Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Van Boskerck, Miss Edith '16

145 E 6th (1909 studio)
542 W 7th (1909 home)

Related to:

Tyler, Mrs. William Seymour (Ethel Van Boskerck) '15
Van Boskerck, Miss Maud '22
Van Boskerck, Mrs. Thomas R. (Lucy Otterson) '15

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

1909 Plainfield City Directory page 277

Van Boskerck Edith Miss, artist, 145 E. 6th, h 542 W. 7th

Van Boskerck George T., manager, h 542 W 7th

Van Boskerck George W., merchant, h 542 W 7th

Van Boskerck Thomas R., merchant, h 542 W 7th

542 West Seventh Street

Plainfield Library Photo File

G-538 1934 Y Grimstead House at 542 West Seventh Street 542 West 7th Street Italianate house with arched doorway, full front porch with polygonal extension on left, broad arch over paired widows on second storey, L.M. Daniel.

December 11, 1903

Daily Princetonian, Volume 28, Number 140, 11 December 1903 – GLEE CLUB CONCERT In Plainfield To-night. Program and List of Patronesses.


In Plainfield To-night. Program and List of Patronesses.

The second concert of the Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Clubs will be given in the Casino of Plainfield, N. J., to-night at 8.15 o'clock. The clubs will leave Princeton to-day at 1.21 p. m., and arrive at Elizabeth at 2.20. Leaving Elizabeth on the C. R. R. of N. J. at 2.35, they will reach Plainfield at 3.03. The men will be entertained at the homes of the Princeton alumni, and immediately after the concert adance will be given in honor of the clubs. On the return trip the men will leave Plainfield on Saturday at 9.40 a. m., reaching Elizabeth at 10.04, leave at 10.06, and arrive in Princeton at 11. The program of the concert follows: PART FIRST. 1. Old Nassau, Carmina Princetonia Glee Club. 2. A Rag Time Ball, J. H.Jennings Banjo Club. 3. 1904 Medley, Arranged by K. S. Clark Glee Club. 4. Selections from Babes in Toyland, Herbert Mandolin Club. 5. Fantasienstuck, Arranged Banjo Club. PART SECOND. 1. Step Song, Carmina Princetonia Glee Club. 2. Gondoliere, Nevin Mandolin Club. 3. The 1904 Rakion, Joseph Chapman Banjo Club. 4. Solo, Selected Mr. Truesdale. 5. Espanola Viva, Arranged Glee and Mandolin Clubs. 6. The White Crow, Paul Eno Banjo Club. PART THIRD. 1. Bedelia, Schwartz Mandolin and Banjo Clubs. 2. Selection, Arranged Glee Club. 3. Danse Caprice, Grieg Mandolin Club. 4. Triangle Song, Carmina Princetonia Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Clubs. The patronesses are as follows : Mrs. Charles F. Abbott, Mrs. Frederick H. Andrews, Mrs. Ernest R. Ackerman, Mrs. John T. Baker, Mrs. Eliot T. Barrows, Mrs. James R. Blake, Mrs. Charles I. Brooks, Mrs Howard W. Beebe, Mrs. E. H. Booth, Mrs. P. W. Bakely, Mrs. P. T. Brown, Mrs. J. Hervey Buchanan, Mrs. J. Edgar Corlies, Mrs. George A. Chapman, Mrs. J. B. Dumont, Mrs. M. E. Egerton, Mrs. Chapman Fisk, Mrs. Howard Fleming, Mrs. Walter Gaston, Mrs. Wm. T. Gaugh, Mrs. John F. Harmon, Mrs. Ellis W. Hedges, Mrs. Eugene H. Hatch, Mrs. W. E. Honeyman, Mrs. James Hayes, Mrs. Samuel Huntington, Mrs. Henry L. Hall, Mrs. Henry C. Irons, Mrs. D. C. Ivins, Mrs. William T. Kaufman, Mrs. William E. Lowe, Mrs. Edward H. Ladd, Jr., Mrs. E. L. Mack, Mrs. George P. Mellick, Mrs. H. Raymond Munger, Mrs. William H. Murray, Mrs. Henry A. McGee, Mrs. Walter Mc- Gee, Mrs. Samuel St. J. McCutchen, Mrs. Frank S. Martin, Mrs. Theodore W. Morris, Jr., Mrs. F. G. Meade, Mrs. Arthur J. Otterson, Mrs. D. W. Pond, Mrs. W. G. Peckham, Mrs. W. A. Pinto, Mrs. Joseph W. Reinhart, Mrs. David Rowland, Mrs. George S. Ring, Mrs. George T. Rogers, Mrs. Joseph M. Shellabarger, Mrs. Walter E. Stewart, Mrs. Lemuel W. Serrell, Mrs. Alfred F. H. Streuli, Mrs. Henry M. Stockton, Mrs. Joseph W. Sandford, Jr., Mrs. C. L. Sykes, Mrs. R. B. Strong, Mrs. George A. Strong, Mrs Duncan W. Taylor, Mrs. Evarts Tracy, Mrs. Lewis G. Timpson, Mrs. Mason Tyler, Mrs. Edward M. Van Buren, Mrs. George W. Van Boskerck, Mrs. A. Vandewater, Mrs. J. Vandewater, Mrs. William B. Wadsworth, Mrs. Orville T. Waring, Mrs. Lewis E. Waring, Mrs. Theodore D. Wilson, Mrs. E. Woltman, Mrs. John S. Zelie.

Email from Caroline Potter Normann April 26, 2012

OH, my, but have you opened a fun door to me!! There is so much information in those files, and i have only skimmed the one on the Tylers. Some of the info may confuse Susan and Ethel, who were sisters-in-law and lived in back-to-back properties, as noted in the materials. The azalea hedge was part of the William & Ethel property. In my quick read it seemed to say that Ethel planted it but that it boarded the property on W. 8th St, which was the Boardman Tyler (Susan) home. I do know that Miss Margaret Tyler was Ethel and William's younger daughter. (The older one, Edith was married to Henry Noss, a history professor at NYU (?). They moved back to Plainfield after Henry retired.) Margaret didn't marry until the late 1950s or very early 1960s. Her husband's name was Hume Clendenin.

Mom wrote extensive memoires containing much information about the family members. I know that her Van Boskereck aunts (Edith and Ethel) were very great influences in Mom's life, taking her in hand when Mom's sister, Ruth, died at age 10. My grandmother had some kind of break-down and Mom, then in her early teens, was without much attention. I will find some of what she wrote and send it on in the next day or two. I hope that is timely enough.

I am going out for dinner tonight and must get ready, but you will hear from me soon.

My quick trip through the Club membership was an experience of great familiarity with many, many names of people who were my grandmother's and mother's friends.

More soon!

Love, Caroline

Caroline Potter Normann, Susan Tyler's niece and the daughter of one of my mother's [Genung, Mrs. Alfred Gawthrop (Dorothy or "Dot" Madsen) '69] oldest and dearest friends (and mine too) [Sally Genung Booth '83]. Caroline grew up in Sesttle but spent most of her married life in Gainesville, Florida. She got divorced and finally moved back to Settle where she is having lots of fun. Her mother died last year at 98.

George W. Van Boskerck

George W. Van Boskerck

Birth: Aug. 21, 1832
Bergen County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Apr. 22, 1911
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Former Resident Dead.

George W. Van Boskerck, a former resident of this town, died at his home in Plainfield last Saurday morning after a short illness. He was an active worker in the Episcopal church and one of its liberal supporters during his residence in Westfield. Of his life, the Plainfield Courier-News says:

"Mr. Van Boskerck was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, August 21, 1832. His father was John Van Boskerck, and his mother Elizabeth Taylor. His grandfather, George Van Boskerck, of New York City, was of old Dutch Colonial stock, and was a soldier in the Revoluntionary army.

"Mr. Van Boskerck was one of the original members of the old Corn Exchange, which became the New York Produce Exchange, of which he was at the time of his death one of the oldest members, and where he has been engaged in the commission business for the past sixty years. He was a veteran of the Seventh Regiment, N.Y.N.G., of which he became a member in 1857, in the Sixth Company, with which he saw active servie during the "draft riots," in New York City, at Webb's Shipyard. He was a member of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York.

"Mr. Van Boskerck has been a resident of Plainfield for the past twenty-two years. He is survived by his widow, two sons, and five daughters: Thomas R. and George T. Van Boskerck; the Misses Sarah M., Maude and Edith Van Boskerck, and Mrs. William S. Tyler, of this city, and Mrs. William Bloodgood, of New York."

The funeral was held from his late residence on West Seventh street, Plainfield, last Monday, and was attended by a large gathering of relatives and friends. Rev. E. Vicara Stevenson, rector of Grace Episcopal church, of Plainfield, officiated, and interment was made in Woodlawn Cemetery, New York. There was a large collecton of floral tributes from friends, who are grieved over his demise. A quartette sang with a wealth of expression and feeling, "Nearer My God to Thee," Peace, Perfect Peace," and "Now the Strife is O'er."

Published by The Westfield Leader on April 26, 1911.

Woodlawn Cemetery
Bronx County
New York, USA

Created by: Lnanaa
Record added: Jun 07, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91514578

1927 Plainfield Directory

Van Boskerck Edith interior decorator r718 Central
Van Boskerck Geo T grain merchant (NY) h718 Central av
Van Boskerck Maud music tchr (piano) 825 Park av h do
Van Boskerck Sarah M. social service wkr r718 Central av
Van Boskerck Thos R (Lucy) broker h1332 Prospect

1925 Meeting Minutes

Mention of "Miss Van Boskerck" – not certain if it is Edith or Maud

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

Crescent Avenue Historic District

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

825 Park Avenue
c. 1890

Somewhat classical treatment of the recessed entryway through the adaption of the original porch columns and pediment. Leaded glass fan and side lights in the front door surround. The scalloped valance on the third story is not original.

Four family

This house has been extensively but tastefully altered, which has changed much of the original design to the extent that it is difficult to determine the original elements. The general effect is of a quite elegance and it has been well adapted its use as professional offices. The front picket fence on a stone base relates well to the District.

Edith Van Boskerck Genealogy

Immediate Family

George Washington Van Boskerck

Elizabeth Van Boskerck

Mary Elizabeth Bloodgood

John Van Boskerck

Sarah Manton

Elizabeth Florence

Thomas Rowe Van Boskerck

George Taylor Van Boskerck

Ernest Van Boskerck


Maud Van Boskerck

Ethel Van Boskerck

Edith Van Boskerck Genealogy

Born 1878
September 5, 1878
Birth of Edith
Plainfield, Union, NJ, USA

Edith Van Boskerck

This photo is labeled as "Edith Van Boskerck" not certified it is our Edith.

1922 Annual Member List for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

1906 Good Housekeeping

1906 Good Housekeeping

1906 Good Housekeeping

1906 Good Housekeeping

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

1920 Country Life

New-York tribune., April 10, 1921, Page 3, Image 47

December 4, 1988 Plainfield Historical Society

Our green/red plaid dress (circa 1858) reflects this Scottish influence. The donor, Edith Van Boskerck, was a well known Plainfield interior designer. This dress was the inspiration for our "Scottish Christmas" and the gathering together of plaids and paisleys.

December 4, 1988 Plainfield Historical Society

Pamphlet donated by Jeanne Turner, former curator at the Drake House.

January 13, 2014 Scottish Christmas at the Drake House

January 13, 2014

Once upon a time in Plainfield there were three sisters (there were actually seven sisters, but to our knowledge, only three were Plainfield Garden Club members). Their names were Edith, Maud and Ethel. And each sister was more talented than the next.

Ethel was a founding member of the Plainfield Garden Club in 1915. She married a very prominent Plainfield man, built a huge house on West Eighth Street which is still beautiful today. She was a gourmet cook, despite having a cook in her employ, a blue-ribbon floral designer, an authority on antiques, an artist and lastly, a talented gardener. Ethel was described as having a great sense of humor and adventure.

Maud was a latecomer to the PGC, joining in 1920. To the best of our knowledge, she never married. Maud's great talent was music. An accomplished pianist, she had a studio at 825 Park Avenue, which is still there today, and she taught many in Plainfield the art of the piano. It was here in the large studio that the Plainfield Music Club would gather. Maud was a founding member of the Music Club, a Club that still exists and is only 1 year older than the PGC – beating the PGC out of the honor of "oldest club in Plainfield." Whenever the Club needed entertainment, Maud was always at the ready.

And then there was Edith. Edith's talent was that she was a fine artist. Like Maud, Edith never married. She did, however, have a very successful career as an interior designer. Her philosophy of design was to "make the walls recede" and she was known for wall murals, which she painted herself. Edith had a busy shop on Washington Square and exhibited other well known artists' works at her shop. She was a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and published in Good Housekeeping.

It was Edith who donated to the Plainfield Historical Society a green and red dress circa 1858. It was this dress that was featured in a Christmas exhibit at the Drake House in 1988, curated by our own Jeanne Turner. Jeanne brought in the pamphlet from this exhibit and that is why there is this story of the three sisters. Thanks Jeanne!

October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Sally does it again!

Over our 100 year history, the PGC has submitted TEN local gardens for inclusion in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Gardens. As you know, it has been the Garden Club of America's great initiative to document gardens across the nation and have their photos and plans preserved there. Our own Mary Kent just concluded her two-year term as the National Chairman of that GCA committee titled "Garden History & Design." GCA clubs from across the US have painstakingly documented gardens for the Smithsonian. But as most of us can recall, technology wasn't what it is today so some things became "lost" in the great vaults of the Smithsonian. One of these things were the submitted photographs of 1332 Prospect Avenue in Plainfield.

1332 Prospect Avenue was home to Plainfield Garden Club Founding Member Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck '15. Later, it was home to Honorary Member Bernice Swain. Before it became the current home of Jim McGreevey, it belonged to Chris and Kathleen Onieal. Your Editor was once showed these photographs as they were told "they stay with the house" but again, they had been misplaced.

In comes Sally. Sally is friends with Mrs. Van Boskerck's granddaughter, Caroline Norman, who resides in Seattle. Sally remembers visiting 1332 Prospect Avenue often as a child and tells great stories of playing in the attics. Sally, who is a third generation member of the PGC, inquired once more of her friend Caroline if she could locate these mythical photographs. And today they were found and returned to us – and the six sepia photographs are every bit as beautiful as Your Editor remembered.

In addition, Caroline sent along never-before-seen photographs of her Aunt Ethel Tyler and her house at 520 8th Street. We also received our first photo of Mrs. Noss. And perhaps best of all, we are the recipients of some beautiful photographs of 17 year-old Sally, a dashing young Carter and Sally's beautiful children. ENJOY!!

1332 Prospect Avenue and other photos for the Van Boskerck, Tyler, Clendenin, Noss, Genung, Madsen & Booth Families

Detwiller blueprints 718 Central

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.

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