which would rob us of our ever increasing opportunities to reflect more light; and let us destroy the base argument of self-pity which would mesmerize us into believing that we have nothing to share and, therefore, nothing to radiate, with the scientific declaration: "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing" (Miscellany, p. 165). When wearied with our journey in the Samaria of barren prospects, let us welcome the first opportunity which comes to us to reflect the truth, – share of our substance, – whether in word or in deed, and in thus seeking to bless another we shall be abundantly blessed.

"Radiation and Supply" by Bertha V. Zerega
Christian Science Sentinel, October 26, 1918

May 3, 1903 New York Times obituary

ZEREGA - April 24, at Plainfield, N.J., Albert von Bretton Zerega, native of St. Thomas, in the 77th year of his age.

1918 Wellsley Alumnae Directory

de Zerega, Bertha V. '01 447 West 7th Street, Plainfield, NJ

April 26, 1903 New York Times obituary

ZEREGA – Suddenly, on April 24, at his residence, 926 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ, Albert von Bretton Zerega, native of St. Thomas, in the 77th year of his age. Funeral at his late residence, at 11 AM Monday, April 27.

von bretton di Zerega


CAPTAIN ALFRED LUBAUGH BERNIEK DT ZEREGA, of Aldie, Loudoun County, Virginia, is a fine example of the composite American, for there runs in his veins the blood of four distinct nationalities, Italian, Danish, French and English. Captain di Zerega was born in New York on February 3, 1838, and has led the varied career which seems to have been characteristic of his family.

The family was founded in the Americas by Francisco di Zerega, a native of Cliivari, Italy, who, coming in the latter part of the eighteenth century from Italy to the West Indies, married, first, Catherine Louise Drake, of Guadaloupe, and, after her death, appears to have settled in Caracas and married, second, a lady of that city, of Spanish descent.

Francisco had three children by his first wife. John married Mercedes,
daughter of the Marquis de Tabor. He lived in Caracas until about fifty years ago and finally died in Europe. His son Albert died in New York in 1823, unmarried; and his son Augustus, born December 3, 1803, died in New York, December 23, 1888.

By his second wife Francisco had two sons, Francisco and Cecelio, both of whom became generals in the Mexican army, Cecelio falling in battle, while Francisco lived to be Governor of the State of Vera Cruz and of the National Palace in Mexico City. He was a Thirty-third Degree Mason and lived to 1880.

The youngest son of Francisco by his first wife was Augustus. He was born in Martinique on December 3.1803, and became a merchant in Caracas, Venezuela, was an aide of the famous revolutionary general, Simon Bolivar, and, suffering from the results of the revolution in Venezuela, moved to the United States in 1831, settled first in Philadelphia, later moved to New York, where he established the
famous "Z" line of clipper ships, amassed a fortune, and retired from business in 1862, spending the remaining twenty-five years of his life on his estate of "Island Hall," on Long Island Sound.

On April 9, 1825, in St. Thomas, Augustus di Zerega married Eliza M. Uytendalle, Baroness Von Bretton, daughter of John Bretton, Baron Von Bretton, of Denmark, and Hester (Bladwell) Uytendalle of England. They had eleven children, of whom Captain Alfred di Zerega was the sixth.

Captain di Zerega was educated in Belgium and France, and, upon leaving school, after spending two years in his father's office, went to sea at the age of fifteen on one of his father's ships, and served for something over a year on the "Queen of Clippers," at that time the largest merchant vessel in the world. The "Queen of Clippers" was at that time chartered to the French Government under the command of Captain di Zerega's brother, Augustus H. di Zerega, who, later, sailing from Liverpool, England, in a new ship, the "Baltic," has never been heard of since.

Captain di Zerega then served during the Crimean War in the French Transport System in the Mediterranean Sea. After that, continuing upon the sea, he became commander of the New York and Liverpool Packet Ship "Compromise"; but on account of the outbreak of the Civil War he gave up his position in the mercantile marine, and on July 24, 1861, joined the United States Navy as an acting master, and was attached to the "Susquehanna" on August 17, 1861, in which he served at the capture of Hatteras Inlet and Port Royal.

After two weeks' leave, on May 14, 1S63, he was detached from the
"Susquehanna," and was ordered to duty in command of the United States Steamer "Jasmine," at Pensacola. He remained in command of the "Jasmine" and attached to the Navy Yard until November 13, 1863. He was then placed in command of the U. S. S. "Antona," and ordered to do blockade duty between the mouth of the Mississippi and the Rio Grande.

While on the "Susquehanna" he participated, as previously stated, in the
capture of Hatteras Inlet and of Hilton Head, and also in an engagement with the Confederate Steamer, "Merrimac," and the Confederate forts in Hampton Roads, at the mouth of the Elizabeth River, just a few days before the "Merrimac" was sunk.

On August 31, 1864, Captain di Zerega was detached from the command of the "Antona" and ordered to command the United States Naval Rendezvous at New Orleans. There being but little work left for the Navy to do in the Civil War, Captain di Zerega resigned from the service on September 8, 1864.

Just previous to resigning from the service, on August 17, 1864, Captain di Zerega was married in New Orleans to Alice Almaide Gasquet, daughter of James A. and Emily A. (Dorsey) Gasquet.

Mrs. di Zerega was born in New York. Her father, James A Gasquet, was born at Petersburg, Virginia, and was the son of a French officer doing service in San Domingo at the time of the revolt of the negroes in 1791. The success of that revolt forced him to escape to the United States.

In 1842 Captain di Zerega's father bought the splendid estate of Aldie, upon which Captain di Zerega has now lived for nearly fifty years.

The children of Captain di Zerega's marriage are five in all: Emily Augusta, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 24, 1865; Augustus di Zerega, born at Aldie Manor, Virginia, September 8, 1868; Martha Alice, born at New Orleans, March 9, 1873; Frances Gasquet, born at Aldie Manor, Virginia, August 31,1877; and Gasquet, born at Aldie Manor, Virginia, October 18, 1879. He has fourteen living grandchildren, the greater number being males, so that there is no danger of the family name dying out.

Captain di Zerega has lived for many years the quiet life of a country
gentleman. He has kept in touch with affairs through his membership in a number of societies, such as the Loyal Legion, the Grand Army of the Republic, the Veteran Association of the Farragut Fleet, and is one of the owners of a prize medal issued to members of the Grand Army, also the medal of the Navy for service during the Civil War. He has besides a medal presented to him by the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York on January, 1857, when he was third officer of the ship "EL" for his humanity and courage in assisting to save all the passengers and crew of the ship "John Garrar" when a wreck at sea during a heavy gale on December 8, 1856. A Republican in his political affiliations, he has never held any offices other than to serve as Chairman of the Eighth
Virginia Republican Congressional Committee, and in such honorary capacities.

In his earlier years he was very partial to works of discovery and
scientific works bearing upon his occupation as a mariner. Of later years he has naturally found more interest in modern works upon farming. The splendid estate upon which he lives is evidence of the fact that he has used to advantage the information gathered from his reading. His property adjoins the old homestead of President Monroe. It was the former home of Colonel Charles Fenton Mercer, from whom Captain di Zerega's father purchased it.

Aldie village and Aldie Manor were named after Lord Loudoun's estate in
England by Charles Fenton Mercer.

Captain di Zerega has three married children, Augustus di Zerega, who
married Agnes Green of Aldie; Martha di Zerega, who married William Irvine di Zerega, and Gasquet di Zerega, who married Frederica F. Heuser of Burnside Vineyard, near Hay Market, Prince William County, Virginia.

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Illustrated with many full page engravings

Copyright, 1916
byB. F. Johnson, Inc.


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Den seldre Linie Denmark

Baron John Frederick Zerega von Bretton, f. 27 Nov. 1864 (Son of Baron Albert Zerega von Bretton, f. 12 Sept. 1826, died 24 April 1903), g. 13 Nov. 1892 m. Jennie Whitman Webb, f. 16 Okt. 1869 did 18 April 1894 (New York, 616 Madison Avenue)

Son: Baron John Whitma von Bretton, f. 23 Marts 1894.

Sister: Baronesse Bertha Virginia, f. 22 Juli 1879 (New York)

Moder: Enkebaronesse Virginia Estelle von Bretton, fodt van Solingen, f. 21 Nov. 1838, g. 1 Febr. 1861 m. Baron Albert von Bretton, Enke 24 April 1903 (New York)

Faders Soster:
Baronesse Eliza Morch, f. 3 Jan 1810, g. 9 April 1825 m. Augustus Zerega di Zerega, f. 4 Dec. 1803 died 23 Dec. 1888. (Island Hall, New York)

June 24, 1897 New York Times


Arnold-di Zerega Nuptials Celebrated at Westchester with a Large Attendance of New York Society


St. Peter's Church Was Hansomely Decorated with Flowers – Reception at Island Hall, the Home of the Bride's Grandmother

The wedding of Reginald H. Arnold, son of Surrogate J. H. V. Arnold, and Miss Violet di Zerega, was celebrated in St. Peter's Church, Westchester, at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. A large number of prominent society people of this city attended.

The church was beautifully decorated. The chancel was filled with palms and ferns, while the main aisle was made a floral archway of evergreens and honeysuckly. Every seat was occupied by 3:30 P.M., the hour set for the nuptials, but it was nearly 4 o'clock before the bridal party arrived. They were proceeded up the main aisle by the church band of choristers, who sang the Lohengrin Wedding March music appropriate words composed and arranged by Mrs. John di Zerega, aunt of the bride.

Following the choristers came the ushers. They were Messrs. Edward due Vivier, Grenville B. Winthrop, Howard Constable, Marshall Gasquet, Frederick Huntington, Mortimer Arnold, Horace Barnared, Jr., Frederick Wombwell of England Baron de Brabant, and Dr. Louis di Zerega. Two little maidens, nieces of the bride, and dressed as flower girls, followed the ushers, scattering flowers from baskets which they carried. Then came the bridesmaids, who were Miss Martha di Zerega of Washington, the bride's cousin; Miss Estelle Arnold, sister of the bridegroom; Miss Lita and Miss Constance Berry, cousins of the bride; Miss Beatrix Bennett, and Miss Florence Huntington of Plainfield, N.J. They wore gowns of violet crepon, trimmed with tulle and huge Gainsborough hats, trimmed with violet and violet plumes.

The maid of honor, Miss Elise di Zerega, the bride's sister, walked alone after the bridesmaids. She wore a gown of green and violet crepon. All the bridesmaids and the maid of honor wore violet-shaped enameled pins studded with diamonds, gifts of the bride.

The bride, who came last, leaning on her father's arm, wore the conventional gown of white satin, trimmed with rare old family lace and embroidered with pearls. The long veil, fastened with a wreath of orange blossoms, was of point lace.

Mr. Arnold and his best man, Mr. Lester M. del Garcia, met the bride as she ascended the chancel steps. During the ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. Dr. Frank M. Clendenin, rector of St. Peter's Church, the choir sang "O Perfect Love." The ceremony ended, the bridal party proceeded to the vestry room, where they signed the marriage register. Then the choristers, sihging the recessional hymn "Lord, Who at Cana's Wedding Feast," proceeded down the main aisle, followed by the bridge leaning on her husband's arm, and by the rest of the bridal party.

Some 200 of the guests were driven in carriages and stages, following the bridal party, some four miles to Island Hall, Zerega's Point, on the Sound, the residence of the bride's grandmother, Mrs. Augustus di Zerega, who although eighty-seven years old, was present at both the church ceremony and the reception. The house was tastefully decorated with flowers, and in the main drawing room Mr. and Mrs. Arnold stood, surrounded by their bridesmaids and ushers, to receive the congratulations of their friends. The Hungarian Band played during the reception, and an elaborate collation was served. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold will sail for Europe on a two months' drip on Wednesday next.

Among the guests at the ceremony and reception were Mr. and Mrs. E.N. Tailer, Mrs. Henry L. Burnett, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Thebaud, Miss Gilber, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Marie, Miss Marie, Mrs. George Place, Miss Livor, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver J. Wells, Mrs. Roswell Hitchcock, Mrs. Grenville Winthrop, Miss Winthrop, Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Hurry, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Coster, Miss Julia Coster, Miss Thorne, Mr. and Mrs. Adee, Mr. and Mrs. Collier, Mr. and Mrs. John di Zerega, Misses Berry, Mr. and Mrs. Berry, Miss Barclay, Baron Schlippenbach, and Messrs. Dwight Braman, Roger Foster, F. Pease, and Louis di Zerega

Zerega Point

The Old Ferris Mansion, Zerega Point

To the east of Castle Hill Neck the wooded glades of Zerega's Point extend far into the waters of the Sound. Not far from St. Joseph's Asylum and close to Westchester Creek stands what is known as the oldest house in Bronx Borough, the ancient Ferris Mansion. Built in two sections, the wing is the older portion and dates from 1687.

In October, 1776, a shot from the direction of the water startled Mr. James Ferris and family one morning so that they could not finish their breakfast, and acquainted them with the fact that Sir William Howe's fleet was in the immediate vicinity of his residence.

The early name of this lovely region was "Grove Siah's" so styled from its Colonial owner, Josiah Hunt, whose father, Thomas Hunt, had received it in patent from Governor Nicholls.

The Zerega Residence and Lorillard Chalet

Further along towards the end of this point rises the stone-built "Island Hall," the beautiful residence of Augustus Zerega di Zerega, and strongly resembling the stately Zborowski Mansion in Claremont Park.

At the extreme tip of this neck stands a mansion owned by one of the branches of the Lorillard family which in summer is swept by delightful, refreshing breezes all the day long. Appropriately styled "All Breeze," it resembles a true Swiss chalet in architecture. The location is where once the old Hell Gate pilots dwelt.

Residence of Mrs. Albert Zerega, 447 West Seventh Street

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.

publication circa 1917

1909 Plainfield Directory

1909 Plainfield Directory

Zerega John F, real estate, h 926 Park av
Zerega Virginia wid Albert, h 926 Park av

1925 Meeting Minutes

Dixon G. Philips

Philips, Dixon G. – of Plainfield, Union County, N.J. Son of Horace G. Philips (c.1860-1949). Mayor of Plainfield, N.J.. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
Relatives: Brother-in-law of John W. Zerega.

April 8, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 27, 1925 Meeting Minutes

June 24, 1925 Meeting Minutes

July 8, 1925 Meeting Minutes

Augustus Zerega Huntington Yale 1895

Augustus Zerega Huntington

Business Address, Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Residence, 276 South River Street, Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Augustus Zerega Huntington was born May 2, 1874, in Plain-
field, N. J., the son of Samuel Huntington, Yale '63, a lawyer,
connected with the Title Guarantee & Trust Company, New York
City, born in Hartford, Conn. His mother, Azelia Caroline
(Zerega) Huntington, deceased, was born in New York. For
four generations his family has been represented at Yale.

He prepared at Leal's School, Plainfield, N. J., and took the
Mechanical Engineering Course in college.

He was married on October 18, 1904, in New York, to Miss
Eleanor Ashby Anderson, daughter of Henry J. Anderson,
deceased, of Alamogordo, New Mexico. They have one child:
Anne Ashby Anderson, born January 15, 1Q08, in Wilkes Barre,

Huntington writes: "Studied architecture at Columbia
until March, 1896, then loafed until January, 1897, when I
went with the engineering department of the Scranton Gas
& Water Company. Left in January, 1900

John Philips (Phil) Zerega January 11, 2010

ZEREGA John Philips (Phil) Zerega, age 81, of Fairfield died peacefully on January 6, 2010 at the Carolton Convalescent Hospital. Phil was born in Plainfield, NJ, attended the Taft School, the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1952. Phil was a direct descendant of Lucas van Uytendale who was knighted Baron von Bretton by the King of Denmark in the early 1700's and later appointed Governor of the island of St. Thomas. His flying buddies often referred to Phil by his title- Baron von Bretton. In the mid-1800's Phil's great-great grandfather, Augustus diZerega, operated the "Z Line", a fleet of clipper ships sailing out of New York to Europe and the Orient. Zerega Avenue in the Bronx was named for Augustus. A noteworthy ancestor on his mother's side, Joseph Hewes, signed the Declaration of Independence and was the first Secretary of the Navy. Phil's real love was flying and he earned his pilot's license at age 16. He was commissioned 1st LT in the USAF and trained to fly B-26 bombers at the time of the Korean War. Instead of Korea, he was sent to Europe and assigned to NATO as an AT-6 instructor pilot in Landsberg, Germany retraining German, Italian and Danish pilots. After his discharge Phil, his wife Cecily and son Mark moved to Fairfield where daughter Libby was born. He was employed by Sikorsky Aircraft as an engineer designing cockpits, often working directly with Igor Sikorsky. He built dozens of helicopter models for engineering studies and display. Later he did design consulting and built industrial models for several local engineering companies. Phil attended the Oshkosh Air Show for many years, often flying there in a friend's airplane. Phil built his own airplane, a single-seat Star Lite, in 1988 for which he won a "Best Homebuilt" award at an EAA fly-in. As a licensed glider pilot, he often took his son Mark soaring and taught him to fly. During his school years, Phil was a soccer player and gymnast. A lifelong skier, sailor and tennis player; he also enjoyed golf and bowling. He sailed in the Newport-Bermuda and Halifax ocean races. He was a member of the Fairfield Beach Club, Bachelor's Comfort and Married Men's Retreat and the Pequot Yacht Club. His avocation was messing about in boats, construction and remodeling projects, and diagnosing and fixing anything broken. In 1962 he built a 24' Dolphin class sloop, which the family sailed for many summers. He also built catamarans and restored many storm-damaged boats which he bought from insurance companies. Phil will be remembered as a quiet friend who was always willing to lend a hand on any project, especially if it had to do with boats. In addition to his wife of 57 years, Cecily, he is survived by his sisters Virginia Lloyd of Newton, PA and Elizabeth Brown of Mount Pleasant, SC; son Mark Zerega and his wife Ceci of Yarmouth, ME; daughter Libby Williamson and her husband Jack of Villa Park, CA; and his grandchildren, Katie Zerega of Marblehead, MA, Megan Zerega of Yarmouth, ME, Katie Williamson, Jack Williamson, and Sam Williamson of Villa Park, CA; as well as many in-laws, nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Peter Tortora, Dr. Joel Kunkel, the staff at Carolton Hospital and Evie Craighead for their care and compassion. A memorial service will take place Saturday, January 16 at 1:00 p.m. at The Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mercy Learning Center, 637 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604 or Grasmere by the Sea Adult Day Service, 1 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Arrangements are being handled by the Spear-Miller Funeral Home of Fairfield.

John W. Zerega, Mayor of Plainfield 1947 - 1948 Republican

John W. Zerega Princeton 1954

John W. Zerega, former mayor of Plainfiled, N. J., was inducted as a member of the Board of Freeholders of Union County, for one year. The induction of Freeholder Zerega was accomplished with the county clerk administering the oath and the freeholder's son, 2nd Lieut. John P. Zerega, holding the Bible. At a reception following the oath, attended by many county and state officials, the new freeholder was described as "most gracious and genteel." As a matter of fact, at the time Dick was nominated for the vacancy on the Board, he was described as the outstanding candidate. Heartiest congratulations to our new freeholder!

1928 Plainfield City Directory

Zerega Bertha V C S pract 447 W 7th r do
Zerega John F real est h447 W 7th
Zerega John W (Esther) real est r 816 Hillside av
Zerega Virginia (wid Albert) r447 W 7th

May 21, 1911 New York Times

HUNTINGTON – On May 19, at Roosevelt Hospital, Azelia Caroline, wife of Samuel Huntington and daughter of the late Augustus Zerega, aged 68 years. Funeral at All Souls' Church, Plainfield, N. J., on Sunday, May 21, on arrival of New Jersey Central train leaving West 23d St. at 2:50 P. M.

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 Library Bio Card

The Huntington Family in America: A Genealogical Memoir of the Known

The Huntington Family in America: A Genealogical Memoir of the Known

The Huntington Family in America: A Genealogical Memoir of the Known

Hillside Historic District

August 29, 2015

Hillside Historic District has announced a new website:

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

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

807 Hillside Avenue
Browne, Miss Elizabeth B. '37

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

816 Hillside Avenue
Zerega, Miss Bertha Virginia '23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1239 Watchung Avenue
Brown, Miss Edna M. '34