Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Campbell, Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) '28

1915: North Plainfield

1928 Treasurer Book April 15th $5.00
1929 Treasurer Book Active $5.00

1932 Directory*: Not Listed

May be related to Plainfield Garden Club member Mrs. John Sheridan (Henrietta Shapleigh Campbell) '17

Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) Campbell was the mother of Plainfield Garden Club member Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy) Campbell Davis '60

Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) Campbell is the mother of Plainfield Garden Club Member Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine) Detwiller, Jr. '57

Dorothy Campbell Davis '60

Davis, Dorothy Campbell
July 27, 2001
DAVIS, Dorothy Campbell

Mrs. Dorothy Campbell Davis, 81, died Thursday, (July 19, 2001) at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. She was predeceased by her husband F. Edgar Davis. Born in Plainfield, NJ, daughter of the late Mabel Raper Campbell and William Hall Campbell. She graduated from the Hartridge School in Plainfield, NJ and Smith College in Northampton, MA. While living in Plainfield, NJ, she was a member of the Plainfield Junior league, the Orange Blossom Twig, the Plainfield Garden Club, The Women's Auxiliary of the Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, the Plainfield Country Club and the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. In 1982, she and her husband moved to Essex where she was a member of the Essex Garden Club, Women's Exchange of Old Lyme, the Essex Yacht Club, the Old Lyme Country Club, the River Road Association, the Steamboat Dock Foundation and the First Congregational Church of Essex. She was a truly devoted volunteer at Lyme Academy of the Fine Arts in Old Lyme during a most exciting transitional period for the academy. It evolved from a school offering a two-year course of study to a fully accredited four-year college offering a degree in Fine Arts. She worked for the Development Office. She enjoyed many close friendships with the staff and student body. Her tasks were many and varied. During the first graduation ceremony at the academy, she was given the President's Award for Volunteerism. She is survived by two sons, F. Edgar Davis, Jr., of Plainfield, NJ and Geoffrey C. Davis of Geneva, NY; and a sister, Catherine C. Detwiller of Westwood, MA; and two grandchildren, Adrienne Davis and Eric Davis, both of Geneva, NY. A Memorial Service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Essex, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 4. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Lyme Association of Fine Arts, 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, 06371. Funeral arrangements have been made with Robinson, Wright, & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main St., Centerbrook, as well as with the Higgins Home for Funerals in Plainfield, NJ.

June 10, 1915 New York Times wedding announcement

WEDS HIS FORMER TYPIST

W. H. Campbell, Chemical Importer, Marries Miss Mabel Raper

Miss Mabel C. Raper, daughter of Mrs. Anne C. Raper of Bayside, L.I., and William Hall Campbell of North Plainfield, NJ, were married yesterday afternoon in All Saints' Episcopal Church, Bayside. The Rev. Charles A. Brown, rector of the church, officiated.

The bride wore a gown of white taffeta with a tulle veil, and carried a bouquet of bride roses. There were no attendants. A reception followed at the home of the bride's mother in Warburton Avenue.

The bride until recently was a stenographer in the office of a chemical importing company at 80 Maiden Lane, this city, of which Mr. Campbell is President. Her engagement to Mr. Campbell was announced privately after she had been employed in the office about a year. Her friends had not intimation of the approaching marriage until she began to prepare her trousseau.

June 8, 1915 New York Time wedding news

IMPORTER TO WED TYPIST

Wm. Hall Campbell Will Marry Mabel Raper, His Former Employee

William Hall Campbell, a wealthy drug importer of 80 Maiden Lane, who resides at North Plainfield, NJ, and Miss Mabel Raper, daughter of Mrs. Augusta C. Raper of Warburton Avenue, Bayside, LI, are to be arried tomorrow at the rectory of All Saints Episcopal Church, Bayside, LI

Their marriage will mark the culmination of a romance which began shortly after Miss Raper took a position as a stenographer in the office of the drug importing company of which Mr. Campbell is President.

The first intimation that Miss Raper's friends had of her approaching marriage was when she gave up her position and began to prepare for the wedding.

The ceremony will be performed by the Rev. Charles A. Brown, rector of All Saints Church, and only the immediate relatives will attend. After the marriage Mr. and Mrs. Campbell will live in North Plainfield.

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

January 5, 2011 Cath Detwiller '57 sent a folder of archival material and within, was this image and note.

Inside a white envelope was a black and white photograph and a small note:

1/2/11 My parents' garden is listed in the archives of The Garden Club of America at the Smithsonian.

Catherine's parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Hall Campbell. Mrs. Campbell (Mabel C. Raper Campbell '28) was a member of the Plainfield Garden Club. We have a record of their address as "North Plainfield 1915" and the last listing of Mrs. Campbell in the year 1953.

The photograph is titled:
"Hillcrest" Residence and Grounds of William H. Campbell, Hillcrest Road

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian slide

[Hillcrest] [slide]: tennis court on lower terrace in foreground; looking up to house
Physical description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm
Type: Projected media
Place: New Jersey
Watchung
Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)
Date: 1925
"[ca. 1925]"
Topic: Trees
Gardens
Houses
Stairs
Arbors
Tennis courts
Local number: NJ198005
Data Source: Archives of American Gardens

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian

Hillcrest] [slide]: lawn and trees to side of house.



Title: [Hillcrest] [slide]: lawn and trees to side of house.

Forms part of: Garden Club of America Collection,
Hillcrest,

Phy. Description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm.

Digital Reference:

Produced: [ca. 1925]

Restrictions: Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.

Subject-Topical: Trees
Gardens – New Jersey – Watchung
Outdoor furniture
Lawns
Houses
Benches

Subject - Geographical: Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)

Repository Loc: Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Local Number: NJ198001



Item information
Repository Call No.
Archives of American Gardens NJ198001

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian

[Hillcrest] [slide]: oval-shaped garden lined with perennial beds and surrounded by walkway.



Title: [Hillcrest] [slide]: oval-shaped garden lined with perennial beds and surrounded by walkway.

Forms part of: Garden Club of America Collection,
Hillcrest,

Phy. Description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm.

Digital Reference:

Produced: [ca. 1925]

Restrictions: Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.

Subject-Topical: Trees
Gardens – New Jersey – Watchung
Sunken gardens
Outdoor furniture
Lawns
Benches
Sundials
Walkways
Hedges
Perennials
Arbors

Subject - Geographical: Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)

Repository Loc: Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Local Number: NJ198002



Item information
Repository Call No.
Archives of American Gardens NJ198002 Add Copy to MyList

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian

Hillcrest] [slide]: side view of oval garden with lawn in center and perennials to outside.



Title: [Hillcrest] [slide]: side view of oval garden with lawn in center and perennials to outside.

Forms part of: Garden Club of America Collection,
Hillcrest,

Phy. Description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm.

Digital Reference:

Produced: [ca. 1925]

Restrictions: Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.

Subject-Topical: Trees
Gardens – New Jersey – Watchung
Sunken gardens
Lawns
Walkways
Hedges
Perennials
Arbors

Subject - Geographical: Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)

Repository Loc: Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Local Number: NJ198003



Item information
Repository Call No.
Archives of American Gardens NJ198003 Add Copy to MyList

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian

[Hillcrest] [slide]: view from sunken garden to stairs up to house porch with awnings.



Title: [Hillcrest] [slide]: view from sunken garden to stairs up to house porch with awnings.

Forms part of: Garden Club of America Collection,
Hillcrest,

Phy. Description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm.

Digital Reference:

Produced: [ca. 1925]

Restrictions: Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.

Subject-Topical: Trees
Gardens – New Jersey – Watchung
Sunken gardens
Lawns
Sundials
Perennials
Houses
Porches
Stairs
Chairs

Subject - Geographical: Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)

Repository Loc: Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Local Number: NJ198004



Item information
Repository Call No.
Archives of American Gardens NJ198004

Hillcrest, Watchung, NJ

Smithsonian

Smithsonian

Smithsonian

Smithsonian

Smithsonian

Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens

Listing at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Reference

Hillcrest ca. 1925.


Title:
Hillcrest ca. 1925.
Forms part of:
Garden Club of America Collection,
Phy. Description:
1 folder+ 5 35 mm. slides.
Summary:
The folder includes a worksheet and site plan.
Reproduction:
NJ198001-NJ198005 are copies of black and white photographs from the 1920s.
General Note:
Originally around 75 acres, the garden was established in 1913. The first owners lived there until the stock market crash. There were large vegetable and fruit garden to the righ of the tennis court with a huge asparagus bed, currants, raspberries, strawberries, and gooseberries. Pink cement walkways surrounded the house and pink steps led up to the glassed-in porch. Thomas Keating changed the name of the garden to "High Oaks." Much of the property was later developed. A house now exists on the former tennis court.
Persons associated with the property include: William H. Campbell (former owner, 1913-1929); and Thomas Keating (former owner, 1929-?).
Other Title:
High Oaks.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Subject-Topical:
Gardens – New Jersey – Watchung
Sunken gardens
Subject - Geographical:
Hillcrest (Watchung, New Jersey)
United States of America New Jersey Somerset County Watchung
Repository Loc:
Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012
Local Number:
NJ198000

Email June 13, 2012 from Rick Detwiller

Subject: Re: Plainfield Garden Club New "Contact Us" submission from Frederic C. Detwiller
From: "Frederic C.Detwiller" <rick.detwiller@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, June 12, 2012 3:51 pm
To: "Info" <info@plainfieldgardenclub.org>
Cc: "Debbie D. Smith" <debbiedet@roadrunner.com> (more)

Dear Susan,

Thank you very much for getting back to me so soon with the information on the website. I have seen my mother Cath Detwiller's page but lately it was the only one I had needed the password, etc. to view. I have seen Aunt Dot Davis's and my grandmother Mabel Campbell's along with all the great photos of Hillcrest in Watchung as well as my Great Aunt Laura Detwiller's page. I also enjoyed browsing through lots of old friends pages. It is a great trip down Plainfield and Scotch Plains' memory lane. You have done a great job putting all these items together and posting them on-line!

Attached are several jpegs of members I happen to have on hand:

1) Cath Detwiller' and her portrait by Gerry Acomb.
2) Aunt Laura Cecelia Detwiller's self portrait ca. 1885 as she appeared
when she lit the fireworks display for the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in
1883. (I also have a photo of her in her garden on Hillside Ave. in
Plainfield when she was a garden club member and will send a jpeg along when
I dig it out).
3) Detail photo of Cath (Detwiller) and Dorothy Campbell (Davis) in the
garden at Hillcrest.
4) Several photos of members of the Plainfield Garden Club at Cath
Detwiller's ca.1965 garden party at our Clarke's Lane Farm in Scotch Plains.

Regards,

Rick D.

1920s ca. Cath & Dot Campbell Hillcrest

June 13, 2012 Email from Rick Detwiller

I¹m glad you enjoyed that batch. Here are a few more. 'Hope we don't
overload the system. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Aunt Laura and her paintings, etc. (one of mushrooms attached).

1) Photo of Laura Cecelia Detwiller in her bedroom at Bay Manor, Danforth
Ave.

2) Laura C. Det's 1889 watercolor of the same room, Greenville, NJ.

I also found a couple of portraits of members for your facebook album
headers:

1. Laura C. Detwiller Portrait 1885 (I'll send along a 1930s one when I find
it)
2. Mabel R. Campbell Portrait ca. 1915.

That¹ all (for now) folks!

Rick D.

June 13, 2012 Email from Rick Detwiller

I¹m glad you enjoyed that batch. Here are a few more. 'Hope we don't
overload the system. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Aunt Laura and her paintings, etc. (one of mushrooms attached).

1) Photo of Laura Cecelia Detwiller in her bedroom at Bay Manor, Danforth
Ave.

2) Laura C. Det's 1889 watercolor of the same room, Greenville, NJ.

I also found a couple of portraits of members for your facebook album
headers:

1. Laura C. Detwiller Portrait 1885 (I'll send along a 1930s one when I find
it)
2. Mabel R. Campbell Portrait ca. 1915.

That¹ all (for now) folks!

Rick D.

Mabel R. Campbell Portrait ca. 1915

June 13, 2012 Email from Rick Detwiller

'Glad people are enjoying these as much as we are. Attached is the jpeg of Laura C. Detwiller. For some reason it was still in PhotoShop so that explains the download problem. It should be fine this time.

I thought you'd also like to see our Swiss cousin Alfred Seiler's cartoon of the 1928 Plainfield Horse Show It shows Freddie, Dad's sister Marguerite Detwiller (Harwood) , and I think one of the Wigton girls who fell off the horse and landed in the mud puddle. Also attached is a photo ca.May-June 1954 of Krolls, Detwillers, Campbells, Wigtons and Stuarts et al watching a neighborhood horseshow. Not necessarily Garden Club, but classics!
(l. To r. Gordon Stuart, Nancy Dwinnell Kroll, Laurie Detwiller, Bill
Wigton, Steve Kroll, Rick Detwiller, Cindy Kroll, and Bill Campbell. Cath
Detwiller and Jean Stuart standing behind fence)

Cheers!

Rick D.

2001 September thru December Board Meeting Minutes

"Hillcrest," Residence and Grounds of William H. Campbell, Hillcrest Road

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

"Hillcrest," Residence and Grounds of William H. Campbell, Hillcrest Road

March 2013 Email Exchange re: Campbells/Dixie Lane

Plainfield Garden Club <plainfieldgc@gmail.com>
Mar 16 (2 days ago)2013

to elizabethfarao.
Dear Ms. Faraone:
Thank you so much for writing to us! We are so happy you found the list of homes at www.plainfieldgardenclub.org of our members – nearly 100 years of residences and gardens in Plainfield.
I see from the 1940 census that your maiden name was "Campbell" – were you related to the Campbells that were in our club? They are:


Campbell, Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) '28
Davis, Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy Campbell) '60
Detwiller, Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbe…
Zelie, Mrs. John Sheridan (Henrietta Shapleigh Campbell) '17



Do you happen to know or remember these neighbors on Dixie:


717 Dixie Lane
Foster, Mrs. David Scott (Constance "Connie" Elena Titus) '46


737 Dixie Lane

Gaston, Mrs. Hugh M. (Elizabeth Thomson) '54


747 Dixie Lane

Goddard, Mrs. Frederick W. '16


754 Dixie Lane

Foster, Mrs. David Scott (Constance "Connie" Elena Titus) '46


812 Dixie Lane

Morse, Mrs. George Maxwell Randall (Jeanette Clawson or "J" Miner) '74



We have quite a few homes listed at www.plainfieldgardenclub.org but all have a "relationship" to a club member. We hope your childhood home does as well. If so, we would love to include the photo in our list.
Thank you again –
Susan Fraser
co-President
Plainfield Garden Club
Founded 1915
www.plainfieldgardenclub.org
Please come to visit us in the Shakespeare Garden Saturday, June 1st for our Shakespeare-in-Bloom celebration!


To manage guestbook entries, log in at http://andyswebtools.com.

The contents of the new entry:

Name: Elizabeth Faraone
Email: elizabethfaraone@yahoo.com
Address: 836 Carlton Avenue

Message:

I noticed you have a list of Plainfield homes and thought you might want to include
the home I grew up in on Dixie Lane. I can send you a good photograph of it. Here
are the specifics from the 1940 cencus. I think it was built in 1922, but I'm not
sure.

740 Dixie Lane

Household Members Age
Head Meville H Campbell 54
Wife Bertha H Campbell 54
Son Gordon W Campbell 24
Daughter Margaret Campbell 18
Maid Thoras Peterson 38

Elizabeth Faraone
Mar 16 (2 days ago)

to me
I don't know if Mrs. Campbell (Bertha) was a member of the Garden club. There is a strong possibility that the Campbells of 740 Dixie Lane were related to the Campbells of the Garden Club but I can't find proof of it online.

We were the second family to live in the home at 740 Dixie Lane. A third family is living there now. The Campbells sold their home to us shortly before Melville's death in 1969. It was in original condition but in need of repair and my father never repaired it properly. I felt sad about that.

Mr. Campbell had been a civil engineer and had a lot to do with the design and construction of the home. He really knew what he was doing. We never had any wild animals burrow their way into our attic. That's quite a feat, as our neighbors often complained of squirrels finding their way into their homes. The floors on the first and second floor were parquet, the doors mahogany, the kitchen and pantry typical for a modest home of the 1920s, the bathrooms very comfortable and a simple white, with large, deep tubs (reminded me of the bathrooms in the guest cottages of the Hearst Castle - smaller, of course, but made with the same materials). The third floor, we were told, was for the nurse (their only daughter was severely developmentally disabled - I remember meeting her) and the cook. There was a bell system throughout the house used to summon them. The Campbells must have been a very special family. They were completely devoted to caring for their daughter. The master bedroom was hers and they laid a vinyl floor over the parquet to accommodate her needs.

I wish there was a committee of concerned and knowledgeable neighbors who would guide owners in the restoring of their homes. I know there are now laws that prevent the destruction, but the laws are not enough. Many years ago, I took a week long tour of the Great Camps of the Adirondacks. The man who owned Sagamore and Uncas made a special effort to influence the new owners of other camps to restore their homes properly. If not for his grace and tact, the treatment and fate of those great, Victorian estates in the Adirondacks would have been very different.

The Gastons lived across the street from us. Hugh, his first wife and son Lou, were living in their home in 1968. His wife suffered from mental illness but she appeared to be a very refined woman. When she died, Hugh married a lovely woman and they remained in the home. Lou kept their lawn manicured and both wives tended a lovely garden. The Gastons were lovely neighbors who tolerated our eye sore of a house. Their home was sold in the 1990s.

My favorite family on the block were the Lightburns. They lived in the brick home Edison built for his daughter. Mary Lightburn raised the funds for the new Plainfield Public Library.

The Salvation Army Home

In 2001 David Page wrote a book about Watchung and used this photograph of "Hillcrest" to describe what he called the "Salvation Army Home."

Still located on High Oaks Drive, was used by the Salvation Army as a retirement home or rehabilitation center. At that time High Oaks was a dirt road serving as a driveway to this building.

July 18, 2013 Drake House

The current exhibit at The Drake House Museum is titled "Forty Years on The National Register of Historic Places." The Nathaniel Drake House was registered on June 19, 1973, by Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., who was an architect and former president of the Historical Society of Plainfield.

Mr. Detwiller's wife, is of course PGC Member Cath Campbell Detwiller. Cath, in her 90's now, joined the PGC in 1957 and was recently bestowed the title "Honorary" member of The Club. To read about the Campbell-Detwiller contributions to not only The Club, but to all of Plainfield, click Cath's link and those below.

Detwiller, Miss Laura Cecelia '29
Campbell, Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) '28
Davis, Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy Campbell) '60

Upcoming Fall Exhibit and Special Programs at Drake House

Hillcrest

6. [Hillcrest] [slide]: tennis court on lower terrace in foreground; looking up to house. Show details

Title: [Hillcrest] [slide]: tennis court on lower terrace in foreground; looking up to house.
Contained in: Garden Club of America Collection,
Hillcrest,
Produced: [ca. 1925]
Physical_Description: 1 slide: b & w ; 35 mm.


Local_Number: NJ198005
Archival_Repository: Archives of American Gardens

December 8, 2013 Art Exhibit

December 8, 2013

Today was the Opening Reception for Virginia Carroll at the Watchung Art Center. The title of her show, "Serene Winter," is taken from a fairly large painting she did of her neighbor's garden at 996 Hillside Avenue.

This was the former home & garden of PGC Member Julie Shortridge. The house was built by founding member Mrs. Frederick W. (Grace Seccomb) Wallace '15. Click Mrs. Wallace's link to learn more about this impressive home and garden –plus see Virginia's painting "Serene Winter" – which is for sale!

"Serene Winter" Paintings by Virginia Carroll

She writes, "Last Dec. I won first place in the Members Show at the Watchung Arts Center and the honor of having a solo show in their Lower Gallery. I've been working toward this goal for a year and I'd love to invite you to see the paintings .Hope you can stop by for light refreshments and conversation on a Sunday afternoon. Friend of the PGC, Virginia Carroll" Thanks for sharing and inviting us!

Coincidentally, the gallery shares a parking lot with the Watchung Library. This library used to be the residence of PGC member Mrs. Harlan Butterfield (Jane Brewer Atwater) Pratt '53 Mr. Pratt established the well-known Valley Furniture Shop and it is he who crafted the signs, one of which still remains, at the Shakespeare Garden.

Watchung at one time was part of Plainfield. In addition to Mrs. Pratt, PGC members included Senator Eaton's wife, the daughter of one of the first mayors of Watchung and of course the owner of Hillcrest – that estate we keep meaning to document right off of Hillcrest Road (naturally) which leads from the Watchung Circle to Interstate 78.

There were quite a few more Watchung residents that were members of the Club – see them here. Another estate to explore would be Mrs. Barr's "Middleridge."

Anne Louise Davis

1361 Evergreen Avenue

INCOMPARABLE CARRIGE HOUSE CONVERTED IN THE '40S BY REKNOWNED ARCHITECT C. DETWILLER WITH A NEWLY ADDED ENGLISH CONSERVATORY CAPTURES THE HISTORICAL AMBIENCE OF DAYS GONE BY., ORIGINALLY PART OF THE ADJACENT MANOR HOUSE FACING PROSPECT AVENUE, THIS DWELLING WAS BUILT FOR ONE OF PLAINFIELD'S LEGENDARY LADIES, ANNE LOUISE DAVIS. ARTFULLY SET BACK, THIS POLISHED GEM OVERLOOKS PROFESSIONALLY TENDED GARDENS WITH PERENNIALS, A JAPANESE MAPLE, EVERGREENS AND POTTING SHED. THE GRACIOUS ENTRANCE FOYER FEATURES ARCHWAY WHICH LEADS TO THE FORMAL LIVING ROOM WITH BUILT-IN BOOKCASES, WINDOW SEAT AND ALCOVE WITH DEEP BOX BAY WINDOW. THE FRENCH DOORS OF THE FORMAL DINING ROOM OPEN TO PRIVATE FLAGSTONE PATIO. THE FOUR SEASON CLASSIC CONSERVATORY WAS IMPORTED FROM ENGLAND.

Hope, African mahogany, circa 1980s.

DAVIS, ANNE LOUISE (1913-2000)
Born on March 27, 1913, Miss Anne Louise Davis was a lifeling resident of Plainfiield, NJ (view obituary). She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Davis, and sister of F. Edgar Davis. Miss Davis graduated from The Hartridge School in 1930. Finishing high school during the Depression, she attended Katherine Gibbs to learn secretarial skills and went to work as a secretary for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in New York City. After six years there, she was the company's liaison to its public relations office and moved on to become a literary agent handling contracts for non-fiction magazine articles, radio, T.V. and movies. She would work full time during the week in New York and then would volunteer in the evening as a nurse's aide at Muhlenberg Hospital.

Anne Louise Davis was dedicated to the city of Plainfield and served on numerous community organizations and boards, inlcuding the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library and as President of the Library's Board of Trustees for many years. The Library's Anne Louise Davis Gallery room is named in her honor. In addition, she was an accomplished sculptor who learned at the Jewish Community Center in Plainfield; African mahogany was her favorite medium.

August 30, 2014 Charles Detwiller & The Architects of Plainfield

Exhibit of Detwiller Collection drawings opens at Library

The Plainfield Public Library is mounting an exhibition from its Detwiller Collection of architectural drawings in honor of New Jersey's 350th anniversary.

Plainfield architect Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., [Husband of PGC Honorary Member Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbell) Detwiller, Jr. '57] is credited with rescuing thousands of architectural drawings that were being disposed of by the City by dumping from an upper floor window at City Hall into a dumpster in the parking lot.

The collection of over 16,000 items representing over 500 architects documents over a century of residential and commercial architecture in the Plainfield area. Its record of the architectural history of a suburban community is unique in the United States.

Among its outstanding items of interest are drawings of the Fire Headquarters on Central Avenue designed by African-American architect George Ernest Robinson, designed in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The exhibit culls 70 pieces from thirty-five sets of drawings by 24 architects. It is displayed on walls and in display cases on both levels of the Library.

Preservation of these aging documents began in 1998. The conservation and digitizing of the collection is still ongoing. This work is entirely supported through grant funding and volunteer efforts. Local funders include the Plainfield Foundation and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library.

The exhibit opens September 2 and runs through October during regular library hours. For more information on the Detwiller Collection, contact Sarah Hull, head of the Local History Department at (908) 757-1111 x136.

To arrange group visits, call (908) 757-1111 x129. The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street and is an accessible facility. Parking is available in the 8th and 9th Street lots.

In addition to Mr. Detwiller's wife, Cath, his aunt, mother-in-law and sister-in-law were all Notable Members of the Plainfield Garden Club.

Miss Laura Cecelia Detwiller '29
Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) Campbell '28
Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy Campbell) Davis '60

Good architecture and good gardening are two things that go together well. No where is this better demonstrated than in the families that formed the Plainfield Garden Club.

Here is an excerpt from an article about the building of the Nebraska State Capitol:

McKim, Mead & White Architects of New York had designed the Rhode Island State House in Providence, Rhode Island that was constructed from 1895–1904. McKim, Mead & White was one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized architectural firms of this era. The firm was a major training ground for other prominent architects of the period.

Tracy & Swartwout of New York had designed the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri that was constructed from 1913 –1917. Both Evarts Tracy and Egerton Swartwout were former associates of McKim, Mead & White.

Of the other eight teams in the competition including John Russell Pope of New York, Bertram Goodhue of New York, Paul Cret in association with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary of Philadelphia, Harold Van Buren Magonigle of New York, and Bliss & Faville of San Francisco, Ellery Davis of Lincoln, John Latenser & Sons of Omaha, and Allan McDonald of Omaha several individual architects had worked for McKim, Meade & White at one time or another including Magonigle and Bliss.

No doubt many of these famous early 20th century American architects were more than familiar with Plainfield and the garden club. In addition to Mr. Detwiller, here are member files that chronicle these architects:

Mead, Mrs. Frederick Goodhue (Marie Louise Myers) '15
Tracy, Mrs. Evarts '22
Tracy, Mrs. Howard Crosby (Minerva Bingham Lamson) '15
Tracy, Mrs. J. Evarts (Caroline Frederica Streuli) '22
de Hart, Mrs. Alden (Dorothy Voorhis) '38, President 1949 - 1950

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

August 8, 2015

Library offers trove of vintage Plainfield home blueprints for sale

Plainfield homeowners and history buffs are getting a one-of-a-kind opportunity as the Plainfield Public Library prepares to offer upwards of 3,000 blueprint originals from its Detwiller Collection for sale to the public.

The blueprints offered for sale are part of a trove of many thousands recovered from a dumpster at City Hall by the late Plainfield architect and artist Charles Detwiller.

While many of Plainfield's grand homes and mansion are among the blueprints (though fewer than originally, owing to some 'fingering' before strict controls were put in place), the appeal of the collection will be stronger for those who live in or admire the more modest vintage homes from the turn of the 20th century to the World War II era.

These homes include many classic Tudors and other 'cottage' and 'revival' styles, as well as 'foursquares', ranches and Cape Cods and more contemporary stules.

These represent the bulk of Plainfield's building stock from its most expansive period and they were often enough improved or expanded – giving rise to the need for plans showing the original building and the proposed alterations to be filed with the City's inspections department.

It is those blueprints, which have now been cataloged and digitized, that are being offered for sale. In library parlance, they have been de-accessioned, meaning that they no longer need be kept permanently by the Library and are available for dispostion to private parties.

The Library has a portal to the Charles Detwiller Blueprint Collection on its website (see here) and has made a complete list of the blueprints for sale also available online (see here).

The list is alphabetized by street name, and then number. However, I would advise reading the Library's instructions closely so you make the proper notations for your request (see here) – easing the staff's task in finding the item(s) in which you are interested. Paying attention to the suggested time frames needed and numbers of items per request will help you avoid headaches. So, please read and follow the instructions carefully – as carpenters like to say, 'measure twice, cut once'.

The sale will run from September 1 to November 13, 2015 in a two-step process –

You check the offerings to find items that interest you, making careful notations; and

You and the Library work out a pick-up appointment, at which you will be able to view the actual items and make a final decision on your purchase.

Single-page blueprints are priced at $50 each and multiple-page sets at $100. Cash or credit cards are fine, but the Library will not accept personal checks.

Proceeds of the sale will be used to finance the further digitization of the blueprint collection – meaning that we can look forward to another offering of materials at some future point.

The Detwiller Collection is absolutely unique in its size and scope, covering decades of Plainfield history and thousands of buildings throughout the city. Plainfield residents owe Charlie Detwiller a debt of gratitude for his perspicacity that cannot be repaid.

And we owe a debt of gratitude to Library Director Joe Da Rold for the vision that saw in these rescued documents an invaluable resource for the community, and devised means and methods of ensuring these fragile records would be available to Plainfield residents permanently through having them digitized.

EDITOR'S NOTE:
Mr. Detwiller is the late husband of PGC Honorary member Cath Detwiller. Mr. Detwiller's Aunt Laura was a long-time member of the PGC and a very talented botanical artist. Read about the Detwiller family here:

Detwiller, Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbell), Jr. '57

Detwiller, Miss Laura Cecelia '29

And Mr. Detwiller's in-laws:

Campbell, Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) '28

Davis, Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy or "Dottie" Campbell) '60