Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Barlow, Mrs. Carlton Montague (June Simms) '70

1971 Address: 1350 Martine Avenue

1975 Address: Clarkes Lane, Plainfield

1980 Address: Book Hill Rd, Essex CT

1983: Mrs. Carlton M. (June Simms) Barlow '70 resigns from the Plainfield Garden Club

Mrs. Carlton M. Barlow (June Simms) '70 was sister-in-law to the following PGC members:

Mrs. DeWitt Dukes Barlow (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Dunbar, Mrs. William K., Jr. (Elizabeth Hail Barlow) '47
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49

June 2011: Delivered a Shakespeare-in-Bloom invitation to 1350 Martine Avenue

DeWitt Dukes Barlow, father of Carlton M. Barlow

Dewitt Dukes Barlow,
DeWitt Dukes Barlow 1880-1945
Dewitt Dukes Barlow, engineer, was born in Philadelphia, October 4, 1880, son of Thomas Arnold and Elizabeth Dukes Barlow.
His first paternal American ancestor was George Barlow, who came from England about 1637 or earlier and settled in Boston. From him and his wife, Jane Besse, the descent is through Nathan and Mary ____; Peleg and Elizabeth Perry; Thomas and Mehitable Wing; Jesse, a minute-man at the Lexington alarm, and Sarah Nye, and Arnold and Ann Brittin, the grandparents of DeWitt Dukes Barlow. His father was a builder, who died when his son was eight years old.

He received his preparatory education in the Philadelphia public schools, and won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated B.S., cum laude in civil engineering in 1901, having been awarded high honors in mathematics and English, and having been elected to Sigma Xi.

In 1901-02, he was a draftsman with the American Bridge Co. He was engineer for the Cape May (NJ) Real Estate Co. in 1902-03 and city engineer of Cape May in 1903-04. In 1905 he joined the Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. of New York city as engineer. He became secretary of the company in 1910, secretary and treasurer in February 1911, and vice president in August 1911. From February 1921 until his death he was president of the company. This company engaged in engineering and contracting, particularly in river and harbor improvements and land reclamation by hydraulic dredging. It was one of the outstanding organizations in the industry and made many contributions toward improvement in the art of hydraudlic dredging. Besides being president and director of this company, he was president of the North Atlantic Dredging Co., the National Association of River and Harbor Contractors and the Dredge Owners Protective Association. He was chairman of the emergency dredging committee in 1917 and associate chief of the dredging section of the War Industries Board in 1918. In 1909-10 he was assistant professor of engineering at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Active in the civic affairs of Plainfield, NJ, he was a member of the common council in 1922-23, of the board of health in 1923-24. and of the board of education from 1924-1937, being president of the last-named board during 1927-1937. From 1937 to 1939, he was mayor of Plainfield. As a member of the board of education he was active in promoting the expansion of the school system to meet the needs of the community and contributed much to the planning and building of the Maxson and Hubbard schools as well as additions to the Emerson and high school buildings and later an addition to the Maxson school building. He was particularly responsible for the expansion of the music activities in the public schools, and it was due entirely to him that the efficient music curriculum was developed in the Plainfield schools. In recognition of his contributions to the public schools and to civic life generally the board of education named for him the Barlow School. During his term as mayor, Barlow found that many municipalities throughout the state were not receiving their just apportionment of franchise and gross receipts taxes from public utility corporations, which should have been issued them by the state tax commission. He organized and headed a committee which had remedial legislation enacted to correct this injustice, thus gaining for many New Jersey towns a substantial increase in income.

In 1937 he was chairman of the New Jersey Citizens Committee for the Princeton Local Government Survey. Later he served on the advisory council of the School of Engineering of Princeton University, and as trustee of Union Junior College at Cranford, NJ. From February 1940 until his death he was chairman of the Plainfield- North Plainfield chapter of the American Red Cross. During United States participation in the Second World War, he was a member of the Enemy Alien Hearing Board No. 3 for the district of New Jersey.
A Presbyterian in religion, he was an elder and trustee of the Crescent Avenue Church, Plainfield.

In politics he was a Republican locally, but independant nationally, and he was a steadfast supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a member of Freedom House. All his life he fought racial discrimination and was a warm friend of the colored people of Plainfield. For many years he taught Sunday swchool and contributed financially, to Bethel Chapel, a colored church in Plainfield.

His chief avocation was music. He played the flute and the cello and from 1925 until his death, was president of the Plainfield Symphony Society. He was a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera popular season in 1935-37. He was the author of "Notes on the Physics of Music" (1932), for which he made a fellow of the Royal Society of arts of London. His other interests included literature, travel and the study of languages and advanced mathematics, in which field he planned to do research when he retired from business.

For outdoor recreation he enjoyed golf, tennis, and mountain climbing. It was said of him that "there was no man or woman, of whatever class or creed, whom he saw as the victim of injustice or friend." He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and University of Pennsylvania clubs in New York City, the Plainfield Engineers and Plainfield County clubs, the Madison (Connecticut) Beach Club and the Madison Country Club.

He was married in Philadelphia, May 16, 1905, to Elizabeth Hail, daughter of Carlton Montague Moody, of that city. They had six children:

1. Anne May, who married George Melville Shepherd, Jr.
2. Esther Moody, who married Seymour Perkins, Jr.
3. Elizabeth Hail, who married William Kuhn Dunbar, Jr.
4. DeWitt Dukes
5. Carlton Montague
6. Jean Lewis Barlow, who married William Ravenel Peelle.

He died in Plainfield New Jersey, September 23, 1945.

The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, contributed by Kent Barlow

All news articles and photo, contributed by John F. Barlow
Plainfield Courier January 2, 1937 Copy of original with photograph.
Incoming Mayor of Plainfield Takes Oath from Predecessor

Dewitt D. Barlow, who became Plainfield's Mayor at noon yesterday is shown being sworn into office by retiring may _____. Shortly thereafter, the new Mayor performed his first official duties and was host at a reception in City Hall. Among those who paid their respects were the fire and Police Departments, led by their chiefs.

Copy of Original article with photograph

Barlow School Opens; Vistors are Enthused

Board of Education members were enthused over favorable comments expressed Sunday at the reception in the new DeWitt D. Barlow School in Farragut Rd. From 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., there was a steady flow of visitors.

Most impressive feature of the school is that it appears "less institutional" than any other school in this vicinity. According to Frederic W. Cook, the designs are the very latest in school construction. In fact, said Mr. Cook, some of the plans incorporated are less than a year old.

Many parents were heard jokingly to say "Let's start school again" as they visited the various rooms, of which many had inlaid linoleum floors. The color idea is carried out wherever possible. Some of the rooms have wallpaper of different colors.

The school was officially opened for classes today. However, formal ceremonies dedicating the building will not be held until after Feb. 15 when form Mayor DeWitt D. Barlow will return to the city for the reception. This announcement was made yesterday by Mrs. Stuart Bavier.

Besides Mr. Cook and George Zimmer, clerk of the Board of Education, all members of the board were present Sunday to greet visitors. They included Dixon C. Philips, president, Mrs. Bavier, the Rev. Aurello R. Mangione, T.R. Loizeaux and Raymond M. Smith.

The Plainfield Courier January 02, 1940

Copy of Original article

Plainfield Courier, September 25, 1945

DeWitt Dukes Barlow, a resident of Plainfield for almost 40 years, a former mayor, councilman and president of the Board of Education for many years, died at Muhlenberg Hospital last night (Sept. 23, 1945); of a heart ailment.

Death came unexpectly to the well known Plainfielder, who had spent Saturday afternoon playing golf at the Plainfield Country Club after which he went out to dinner with Mrs. Barlow, his son, Carlton and the latter's wife.


During dinner the former mayor complained of a sudden stomach pain and he was taken home. Dr. Thomas D. Blair was called. It was decided to remove the patient to Muhlenberg Hospital and the ambulance was called about 2 a.m. Sunday. Dr. N.B. Stanton was called in consultation. Last night, shortly after 10 o'clock Mr. Barlow died.

A year ago Mr. Barlow had gone to John Hopkins Hospital for a complete check-up. The report showed him to be in good physical condition. Mr. Barlow would have been 65 years old next week, his birthday being Oct. 4. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow have lived at 930 Woodland Ave.

Mr. Barlow was active in local Republican politics for many years and although he supported Wendell Wilkie in 1940, switched to Franklin D. Roosevelt last year when the Democratic President was seeking reelection. His public announcement at the time came as a surprise to many staunch Republicans in the city.


Born in Philadelphia Oct. 4, 1880. Mr. Barlow was education (sic) in the public schools of that city and the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with honors from the Department of Civil Engineering in 1901.

Mr. Barlow married Elizabeth Hall Moody of Philadelphia, May 15, 1905, and two years later moved to Plainfield. Here the Barlows raised a family of six children, all of whom attended the local schools.

He was employed for a time by the American Bridge Company and subsequently by the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company, of which he has been president since 1921. The company, with offices at 15 Park Row, New YOrk, is an engineering and contracting concern which engaged in dredging, oiling and land reclamation.

Always interested in civic matters and projects for the betterment of Plainfield, Mr. Barlow held various municipal offices. Hew was councilman from the Second Ward in 1922 and 1923. He was a member of the Board of Health for a year and a half, resigning in 1925 to become a member of the Board of Education, former Mayor James T. MacMurray making the appointment. The deceased served nine years as president of that board, resigning to take over the office of mayor in 1937-38. The DeWitt Barlow School was named in his honor in recognition of the services he rendered the city's educational system.


During World War I he served as chairman of the Emergency Dredging Committee and as associate chief of the Dredging Section, War Industries Board. In the war just ended he heaed the Salvage Division of the Civilian Defense organization being a member of the Defense Council. He was an elder and trustee of the Crescent Avenuse Presbyterian Church.

In addition to being president of the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company, Mr. Barlow was president of the North Atlantic Dredging Company, chairman of the Dredge Owners Protective Organization and also chairman of the National Association of River and Harbor Contractors. He was a member of the Alien Enemy Hearing Board, District of New Jersey.

Interested in music, he was president of the Plainfield Symphony Society and a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Popular Season Inc. He served as chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Princeton Local Government Survey.

A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Sigma Xi Mr. Barlow belonged to the Engineers Club, University of Pennsylvania Club (New York), Plainfield COuntry Club and Order of Founders and Patriots of America.


Mr. Barlow has been chairman of the Plainfield-North Plainfield Chapter of the American Red Cross during the recent war years. Last spring he was appointed a trustee of the Union Junior College at Cranford.

Five of the six Barlow children reside in Plainfield, the other, Mrs. George M. (Anne May) Shepard Jr., residing in New Hope, Pa. Those living here are: Mrs. Seymour (Esther Moody) Perkins Jr., Mrs. William K. (Elizabeth Hall) Dunbar Jr., DeWitt D. Barlow Jr., Carlton M. Barlow and Mrs. William R. (Jean Lewis) Peelle. Eleven grandchildren survive.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Copy of Original Article

New York Times September 25, 1945

President of Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. Dies at 64 Once Mayor of Plainfield

Special to the New York Times

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Sept 24 DeWitt D. Barlow of 930 Woodland Avenue, president of the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of New York and its affiliates, died here last night in the Muhlenberg Hospital after a brief illness. His age was 64. Born in Philadelphia, he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1901 with an engineering degree and came to Plainfield six years later.

Mr. Barlow had served as president of the National Association of River and Harbor Contractors and during the first World War was chairman of the emergency dredging committee and associate chief of the dredging section of the War Industries Board. Head of the code authority of the industry during NRA days, he was for many years an executive of the National River and Harbor Improvement Association.

Active in affairs here, Mr. Barlow was a Councilman from the Second Ward, 1922-23, and served on the Board of Health until 1925, when he resigned to accept appointment to the Board of Education, of which he was president in 1927. He was elected Mayor on the Republican ticket in 1936 for one term.

Mr. Barlow leaves a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Moody Barlow; two sons, DeWitt D. Jr. and Carlton M.; four daughters, Mrs. George M. Shepard of New Hope, Pa., and Mrs. Seymour Perkins Jr., Mrs. William K. Dunbar Jr. and Mrs. William R. Peelle, all of Plainfield, and eleven grandchildren.

BARLOW - De Witt DUkes, suddenly, on Sept. 23, 1945, at Muhlenberg Hospital, Plainfield, N.J., beloved husband of Elizabeth M. Barlow. Service at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Wednesday

May 19, 1980 Board Meeting Minutes

May 24, 1983 Letter of Resignation

May 24, 1983 Letter of Resignation

May 1983 letter to June Barlow

August 6, 1996 Obituary for June Simms Barlow

BARLOW, June 'SIMMS' 79 Essex Connecticut
Hartford Courant - Hartford Connecticut 1996-8-6

August 8, 1996 June Simms Barlow

Barlow. June (simms) Barlow
August 8, 1996
BARLOW. June (Simms) Barlow, 79, of Book Hill Road, Essex, died suddenly Tuesday (Aug. 6, 1996) in Yale New Haven Hospital. She was the wife of Carlton M. Barlow for 58 years. She was born in Tampa, FL, daughter of the late Alan and Frances Simms. She was educated in Tampa, Hartford, and St. Lawrence University. She was active in real estate sales both in Plainfield, NJ, where she spent most of her married life, and later in Essex. She was a member of the Junior League and Garden Club of Plainfield, NJ, the Essex Garden Club and the Essex Yacht Club.

1350 Martine

Plainfield Public Library
Detwiller Archives

Collection Detwiller
Title Porch Enclosure for Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Barlow
Description Plans and detail for enclosure of a porch.
Building Type Residence
Work Type Alteration and/or Addition
Condition Acceptable
Blueprint ID D-10624
Permit NOP1102
Year of Permit 1958
Microfilm Roll 0221
Microfilm Frame 0385
Condition 1003
Address 1350 Martine Avenue
Historic District
City Plainfield
Architect Charles H. Detwiller, Jr.
Architect Firm
Owner C.M. Barlow
Business Owner

Cath Detwiller's 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.


Rick D.

Cath Detwiller's Plainfield Garden Club Party ca. 1965

May 15, 2013 Old Westbury Gardens

1973-1974 PGC Directory


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'

Elizabeth Dukes Barlow

February 2, 2014

We received a very interesting email today regarding one of Plainfield Garden Club's "premier" families: The Barlows.

Robert Seyffert wrote to us to inquire if we knew any of the descendants of Elizabeth Dukes Barlow. Elizabeth was the daughter of Plainfield Mayor Dewitt Dukes Barlow. Robert Seyffert's grandfather, Leopold Seyffert, painted Elizabeth in 1919 and he wishes to know the whereabouts of the painting.

Robert himself has become somewhat famous. The New York Times wrote a wonderful article on him in 2010 and his quest for finding the portraits done by his grandfather.

Intrigued, the PGC network was quickly put to work and within hours the painting was located! It is in the possession of Elizabeth's great-grandson, Dewitt Dukes Barlow, in Rhode Island. Job well done PGC!

To learn more about the Barlow family, visit the PGC membership records for a few of the members of that family:

Barlow, Mrs. Carlton Montague (June Simms) '70
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Dunbar, Mrs. William K. (Elizabeth Atwood Biggs) '17
Dunbar, Mrs. William K., Jr. (Elizabeth or "Libby" Hail) '37
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49
Moody, Mrs. George T. '22
Cox, Mrs. Archibald (Frances Perkins) '25
Day, Mrs. Thomas Mills (Anne Perkins Smith) '16
Day, Mrs. Francis P. (Fanny Carter Keith) '50

Anne Shepherd sends in an edit: "Elizabeth Dukes Barlow was the mother of Dewitt Dukes Barlow not daughter and is the great grandmother of Anne Yearley who lives in Westfield. It is her nephew D.D Barlow who has the painting and lives in Rhode Island He is son of Mary Lee Barlow (Mrs. D.D. Barlow) who was a PGC member."

Carlton M. Barlow

BARLOW, Carlton M. Carlton Montague Barlow of Essex, died on Tuesday (February 26, 2008), at the age of 91. He was the son of the late DeWitt Dukes Barlow and Elizabeth Moody Barlow. He was born on December 19, 1916 and raised in Plainfield, NJ where he lived for many years. He was educated in the Plainfield public schools, Phillips Exeter Academy (Class of '34), and Yale University (Class of '38). He earned a Master's Degree in History at Columbia University in 1939. After three years of private school teaching, Mr. Barlow entered business with Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation in the field of personnel. He later joined General Dynamics Corporation as Director of Personnel Development and, subsequently, Director of Administrative Services. When the company moved to St. Louis, Mr. Barlow moved to Essex where he spent two years in real estate sales before returning to New York as Director of Corporate Real Estate for Macmillan, Inc. He remained at Macmillan until retiring to Essex where he reentered real estate sales and became Vice President of McCulley Management and Realty. Mr. Barlow was past president of New York Personnel Management Assoc., a past officer of Eastern College Personnel Officers, a past trustee of the Essex Land Trust, The Historical Society and The Connecticut River Museum. He was formerly a member of The Plainfield Country Club, the Essex Yacht Club and the Madison Beach Club. He is survived by his son, Carlton M. Barlow, Jr. and his wife Leslie of Ivoryton, his daughter, Pamela L. Barlow of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, his son Christopher D. Barlow of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and his granddaughter Samantha W. Barlow. His wife, June Simms Barlow, predeceased him in 1996. He is also survived by two sisters: Mrs. William K. Dunbar, Jr. of Bayhead, N.J. and Mrs. William R. Peelle of West Hartford, many nieces and nephews, and his beloved companion, Barbara Maxwell. Renown for his civic mindedness and community spirit, Mr. Barlow was an active volunteer in many organizations throughout his lifetime. During his retirement years, he embraced many causes in the town of Essex including being a long time driver for FISH, a member of The Ancient Order of Essex Weeders, an honorary member of the Essex Garden Club, a dedicated volunteer of the Connecticut River Museum and the Essex Historical Society, and a conservator of the Essex Land Trust. He will be remembered fondly, by many as the man who for years, while on his daily walks, picked up debris in an effort to preserve the beauty of his community. A Memorial Service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Essex Land Trust, P. O. Box 373, Essex, CT 06426 or The Essex Historical Society, P. O. Box 123, Essex, CT 06426. Arrangements by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook.
Published in The Hartford Courant on Feb. 29, 2008 - See more at:

Plainfield Library Bio Card

Monday Afternoon Club Membership