Plainfield Garden Club








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

1970 - 1978 Address: 1080 Rahway Road, Plainfield

1982 - 1990 Address: River Road, Box 156, Essex, CT 06426

1984 - 1999: Affiliate
2000 - 2001: Deceased

July 19, 2001 Dottie Davis passed away

Mother is Plainfield Garden Club Member Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) Campbell '28

Sister is Plainfield Garden Club Member Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine Campbell) 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.

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

Plainfield coach houses are an extra dividend from the Gilded Age and, like all mansions they served, were often remodeled to reflect current taste. During the Colonial Revival era, a three-bay structure at the bottom of a garden on Evergreen Avenue was the perfect choice for a copy of early American outbuildings sprinkled throughout the Connecticut countryside.

Local residents will recognize this site as the former home of a woman whose principles were as strong as her opinions. Her lifelong dedication to the city involved active service with eighteen civic, educational, cultural, and humanitarian organizations; from founding the Second Street Youth Center to volunteering as a nurse's aid a the Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center. Today, the Anne Louise Davis Room at the Plainfield Public Library honors her devotion to the community.

Although never a member of the PGC, Sally Genung Booth remembers Ms. Davis very well and said her father and Mrs. Davis would stay up into the wee hours of the morning discussing politics. Anne Louise Davis was the sister of Mr. F. Edgar Davis and sister-in-law to Dorothy Campbell Davis.

Anne Louise Davis

A portrait of Anne Louise Davis has a pensive air. It speaks to us of solid, American values – courage, candor and clean windows. Courtesy of F. Edgar Davis

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

February 17, 1982 Letter from Dottie Davis

From the Corresponding Secretary file

postmarked Oct 8, 2001

From the Corresponding Secretary file

From the Corresponding Secretary file

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 Northhampton, MA. While living in Plainfield, NJ, she was amember 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 am on Saturday, August 4. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Lyme Academy 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.

From the Corresponding Secretary file

from the Corresponding Secretary file

not dated, presumed to be 1991

Elizabeth

These are the people who contributed to the PGC in memory of Betty Fitzpatrick.

One list is for your reference I guess letters need to be written.

One list is for the Fitzpatrick family Send it to the Sleepy Hollow address and I'm sure they will get it. Anne

from the Corresponding Secretary file

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report June 3, 2002

Shakespeare Garden 50th Anniversary Party

Shakespeare Garden 50th Anniversary Party

Back of Photo

Shakespeare Garden Sundial "top" was borrowed from Dottie Davis for the occasion.

1978

Update: June 12, 2011

Many PGC members were introduced to Diana Madsen's sister-in-law at the Shakespeare-in-Bud cocktail party. We learned that Diana's sister-in-law is the current occupant of Dottie's Connecticut home. We have requested photographs and are hoping we receive some.

Essex, CT home

sent in my Wendy Hansen

143 River Road, Essex, CT

October 28, 2011 Email exchange with Wendy Hansen

Hi Susan, I have photocopied the pictures. They came from the realitor's publicity handout when they were marketing the house. You don't need to return them.

Also, Dotty Sheble moved to Florida years ago.

Wendy

On Oct 27, 2011, at 4:41 PM, skf729@aol.com wrote:

Thank you Wendy. We would love to have the photo for www.plainfieldgardenclub.org I will return it to you post haste.

I think I confused the Dotties. We had two Plainfield Garden Club members, both named Dottie, who moved to Essex – Dottie Davis and Dotty Sheble. So confusing! I am glad to know that it "Davis" that was the previous owner and not "Sheble" who I believe still resides there.

Here are their profiles:

Dottie Davis:
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4608

Dotty Sheble:
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4707

Thanks again –

Susan Fraser
729 Hyslip Avenue
Westfield, NJ 07090
––Original Message––
From: Wendy Madsen <wmadsen@jaymadsen.com>
To: Diana Madsen <madsend@verizon.net>
Cc: skf729 <skf729@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 4:06 pm
Subject: Dottie Davis' house in CT


Hi Susan and Diana,

Sorry for the delay. I found a photo of the house as Dottie Davis left it. Could you email me your mailing address Susan?

Unfortunately there were no gardens, just a lot of large shrubs, when we moved in.

Thanks for the information on Dottie. I have put it in my house history file. Wendy Madsen

On Jun 13, 2011, at 1:18 PM, Diana Madsen wrote:

Hi, I think it was Dottie Davis's house: she used to live on Rahway Rd. or right off it, then moved to 143 River Rd. In Essex. I'll forward your email to Wendy...I know that she has made changes to the house, but between us there are pictures of the house as it was when she bought it. Thanks for all of your historical PGC sleuthing!
Diana

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 12, 2011, at 5:58 PM, skf729@aol.com wrote:

Hi Diana

Someone mentioned to me at the Shakespeare-in-Bud that your sister-in-law lives in Essex, CT in a house once owned by a PGC member! I was wondering if she would be willing to share some photos of her home and garden so we could add it to that member's profile on line? We had at least four members move to Essex, CT:

June Simms Barlow '71 (Mrs. Carlton M. Barlow)
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4653

Mary Lee Brewer Barlow '65 (Mrs. DeWitt Dukes Barlow, Jr.)
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4654

Anne GarriguesWigton Hall '68 (Mrs. Frederic L. Hall)
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4663

Dottie E. Sheble '64 (Mrs. Richard Newll Sheble)
http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=4707


Is it the home of one of these members? You may wish to just forward it to your sister-in-law. She may find what we have gathered so far interesting! Susan

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

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

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

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

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Cover to Page 25

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 26 to 50

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 51 to 75

1988 Cedar Brook Farm Designer Showcase Program Pages 76 to End

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

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

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

1982 May Designer Showhouse: 1127 Watchung Avenue

Cover to Page 25

Page 26 to Page 51

Page 52 to Page 75

Page 76 to Back Cover

Plainfield Public Library

ACOMB, GERALDINE (1907-2000)
Geraldine De M. (Goutiere) Acomb was born in northern India. By 1970, she moved to Plainfield, where she resided for a decade. She attended the Boston Arts School, and became an accomplished artist of portraits and botanicals. While in Plainfield, she was a member of the Plainfield Garden Club. Acomb was also a writer, and authored Leopards in the Garden. She passed away in 2000 at the age of 92, and is buried in Hillside Cemetery.


Portrait of Anne Louise Davis

Gift of F. Edgar Davis Jr. & Geoffrey C. Davis in 2003

May 7, 2012 Dan Damon Blog

Plainfield's Netherwood Station was recently spruced up by a group of volunteers coordinated by reader Libby Price. who styles them the 'as-yet-unnamed garden club'.

Herewith, some pictures of the group's Saturday morning spent at Netherwood (while hubbie Peter slept). There is an online photo album which can be viewed as a slideshow here.

I suggested the group might draw inspiration for a name from the late Anne Louise Davis (longtime Library champion, after whom the Meeting Room is named), who commuted daily from Netherwood to her publishing job in New York City. In the early 1950s, Anne Louise took on the boys-only bar car crowd and became the first woman to be served a drink (well-earned) I am sure on the afternoon run of the 'Banker's Express' to Netherwood Station.

Perhaps the group could adopt the name of one of her favorite drinks, the Sidecar?

If you are interested in helping the group on a future foray, drop Libby a line at lsaavepri@gmail.com.

http://ptoday.blogspot.com/

June 9, 2012 Bernice Paglia blog

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Random Thoughts

Lack of sleep over the past week has made me quite bleary. Two young men from a pest control firm arrived about an hour after the three-hour window promised Thursday. They took a quick look at the building and declared themselves unable to deal with the raccoons that are scrabbling around inside the outer wall of my apartment. So I am still displaced from my normal sleeping quarters due to my fear of them breaking in during the night. Somebody else may take a look next week to assess the situation.

Meanwhile, the mayor's announcement of Flag Day ceremonies on the grounds of City Hall at 2 p.m. on June 14 reminded me of the late Anne Louise Davis. She was one of Plainfield's major activists and benefactors in the late 20th Century and the meeting room and gallery on the lower level of the Plainfield Public Library is named in her honor. As befits a true patriot, her favorite holiday was Flag Day. Her enthusiasm and support for the betterment of life in Plainfield will long be remembered by those who knew her. The library has a portrait of Miss Davis as a young woman - click on the link and scroll down. She retained her air of elegance through the end of her years. I hope she gets at least a mention at the ceremonies as a token to her memory.

June 13, 2012 Email 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

Cath Detwiller Plainfield Garden Club Party ca. 1965

sent in by Rick Detwiller, June 13, 2012

Dear Susan -

I thought you would enjoy those photos and I'm glad they will be fun for the older members to see. I know that Betty Horn, Valentine Fort, Toni Mann, Peggy Brower Newberry-Burger, Betty Fitzpatrick, June Barlow and Dot Davis are among the group and it's good to know you recognized Mrs. Seybolt. I'm sure Mrs. Sandford will be glad to see so many friends with herself among them!

Laura Detwiller was Dad's Aunt - she was his father's sister. Attached are a few more of her watercolors she did when she lived in Greenville, NJ that you may want to add to her page. We have lots of them, but most are now in the collection of the Bronx Botanical Garden. Also attached is a picture of Dad, Charles H. Detwiller, Jr. with his mother Ethel Hassel Detwiller in what I believe is Aunt Laura Detwiller's garden at 971 Hillside Ave. in Plainfield when she would have been a Garden Club member. Aunt Laura or Charles Sr. must have taken the photo since I have another one of her in the garden, probably taken at the same time. I'll send that second photo along with more garden club related material as I find it.

Thanks,

Rick D.

Cath Detwiller Plainfield Garden Club Party ca. 1965

Cath Detwiller Plainfield Garden Club Party ca. 1965

Mabel R. Campbell Portrait ca. 1915

May 9, 1974 Spring Potpourri Guestbook

2001 September thru December Board Meeting Minutes

September 2001 Executive Board Meeting Minutes

Corresponding Secretary

Jane [Burner] informed the board that Mrs Edgar (Dottie) Davis who resided in Connecticut has passed away.

October and November 2001 Newsletters

2001 September thru December Meeting Minutes and Sign In Attendance

September 2012

A member of the PGC was invited to 1400 Prospect Avenue by the current owner and enjoyed a walk through the grounds. Afterward, the circa 1917 Photograph of the property was sent to the current homeowner. Here is the exchange:

Thank you so much! I have not seen this particular picture, but it is so–oo interesting! I believe that Harry H. Pond would have been Toddie Pond's Father-in-Law. Toddie is someone you may remember from the Garden Club. She was very well known around here for a very long time. The Ponds were big shareholders in the bank downtown. I think it's name then was New Jersey National. (Not to be confused with BNJ.) This is one of the times I really miss Anne Louise, who was always eager to fill me in, especially if I showed a little background knowledge first!

As you can see, it does look like rhoddys. I would have sworn they would have been installed later, perhaps in the late 30's. Wow! Those natural babies really do last! Obviously, installation by 1917 would have made the Ponds trendsetters!

Also note the absence of the right-hand driveway, which came with the Oneil divorce in the late 1950s or early 60s. They put in the 3-car garage when the outlying property, including the carriage house, was sold for the divorce settlement. (That was before it was called "equitable distribution.") Too bad we can't really see the lovely oak, now mature, that must have masked the remaining drive around to the carriage house. I also like the stones lining the edge of the drive, which looks like it was paved, even then. We redid it, for the first time in many, many years, according to the appearance of the surface. (It was repave or remove. I'm glad we saved it.) We also paved our main drive at that time, as I mentioned. Before that the right-hand drive was still gravel. It's narrower that the left-hand drive, probably because of the trees.

More later. Again, many thanks.

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM,

I am once again going through some archives for the Plainfield Garden Club and came across a copy of a book we believe to have been published around 1917 by the Courier News advertising homes in the area. Within is a photo of your house! Perhaps you have seen it before? Do I detect some Rhododendron growing under the windows?

Here is the opening page text:

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

NOTE: The homeowner refers to Anne Louise Davis who was a well known citizen of Plainfield and related to the garden club through her sister-in-law, Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy Campbell) Davis '60. A volunteer and contributor to the Plainfield Library, Anne Louise's portrait hangs there today. It was painted by noted artist and Plainfield GC member Mrs. Frederick G. (Geraldine de M. Goutiere) Acomb '62

When the "Oneils" had lived at 1400 Prospect, the story goes that Mr. Oniell had an affair with a woman in the neighborhood and he was discovered on one of his frequent walks to her home through the gardens along Prospect. The divorce was costly, so the property was subdivided. The carriage house to 1400 Prospect, which fronts Evergreen and now is known as 1415 Evergreen. Anne Louis Davis then bought the converted carriage house.

1971 - 1972 Corresponding Secretary

Dottie Davis

1984 circa party at Bev Reid's

Mrs. Cochran speaking to unidentified person
Cath Detwiller and her sister Dot Davis speaking to Peg Tyler

1967 Acomb & Davis Art Exhibit at Swain's Gallery

Fall 1967 article

Caption under photograph:
TWO TRADITIONS Geraldine Acomb, left, painter and Anne Louise Davis, sculptress, present their work at Swain's Art Gallery, W. Front Street. The painter's work is "Mrs. McCartney and Children." The sculpture is "The Disciples." (Chaal photo.)

Painters, Sculptors Exhibit Their Work
An exhibit of traditional painting, watercolors and pencil sketches contrasted with sculpture in a starkly modern vein by two Plainfield artists opened Monday in Swain's Art Gallery, 317 W. Front St.

Geraldine Acomb provides both watercolors of Maine harbor scenes and portraits of a number of Plainfield personalities.

Her work is complemented by that of modern sculptress Anne Louise Davis. Miss Davis' work includes a group of steel mesh figures entitled "studies in motion" as well as several wood sculptures.

One group of three steel screen figures represents three positions of a discus thrower as if shown in sequence by a fast camera.

Another sculpture worked from a piece of wood from a cherry tree "felled by a heavy thunderstorm in 1962" is called "Disciples." The sculptress, who admits to some difficulty in deciding titles for her work, said the title "search of faith" also had been suggested. When someone suggested the figures represented disciples carrying their fallen leader, she said, "That's it."

The modern sculptural setting provides a foil for the more traditional work of Mrs. Acomb. Her paintings such as a vase full of peonies and other work done of friends and their children glow with the warmth and light of their subjects.

Despite the different poles of creative approach, the exhibit achieves a certain unity in the way it has been arranged by Swain's.

The exhibit remains open to the public through Nov. 18.

1967 Swain Galleries pamphlet

Front

1967 Swain Galleries pamphlet

Inside two pages:

GERALDINE DE M. G. ACOMB, one of New Jersey's finest traditional painters, was born in India of British parents and spent her childhood there and in England.

Mrs. Acomb came to Boston in 1928 and studied under Philip Hale at the Boston Museum School; later with Wayman Adams, well known National Academiecian and portrait painter; and with Eliot Clark, landscape painter and president of the National Academy of Design.

As a portrait painter, Mrs. Acomb has the gift of capturing with adroit insight the character of her subject, a quality rare among modern painters. Along with this ability she has nother that is of equal importance paint quality and texture. Deft handling of the brush, strong composition, tasteful color, mark her paintings as those of an accomplished portraitist. She is also a fine watercolorist and has included some examples in this exhibition.

Mrs. Acomb has exhibited at the National Arts Club, the Butler Gallery, the Montclair Art Museum, Springfield Academy and the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club.

Mrs. Acomb has resided in Plainfield since 1932

ANNE LOUIS DAVIS has lived all her life in Plainfield. She has sculpted sporadically for the past nine or ten years, and has studied in Philip Orlando's Classes. She says of herself:

"I had a quiet, conservative-even antiseptic-upbringing, so I can't tell you how my sculpture evolves from this background other than from an inner need to express myself. The one rule I have set is that whatever I do must be peaceful and relaxing if there is humor this is a bonus. I will go to great ends to create a peaceful environment in my home and this philosophy governs everything I live with. Wood I love most for its great warmth. Stone I like for its strength. The "Studies in Motion" have developed from a need to talk in a way that is light, gay, that has a flexibility wood and stone don't have. Everything must be seen from any angle (composition), and I must want to live with it.

"When it comes to classicism in sculpture, the Greeks said all there was to say 2500 years ago, and I think no one has bested them for equisite scale and treatment. The Roman copyists have appalled me, and I am not and cannot be a Michaelangelo or Leonardo. So I occupy my own miniscule corner in this angry, confused era. I don't want to leave torture as my mark. I do what I do, for better or worse, and let it stand at that, and always try to make the next piece better."

1967 Swain Galleries pamphlet

Back

Plainfield Public Library

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

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

April 23, 1965 Garden Club History Reviews Past 50 Years

A history of the Plainfield Garden Club was presented to members Wednesday by Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd at the club's annual meeting in the home of Mrs. Edgar F. Davis, 1080 Rahway Rd. Mrs. Alexander Kroll was co-hostess.

The history has been published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Garden Club, which was formed in 1915.

The first part of the history was written by a charter member, now deceased, Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck. The second part, covering the years from 1940-1965, was written by Mrs. Gerald Furman, and highlights the accomplishment of all the departments of the club.

Special emphasis is given to the three continuing projects: the Shakespeare Garden started in 1927; the Dogwood Collection, sponsored since 1946; and the Iris Garden begun in 1932; all in Cedar Brook Park. These three gardens have received national recognition and many awards for excellence.

The Union County Park Commission has just named the dogwood planting, "The Harriette R. Halloway Cornus Collection," in appreciation of the club's many years of service to park activities. Miss Halloway, 90, is the Garden Club's oldest living member and an authority on cornus and iris.

Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick, nominating chairman, present the slate of officers which was elected as follows: President, Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr.; first vice president, Mrs. David Sanders; second vice president, Mrs. F. Gregg Burger; treasurer, Mrs. William K. Dunbar Jr.; recording secretary, Mrs. C. Northrup Pond; and corresponding secretary, Mrs. C. Benson Wigton Jr.

Mrs. Holman and Mrs. Sandford will attend the annual meeting of the Garden Club of America in Cleveland, Ohio from May 10-14. Mrs. Holman will present a resume of recent program given by members of the Plainfield Club on the botanical background of the mallow plant family.

Mrs. John Wells of Valley Road, Watchung, said the club will again give scholarships to the Audubon summer camps or the N. J. State School of Conservation at Stokes Forest, as has been done since 1941. School teachers and scout leaders are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

A colored movie, entitled "Wings Over Blitzen," was shown, picturing wildlife in its natural state in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore.

Tea followed the meeting. Mrs. C. Benson Wigton and Mrs. Blanche P. Nash presided at the tea table, which was decorated with an arrangement of white spring flowers.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1974-1975 Directory

1975-1976 The Junior League of Plainfield

PAST PRESIDENTS
1936-1937: Mrs. H. Douglas Davis

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia From the Archives of Barbara Tracy Sandford

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

Plainfield Historical Society Memorabilia

Index (73 pages)

May 14, 1983 Centennial The Wardlaw Hartridge School

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1993-1994 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Cocktail party circa 1984 at Bev Reid's

Liz Nash speaking to Fanny Day
Cath Detwiller and her sister Mrs. Davis speaking to Peg Tyler on right

(There are some that feel the lady in the green is not Dot Davis . . . ?)

Club History by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold

1984-1985 History of the Plainfield Garden Club by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold

Exhibition

Then in March, 1966 came a very special event. Designed by Mrs. William Elliott with the assistance of Mmes. Wayne Holman, Victor King, Alex Kroll, Edgar Davis, Richard Sheble, Bruce Reid and Benson Wigton, the "Back Yard Garden" captured the first prize for the Club at the International Flower Show at the Coliseum in New York City.

Anne Louise Davis Home on Tour

April 18, 2014

NJ Festival Orchestra Tour of Notable Homes set for May 10 in Westfield

"There are five diverse homes on the tour this year. One "must see," home, according to Colamedici, is a romantic converted carriage house once part of the manor house that faces Prospect Avenue. The conversion was executed in 1940 by Plainfield's prolific architect, Charles C. Detwiller for the legendary doyenne, Anne Louise Davis."

www.njfestivalorchestra.org

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.

Plainfield Public Library

April 22, 2014 Email from Frederic C. Detwiller

Susan,

Thank you for the news alert... It is good to know that our Dad CH "Det" and Aunt "Weezie" are still appreciated in the old home town!

Regards,

Rick D.

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 18951904. 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