Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Noss, Mrs. Henry Boyer (Edith Edwards Tyler) '66

1970 - 1990 Address: 1314 Highland Ave, Plainfield

1994 Moved to Tallahassee, FL

1984 - 1992: Sustaining
1993 - 1994: Resigned

History of the club to 1970 by Mrs. Henry Noss

History of the club to 1970 by Mrs. Henry Noss

History of the club to 1970 by Mrs. Henry Noss

History of the club to 1970 by Mrs. Henry Noss

March 18, 1981 Meeting Minutes

From the Corresponding Secretary file

From the Corresponding Secretary file

From the Corresponding Secretary file

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 9, 1994

April 26, 2012 Email from Caroline Potter Normann

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.

Ellie Noss Whitney

Birth and Schooling

On October 5, 1938, I was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, to Henry Noss and Edith Tyler Noss. They were a conscientious and loving pair of parents and I had a secure and uneventful childhood as an only child.

I was christened Eleanor Noss, but during my adult life, my name changed repeatedly. I became "Eleanor Noss Whitney" in 1960 when I married Bill Whitney. I kept the name Whitney after my 1975 divorce, because I had many published books under that name. When I married Jack Yaeger in 1994, I took the name "Ellie Whitney-Yaeger." Then, a year after Jack died, in 1999, I became simply "Ellie Whitney."

I grew up in New York City, attended various schools, learned to ice skate, dance, and play the piano, and became an avid reader. From 1952 to 1956 I attended the Woodstock Country School in Vermont and from 1956 to 1960, I attended Radcliffe College. I majored in both English and Biology and graduated with honors from Harvard University.

Marriage, Children, and Doctoral Study

After graduation, I married Bill Whitney. For the two years after that, we lived in Japan, where he studied Japanese and where our daughter Lynn was born. Then we moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he finished his Harvard B.S. and our son Russ was born. In 1963 we moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where for half a year he tried and abandoned graduate work in Far Eastern Studies; and then to Hightstown, NJ, where for half a year he taught math at the Peddie School. In the summer of 1964, we moved to the Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Mass., where he taught math and I taught English for a year–then on to St. Louis, Missouri, where he assisted at the Counseling Center and pursued his Ph.D. in Counseling while I pursued my Ph.D. in Biology, finishing in 1970.

We moved to Tallahassee in 1970, where Bill became a counselor at the Florida State University and I worked for two years as a post-doctoral research associate in biochemistry with an emphasis on nutrition. I have several published papers in refereed journals from those years. In 1971, we adopted Kara.

Why did I choose nutrition? Because I had just read Adele Davis's Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit, and realized that for all my education, I did not know well enough how to feed my children! Why did we adopt Kara, after two natural-born children? Because I was keenly concerned about the population explosion and believed that two new births were all we should allow ourselves. Kara was a "hard-to-place" child, because she was not a pure WASP from a lily-white pair of parents. Instead, she was a beautiful mixture of Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Irish. I'd wanted to adopt another baby, but Kara turned out to have a congenital heart defect and required open-heart surgery, so we stopped at three. In place of that missing fourth child, I later "adopted" a Korean child, giving support in the form of friendship and support by letter.

Teaching Nutrition and Writing Textbooks

Adele Davis made a convert out of me. I loved the study of nutrition and felt that it was vitally important to a healthy and happy life. Since teaching is the best way for me to learn, I sought a teaching position in the Food and Nutrition Department of FSU's College of Home Economics. I was hired to teach the beginning nutrition course, which I did with great enthusiasm, and by 1975 my course had attracted many new majors into the department. As a result, I was sought-after by a publisher to write an introductory nutrition textbook. My elder, friend, and mentor May Hamilton agreed to work with me and we signed our first contract in 1975. Understanding Nutrition came out in 1977 and immediately became the number-one textbook in the field nationwide. I became an associate professor with tenure that year.

In 1975, Bill and I divorced. He moved on to Ohio while I, having put down roots in Tallahassee, remained behind as a single working mother. There followed other textbooks written with other master's students of mine: Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies; Understanding Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition; Nutrition and Diet Therapy; Life Span Nutrition; Nutrition for Health and Health Care, several textbooks in the health field for both college and high school; and numerous other books. I've devoted a page of this website to some of my books in 1975 - 1995">nutrition and health.

I retired from FSU in 1982 to write full time, and with three of my former master's-degree students, founded The Nutrition Company, an information resource. The company later changed its name to Nutrition and Health Associates and it is still going strong as a producer of recognized nutrition and health titles. Some of the nutrition books are now in their tenth and later editions.

Newspaper Columns

In the late 1980s I learned from Al Gore of global warming, of the causal role of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and of the Big Three carbon dioxide emitters: the fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas. I had taken a short vacation in a Costa Rican rainforest and was overwhelmed at its beauty and importance and vulnerability to the changing climate. Following that summer, I had attended a conference on the world's rainforests, where I was advised that the most useful thing I could do to help save them was to "teach American consumers to change their lifestyles." As a result of all those influences, by 1990, I was fretting about my own failure to live a truly environmentally sensitive lifestyle. How could I tread most lightly on the Earth?

Then in 1989, Dorothy Clifford, a feature writer for the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida's capitol city newspaper, changed my life. She wrote a story about me (view Dorothy's story here).

9/10 People in business (article about Ellie by Dorothy Clifford)

Answering Dorothy's questions made me think. Who was I? What were my goals in life? I was just beginning to publically express my ideals, and especially my desire to live lightly on the earth. I wanted to walk the talk.

During the first months of 1990, I looked around for someone whose lifestyle I could imitate. Who was living the way I wanted to live? I wanted to model my life on someone else's life.

I cast about for a guide, but discovered no one that could give me the answers I sought about recycling, native gardening, nontoxic cleansers, building with local materials, and especially energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the climate. Then one day it dawned on me that if I couldn't find such a model, I must try to be such a model–learning by teaching, again. So in 1990, I applied to become a community columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat.

The paper was happy to have me come aboard and published my first column on April 22, 1990, the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Day. I made it my guiding principle always to "walk the walk"–to advocate only lifestyle behaviors I was willing to undertake myself. It was because I'd made that vow that I ended up living and working in solar-powered buildings and driving an electric car.

The editors named me "The Everyday Environmentalist" and published my columns every week for more six years until I moved on to other activities. I became so zealous about recycling, and reporting on it, that Carol Browner, who was then President Clinton's secretary of the EPA, christened me "the Mother of All Recyclers." But my main goal was to teach people to conserve energy in view of the need to stabilize the climate. Selected columns are displayed on a separate 1995 - 2000">page. Two other series of mine ran simultaneously, "Energy Savers," and "Benign Design"–the latter about sustainable building.

The same year that I began writing my columns, I was appointed a member of the City's Energy Policy Committee, meeting with the utility to develop a plan for meeting our growing population's future energy needs. At about that time, Tallahassee announced its intention to build a coal-burning power plant to diversify its fleet of generators. I opposed coal burning because of its carbon dioxide emissions; other citizens opposed it on the basis of its air pollution and health effects; and an intense battle ensued. The outcome was the defeat of the coal plant, passage of an amendment to the City Charter to forbid the building of a coal plant within the county or any adjacent county, and the utility's decision to expand its natural gas generator fleet.

In 1994, I married Jack Yaeger, a long-time friend. We built a solar home on Knollwood Drive, just outside Tallahassee, and lived happily together there until his death in 1998.

Writing on Ecology

Up until 1988, I had lived almost entirely indoors, but with my last child's departure for school away from home, I became free to wander in natural areas outside of Tallahassee. I started by taking the adult-education courses titled "Exploring Florida's Wilderness" offered by the Florida State University. With two wonderful teachers, Dr. Bruce Means and Dr. Anne Rudloe, I rambled across Florida's forests, prairies, wetlands, streams, lakes, and coastal lands and waters season by season–and I fell in love with the natural world. I had always known it was out there, but had never had a chance to become acquainted with it.

From those explorations was born the book Priceless Florida, which I wrote with my two teachers over the 14-year period from 1988 to 2002. A 1990 - 2004">pageof this website is devoted to that book, which was published in 2004 by Pineapple Press. Of all of the books I've written, Priceless Florida is the one I love the most. The photo at the top of the home page is of the ecosystem from which I learned more about nature than from any of my years in school. Had I not had children to support and educate, I would have written many other books of this kind. My concerns about the climate arise from my love of the natural world, as well as from my love for my children and grandchildren.

The Electric Car

I bought an electric car in 1995, to demonstrate to the public that it was feasible and fun to drive without using gasoline. Al Simpler, a Tallahassee solar-energy expert, located the perfect car for me: a Ford Taurus 4-door sedan retrofitted by FastEVs of Arizona with an airplane engine and 18 deep-cycle batteries. I relied on that car only for five years until, after Jack died, I sold my home and move into town where I had no place to charge it overnight; then I donated it to a research institution.

The "E-Car" attracted attention not only from my readers but also from the petroleum industry, whose representatives sent me documents "proving" that electric cars would never become a practical alternative to gasoline-powered cars. See the "Electric Car" 1995 - 2000">pageon this website.

Living with Solar Energy

I also began learning how to live on solar energy. During the 1990s, I retrofitted my small beach house and my office building to run on solar energy, and then, year by year, I created four new solar homes. One was for Jack and myself, on Knollwood Drive outside of town. The other three were built in the Day Star Community, a cohousing community near downtown Tallahassee that I co-founded with three other people. The "Day Star" is, of course, the sun, and nearly all the homes built there were either solar or "solar-ready." Two of those three homes I sold to friends; the other one I built after Jack's death for myself to live in as Ellie Whitney, widow. Details of these buildings are at this 1990-2005">link.

Climate Work

By the spring of 2005, I had become more concerned about global warming than about any other issue and, when some members of the local Unitarian Universalist Church founded a climate change study group, I promptly joined it. The group soon morphed into a team of citizen activists, the Big Bend Climate Action Team (BBCAT), whose province was the nine-county region known as Florida's Big Bend. Our intent was to work with our City, the County, and perhaps the state, to develop clean-energy alternatives to fossil fuels.

That June, the City announced its intention, much as in 1990, to burn coal for energy. This time, the plan was to participate in a partnership with several other utilities across the state to build a coal-burning power plant to serve several Florida communities. The plant was to be built in Taylor County, two counties away from Tallahassee, thereby bypassing the City's requirement that such plans be referred to the citizens for a vote. BBCAT felt compelled to redefine its mission, making it a top priority to prevent the burning of coal by the City.

Other anti-coal groups formed, each with its own style and mode of operation. Ours was non-confrontational: we arranged to meet regularly with the utility's planners and explore alternatives to coal. More than two years of intensive research on our part followed, during which developed an alternative-energy plan for the City and won the attention of the Tallahassee Democrat's editorial board and the Tallahassee City Commission. The coal plant advocates persisted with their plan all the way to the Public Service Commission, but in the end, the coal planners backed down and an alternative-energy plan was put in place instead. Tallahassee is now expanding its natural-gas and alternative energy resources and no need for new generation is foreseen for the next ten years. I recorded the history of that struggle in a self-published book, The Tallahassee Coal Plant Fight, available at Amazon (see this 2005 - 2010">link).

In June, 2006, I retired and moved from my long-time home in Tallahassee, Florida, to the Princeton, New Jersey area to be near my daughter Lynn and her family. I followed the coal plant battle from there, offering editorial assistance and advice until the final withdrawal of the coal plan in the spring of 2007.

I settled into the Meadow Lakes retirement community in East Windsor and rested for a while, then joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton and became chair of its newly formed Green Sanctuary Committee. In 2011, the Congregation won accreditation as a Green Sanctuary.

Meanwhile, I have been as active as I am able to be in the climate arena. I joined the Citizens Climate Lobby and its Million Letter March in 2010 and I am now all about legislation–in this case, federal legislation. See "2010 - present">Climate Lobby Work."

Edith Tyler Noss

NOSS, Edith Tyler; 88; Plainfield NJ>Tallahassee FL; Tallahassee D; 1994-5-16; whamo

Noss Family Papers

Noss Family Papers, 1912-1924.
1 box (0.42 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0624 (LD 7096.6 1950 Noss)

Noss family. Christopher Noss and Lura Boyer Noss, d. 1907, and Carol Day Noss and 12 children. Papers consist of correspondence between the family while the parents were missionaries in Japan. Principally documenting the education of two of the children, Frederick Boyer Noss, 1901-, and Anna Isabel (Annabelle) Noss Welty, 1899-2000, in addition to family matters, home life, report cards, and academic life. Also includes genealogical and biographical information provided by the donor.

Biographical Note
Christopher Noss was born on Sept. 23, 1869 in Huntington, Indiana. He attended Franklin and Marshall Academy, and received his theology degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary. He worked as a missionary in Japan circa 1893-1934. He married his first wife, Lura Boyer, on October 22, 1895. They had six children before her death in 1907. Noss married Carol (Carolyn) Day, a 1905 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, on July 14, 1909. They remained in Japan and had six more children. Christopher died on December 31, 1934. Fredrick Boyer Noss was born in Japan on June 3, 1901. He came to the United States in 1916 to attend Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1919. He graduated from Princeton University in 1923. He worked as a teacher at Massanutten Academy in Woodstock, Virginia 1923-1924. He then attended Harvard and graduated from its Divinity School in 1935. He married Emily Letitia Miller, had two daughters, and was a minister of the South Church in Andover, Mass. Anna Isabel Noss, or Annabelle as she is referred to in the letters, was born in Japan on December 4, 1899. She graduated from Northfield Seminary in Northfield, Mass. in 1917 and from Mount Holyoke College in 1921. She was an English teacher at Ilion High School (Ilion, N.Y.) 1921-1923, then went to the Oberlin College Kindergarten Training School 1923-1924 to prepare for work as a missionary in Japan. She did not go to Japan, however, and in 1925 was an assistant teacher at the Carter School in Princton, N.J. She married Ivan R. Welty in 1926, enrolled in the Oberlin College School of Theology and received her M.A. there in 1928. The Weltys had four children.

Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Noss family Papers consist primarily of letters written by members of the family of Christopher Noss between 1912 and 1924. The principal correspondent is Noss' son Frederick. In letters to his parents and siblings, Frederick describes his experiences as a student at Mercersburg Academy in in Pennsylvania (1916-1919) and at Princeton University (1919-1923). His letters discuss his schedule, employment, studies, and work on the Academy's literary magazine as well as the 1918 influenza epidemic and the possibility of service in the World War. Several letters from 1923-1924 describe his work as a teacher at the Massanutten Academy in Woodstock, Va. Letters to him by his sister Annabelle (Anna Isabel, later Annabelle Noss Welty) were written when she was a student at Northfield Seminary in 1916 and at Mount Holyoke College 1917-1919. They mention her course work, social activities, and events relating to World War I, including the influenza epidemic and the Armistice Day parade in Holyoke, Mass. Most of the other letters in the collection were written to Frederick by his father, his stepmother Carol Day Noss, his brothers John, George, Theodore, and Henry Noss, his grandfather John George Noss, and his aunt Emma N. Burkholder. The letters chiefly concern family news with occasional references to Christopher Noss' work as a missionary in Japan. The collection also includes transcripts of all but two of the letters, compiled by Frederick's daughter Letitia Noss Mutter, and genealogical and biographical information about the family.

Edith Tyler Noss

•Name: Edith Edwards TYLER
•Given Name: Edith Edwards
•Surname: Tyler
•Sex: F
•Birth: 31 Jul 1905 in Plainfield, Union County, New Jersey 1
•Death: 15 May 1994 in Tallahassee, Florida 2
•_UID: B665A263C8164BAABBD0ADF7855CA44CF38D
•Change Date: 23 May 2009 at 23:36

Father: William Seymour TYLER b: 18 Oct 1873 in Plainfield, Union County, New Jersey
Mother: Ethel VAN BOSKERCK b: 5 Feb 1879 in Plainfield, Union County, New Jersey

Marriage 1 Henry Heiney Boyer NOSS b: 26 May 1906 in Pennsylvania
•Married: 3 Jun 1933 in Plainfield, Union County, New Jersey 3
•Change Date: 23 May 2009
1. Living

1.Abbrev: The Tyler Genealogy
Title: The Tyler genealogy : the descendants of Job Tyler of Andover, Massachusetts, 1619-1700. , 2 volumes
Author: Willard I Tyler Brigham
Publication: N.p.: Cornelius B Tyler and Rollin U Tyler, 1922.
Page: vol 2.
Quality: 3
Date: 3 Apr 2009 2.Abbrev: Florida Death Index, 1877-1998
Title: database
Author: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records
Publication: (
Page: ).
Quality: 3
Date: 9 Apr 2009 3.Abbrev: New York Times
Title: New York Times
Page: 4 Jun 1933, online archives.
Date: 23 May 2009

Tyler Genealogy

ing^), bom in Plainfield, N. J., October 18, 1873; married
there, November 2'3, 1899, Ethel Van Boskerck, bom February
5, 1879 ; daughter of George W. and Elizabeth (Rowe) Van
Boskerck. He prepared for college at Williston Seminary,
Easthampton, Mass. ; was graduated from Amherst A. B. 1895 ;
traveled in Europe in 1894; studied in Germany and traveled
in Egypt and Palestine 1895-1896; studied in Columbia Uni-
versity Law School, 1896-1899 ; was graduated LL. B. 1899.
He was admitted to the New York bar in 1898 ; practiced law
with Evarts, Choate & Beeman one year; in 1903 formed a
partnership with his father and brother under the firm name
of Tyler & Tyler, which has continued since his father's death
under the same name at 30 Church Street, New York City.
Mr, Tyler has been a member of the Common Council of the city
of Plainfield 1902-1908, and of the Board of Education since
1908, is Secretary of the Charity Organization Society of Plain-
field and North Plainfield, and a director of the Rossendale
Reddaway Belting and Hose Company of Newark. In New
Jersey he is a member of the Mayflower Society. In New York
City he is a member of the Bar Association, Military Order of
the Loyal Legion, University Club, Phi Delta Phi Club, Psi
Upsilon Club, New England Society and Railroad Club. The
children were born in Plainfield.

Children :

7922 Margaret Rowe Tyler, bora April 8, 1901.

7923 Wilham Seymour Tyler, bom May 16, 1904.

7924 Edith Edwards Tyler, bom July 31, 1905.

Whiting^), bom in Plainfield, N. J., November 15, 1875; mar-
ried, December 29, 1908, at Pittsfield, Mass., Susan Tilden

784 The Descendants of Job Tyler

Whittlesey, bom November 21, 1883, at Florence, Wis. ; daugh-
ter of WiUiam Augustus and Caroline Benton (Tilden) Whit-
tlesey, of Pittsfield. He prepared for college at Williston
Seminary, Easthampton, Mass. ; was graduated from Amherst
College A. B. 1898 ; studied at Columbia University Law School
1898-1901, and was graduated LL. B. and admitted to the
New York bar in 1901. He was one of the founders of the
Columbia Law Review in 1901, and treasurer of the first board
of editors. He practiced one year with the firm of James
Schell and Elkus. In 1903 he formed a partnership with his
father and brother under the firm name of Tyler & Tyler, which
has continued since his father's death under the same name at
30 Church Street, New York City. He traveled in Europe in
1894, in Japan in 1900, in Alaska in 1901, and in Central
America and the West Indies in 1909. He is president and
director of the Liberty Realty Company of Seattle, Wash. ;
secretary and director of the West Canada Land and Develop-
ment Company ; secretary, treasurer and director of the JaiFray
Realty Company. He is one of the trustees of the Plainfield
Public Library and Reading room, and director of the Plain-
field Trust Company ; a member of the Commandery of the
District of Columbia, of the Military Order of the Loyal
Legion, and in New York City he is a member of the Bar Asso-
ciation, Psi Upsilon Club, Phi Beta Kappa Alumni, Phi Delta
Phi Club, Mayflower Society, New England Society, and Rail-
road Club.

Email April 29, 2012 re: Van Boskerck and Tyler Families

Hi Susan,
You are going to love this...I mean really love it.
CPN is Caroline Potter Normann, my friend, the writer. The person who wrote these notes was her mother, Lucy Van Boskerck Potter Mitchel who grew up in Plainfield in the house where the ex governor lives on Prospect Ave. She moved to Seattle when she married. That is the garden she writes about.
If you have any questions, let me know.

––Original Message––
From: Caroline Normann <>
To: Sally Booth <>
Sent: Sun, Apr 29, 2012 9:38 pm
Subject: Tyler information

Dear Sally, I hope I haven't delayed too long. I had to do some digging. Mom wrote pages and pages of memoires, all interesting, occasionally repetitive, as they were written over many years. Happily, I had transcribed them. Some I added comments for the benefit of Jenny and Beth.

There isn't a lot about Aunt Susan. I do remember going to her home for tea when we came to visit. That would have been when I was in grade school. She died quite a while before I went to college. Their home was filled with interesting furniture, paintings and lovely rooms. It was all very formal, but she was always very kind and easy for a child to be with. You are correct about the portrait that she gave to the Met. Its companion piece hung in Aunt Ethel's home and also hangs in the Met next to that given by Aunt Susan. Needless to say I didn't know her well. Aunt Ethel was the youngest of my grandfather's siblings and lived into her late 80s, so I knew her very well and always enjoyed being with her. She was amazingly youthful, open-minded, and contemporary for one of her generation. I visited her often while I was in college.

Let me know if any of the attached are useful to you or if you have an follow-up questions.

Love, Caroline

Caroline Normann
18317 Sunset Way
Edmonds, WA 98026
(425) 771-8925
(425) 530-6687(cell)

Email April 29, 2012 by Caroline Normann
Aunt Susan Tyler started a class to teach us to make pottery. She had her own studio and kiln in a part of their garage. She was a very cultured lady, a Smith college graduate from the time when that was a rarity, and she had great artistic taste and talent and had traveled widely. She opened up the world of art to us. There were five of us, Peggy Lawrence, Jean Moment, Emilie Parsons, Ruth Foster and me. I now know that in her perceptive way she realized that we each needed something. After our work in the studio, we would go into her beautiful library and were served an elegant tea in front of the fire. She had a glamorous La Salle roadster with a rumble seat, and Patrick her chauffeur, would deliver us home afterwards. She took us to new York to the Metropolitan Museum, to lunch in a fine restaurant like Sherrys and to the opera and to plays. It was a whole new world to me. These things have been my greatest interest every since. She talked about travel and wonderful things to see in Europe. For years after I was grown she and I shared ideas, and I always went to see her when I visited in the East until she finally died at a very old age.

Aunt Ethel interested me in antiques and she was full of creative ideas. She painted stencils and was an outstanding flower arranger and won many prized in the New York Flower Show for the Plainfield Garden Club. She was a gourmet cook herself in spite of having a regular cook in her household. We always had a lot of fun together and were close friends. She had a great sense of humor and of adventure.

Aunt Edith gave me lessons in painting, perspective and color values and later guided me to go to the Art Students league. She realized that I had no skills to fall back on and after studying for a few years she had me work in her interior decorating business in New York to get some practical experience.

Aunt Susan Tyler
Tyler, Mrs. Cornelius Boardman (Susan Tilden Whittlesey)'25 President 1944 - 1947

Aunt Ethel
Tyler, Mrs. William Seymour (Ethel Van Boskerck) '15

Aunt Edith
Noss, Mrs. Henry (Edith Edwards Tyler) '66

Email April 29, 2012 written by Lucy Van Boskerck Potter Mitchel


Having grown up in Brooklyn, Mother didn't know anything about plants, but she was eager to learn about gardening. The property they bought had originally been a nursery and had many fine large trees, tall pines, oaks, hard wood maples, a tulip tree and locusts in the front of the house. They acquired a good strong Italian gardener, Paul Scalera, who was an immigrant from the Naples area with his wife and numerous children. They lived in South Plainfield about 5 miles away. He used to walk to work and later had a bicycle. The children became educated and eventually were important people in the community. He worked for us for years and we loved and respected him. He was small and gradually grew very stooped. He had dark piercing eyes and a felt hat always somewhat over them. He always spit on his hands before tackling a piece of work with a hoe or a shovel. He seldom washed. He brought delicious thick sandwiches for his lunch filled with sausage and garlic. One day Mother was horrified to discover me in the process of taking a bite which has had offered. She always washed and sterilized everything and my lunches were usually baked potatoes, spinach and lamb chops. I thought his much more exciting. Paul called Mother "the mist" and was "the little mist."

When he first worked for us Mother was upset because he was pulling plants out of the garden and throwing them away. "Paul, what are you doing?" she cried. "He do be die", he told her. One day he appeared with a gift of several little dogwood trees. She was delighted. "Where did you get them, Paul?" "Me catch up at Loiz." Mr. Loizeaux was our neighbor with scads of white Cornus Florida trees in his garden. Mother was embarrassed but could hardly take them back and explain, so she planted them. She bought many more from a nursery and they lined the semi-circular driveway in front of our house with more in back under the tall pine trees.

It was a beautiful garden with stretches of lawn patterned by light and shade. There was a woodsy wild garden with ferns, hypatica, bloodroot, trillium, and masses of fragrant violets, orchids, mertensia and other choice plants, lots of mountain laurel and vivid areas of azaleas. There was a large perennial garden with delphinium, lilies, double campanulas sweet William and other plants. Roses were planted below the terrace. Daddy had a big vegetable garden with grapes and fruit trees as well.

Mother was one of the founders of the Plainfield Garden Club and started the Cornus Arboretum in one of the parks. She was very active in it for years. Every June Mother and Auntie Flo gave two luncheons back-to-back in the garden when everything was in full bloom. It was lovely.

The Swains who bought the house in 1958 have kept up the garden. She was a Loizeaux, so it is fitting that she fell heir to the dogwood trees that Paul gave Mother. There are many birds in the garden: Kentucky cardinals, wrens, orioles, etc.

Sent in April 29, 2012 written by Lucy Von Boskerck Potter Mitchel

Aunt Ethel Tyler was the youngest Van Boskerck. She was also artistic in a very practical manner. Everything she did was in perfect taste. She added warmth and "fun" to whatever she did. She was a gourmet cook and taught me a lot. She had a cook and maids, but did a lot of fine touches herself (CPN: and always cooked when it was the maid's day off. I visited her often when I was in college, and she was my favorite of all the blood relatives after my grandmother Mom Mom died in early 1960). She won many prizes for her flower arrangements for the Plainfield Garden Club in the big NY flower show. Her husband, William Seymour Tyler, came from an old distinguished New England family. He and his brother, Boardman Tyler, shared a law partnership in NY. Their properties on 7th and 8th Streets in Plainfield ran together at the back with fine gardens. Several of their ancestor paintings are now in the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum. The Tylers had Greek and Latin professors from Amherst College in their background.

Uncle Will ( a century ago) was a man for this "green" era. Aunt Ethel and Aunt Susan both had electric cars which had to be battery charged when not used. They were elegant round with windows, steered with a tiller, and always a crystal vase with a rose. At Lake Sunapee he had an electric boat which glided through the water silently and smoothly. Its batteries were also charged in the boat house when not in use. When they built their summer "camp" he did not want to cut down trees, so they grew right up through the broad railings of the porch. The architecture fitted right into the setting. He bought acres of land and cut a trail through it and gave it in perpetuity to the village, as the Nature Conservancy now.

In Plainfield he started the Boy Scouts and was on the town council. Uncle Boardman was chairman of the library board. They were both active in the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. After World War I the milk was very bad, so the two brothers bought more property and started Woodbrook Farms. It was all done hygienically, well pasteurized, and the cows taken care of properly. (CPN note: pasteurization was new to the US in early 1900's and not generally required until several decades later, so these men were ahead of their time in trying to provide healthy milk at a time when typhoid, diphtheria and other such diseases were often caused by impure milk.) Our milk from there was delivered by horse & wagon. Uncle Will's cousin was president of Abercrombie and Fitch, which had the best sporting goods equipment, and was an important store then. I had an "old town" canoe from there, and Uncle Will taught me how to paddle "Indian style", kneeling on the floor. (bottom of the canoe).

Note from Sally Booth:

Jean Moment was the daughter of Dr. Moment the minister of Crescent Ave. Pres. Church. She married Walter Douglas. I don't know if she was a member...I kind of think not. Peggy Lawrence never married. She taught at Spence or Chapin (girl's schools) in NYC I don't know who Ruth Foster married and I would only know her by her married name.

Residence of Charles A. Edwards, 1143 Evergreen Avenue

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

Email Exchange March 2013

Dear Caroline,

Yes, Sally shared your email address – I hope that is okay. I promise we will not pester you too much!

Thank you for your identification of Mrs. Acomb – all agree that you are absolutely correct. We never had a photo of her before and it is wonderful that we do now!

It also makes a lot of sense that she is wearing an Indian sari as she grew up in India. How beautiful!

Sally and the Detwiller family were her patrons and have sent us digital images of their portraits. If you would ever take a photograph of the two portraits you own and would share them, we would love that. In her file we have kept images of all her work that we have found.

It is interesting that you think that one man may be Mr. Noss. Edith Tyler Noss did not officially join the Club in 1966. Perhaps that is why she is not photographed? Maybe there are more photographs somewhere else? We are just so pleased to have discovered these.

I am sorry not to have spoken with your mother as well. What a long, full life she enjoyed. I know the Ladies are looking down and happy we are archiving all their work!

Enjoy Spring and thanks again – Susan

Caroline Normann
Mar 23 (1 day ago) 2013

to Sally, me
Dear Susan, how thoughtful of you to send this to me. I have to imagine that Sally Booth gave you my name and contact information. I am sorry to say the only person who looks at all familiar to me is the lady with the camera and also on the right in #15 of the pdf file, who I think might be Geraldine (Gerry) Acomb. She and my mother (Lucy Van Boskerck Potter Mitchell) and Sally's mother were close friends. I have two portraits Gerry she did, one very large and elegant one of my mother in a Victorian gown that hung in the front hall of my grandparents' home on Prospect Avenue, and another small one of me as a very young child. Sadly none of the other people in your photos look at all familiar with the possible exception of the man on the left in #3 who could be Henry Noss, Ethel's son-in-law, husband of Edith. But I can't imagine if he were there that Edith, Ethel's daughter, would not also have been, and there is no one in any of these photos who looks like Edith. The Nosses did live in Plainfield in 1965, as I used to visit them in the early 1960s. If they attended the event, I"m sure the photographer (Gerry?) would have captured them both, likely with Ethel. Edith wrote a history of the club which is in the archives. He was a devoted gardener (and retired NYU history professor who I believe also served as dept chair for some years). Unless they were away when the event took place I cannot imagine that they were not there. There are also multiple photos and references to all of the Van Boskerck/Tyler members from the beginnings.

I regret being of little help to you and wish my mother were still living. She would have known and delighted in identifying many of them of the older set in attendance, but alas she died in 2010 at 97.

Feel free to ask anything else of me.

Best regards,

On Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM, Plainfield Garden Club <> wrote:
Dear Caroline,

Today we converted old slides into digital photographs and the first event was the 50th Anniversary of the Garden Club in 1965. Attached are several photographs of Mrs. William S. (Ethel Van Boskerck) Tyler who was honored as the last founding member of the club in 1965.

Also attached is a pdf of a reduced quality (the photos are less clear and smaller) of all the slides taken that evening. Would you by chance recognize anyone else in the slides? We can send larger photographs if that would help.

You can also view all our records from 1965 at at this direct link:

1965 50th Anniversary Party

Thank you for any assistance you can offer. We would love to place a name with every face.


Susan Fraser
Plainfield Garden Club
Founded 1915

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Area Historic District

Post Office: Plainfiled
Zip: 07060

Hillside Avenue Historic District
Van Wyck Brooks Historic District

The Crescent Area Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.

Prior to the arrival of the white man, the Lenni-Lenape Indians, part of the Algonquin Tribe, lived in this area of New Jersey. The Ice Age had endowed this area with a protective terrain, productive farmlands and forests and "wonderful pure air and springs." Indian trails became the highways and streets still in use in Plainfield today.Watchung Avenue located in the heart of the Crescent Area Historic District was once one of those trails. Remains of an Indian village and burial grounds have been found in the locality of First, Second and Third Place which are within the boundaries of the Crescent Avenue Historic District.

The first white settlers from Scotland and Holland arrived in the area in the 1680's. The first permanent settler was Thomas Gordon whose home was on Cedarbrook Road adjacent to Crescent Avenue, and whose land holdings covered most of what is present-day Plainfield. The enthusiastic letters back home detailing the healthful climate, plentiful game, fish and fowl, good soil and water brought other settlers to New Jersey, in spite of the "Flee by the salt marshes, most troublesome in the summer." These elements continued through the years to attract new residents.

During the Revolutionary War, patriots from area families served in militia regiments as foot soldiers and officers. An important battle, the Battle of the Short Hills, was fought in the area in June of 1777 and was instrumental in repelling the British in New Jersey. Some of the homes of those who supported the cause of the Revolution still exist today: The Drake House Museum, where Washington rested and briefed his officers, and the Vermule Homestead, where the officers were quartered.
Following the war, industry and transportation began to grow and take on added importance, contributing to the economic prosperity. Plainfield became officially recognized on April 1, 1800 with a population of 215. The Gordon Gazetteer in 1834 gave a glowing account of all the rich resources in Plainfield and noted that "the society is moral and religious."

It was in Plainfield in 1847 that the model for the public school system for the state was devised. Through the efforts of Dr. Charles H. Stillman, Plainfield physician, the New Jersey Legislature empowered the city to raise money by taxation in order to establish a public school system. An account of the day declares, "No one can measure the effect of this enlightened policy in extending the fame of the city and building up its prosperity." Many of the people who were active in education and cultural activities lived within the bounds of the Crescent Area Historic District.

The most influential force to the development of Plainfield was the railroad, which brought about a change in the social and economic character of the town. When a direct connection was made between Plainfield and New York City, c.1850, Plainfield became a commuter town.

During the Civil War, many local residents were involved in the fighting. General Sterling, a general on McCleland's staff, built his home and settled on First Place after the War.

Job Male, a philanthropist, who became known as "Plainfield's Grand Old Man", settled in Plainfield in 1867, following the Civil War. An inventor, he had simplified the loading of ferry slips with a patented leveling device. He purchased with Evan Jones, twenty four acres of land "in the suburbs and laid it out in village lots and streets and erected twenty substantial residences of fine architectural design, drawing the plans for them all himself." He was his own contractor and owned a greater part of the land that includes Crescent Avenue and Watchung Avenue. He designed a particularly distinctive style of architecture "stucco-walled, Mansard roofed, still standing today." He continued to build homes in different parts of the city until his possessions included more than one hundred Plainfield houses. His obituary notice in 1891 noted that "his purse always ready to respond to the calls of deserving charity." He was a public benefactor, making possible the Public Library and the Job Male Art Gallery, and donating the land for the hospital, the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Unitarian Church.

A Central New Jersey Times account in 1870 of "Our Town Improvements" wrote, "The improvements in building is the expression of a spirit that leads to progressive movements in other directions. The old houses are not recognizable with tints of brown and cream and olive, their plain roofs metamorphosed by pediments, fancy gables and cornices, their primitive simplicity converted into modern beauty by wings, bay windows, recessed projections and every variety of architectural development." The writer further comments on the "new houses, with their aspiring towers, French roofs and cupolas." It was the kind of community that led the Elizabeth Herald in May of 1888 to write, "The bustling activity of the city of remarkable." And to conclude, "The next move in Plainfield, no doubt, will be the horse cars."
Plainfield had become a fashionable summer resort and eventually attracted many wealthy New York businessmen to settle here year 'round. The Gas Light Age evokes memories of Plainfield with theatricals, minstrel shows, roller rinks and other forms of entertainment. The site of many hotels, the Netherwood was reputed to be one of the "most healthful, comfortable and accessible inland summer resorts in the country."

By 1890, with substantial wealth and improvements, Plainfield continued to advance and prosper, attracting people of substance to live here. As successful businessmen and their families settled in the Crescent Avenue area, they became active in the cultural, religious, and educational affairs of the city. James W. Jackson, William D. Murray both served as presidents of the newly-formed YMCA. Henry C. Squires established the Hope Chapel on January 1, 1888 as a branch of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Augustus Baldwin worked closely with Job Male in establishing the first free public library and the art gallery. In 1883 some of the first subscribers to "the last word in modern efficiency," the telephone, lived in the District: George Goddard, F.O. Herring, Leander Lovell, and the Dumond family. Many served as members of the Common Council.

After Job Male's death, Plainfield continued to be a highly desirable neighborhood and remained that way until the 1930's, when many of the large homes were converted to apartments. This process continues with single family residences almost non-existent today. The alterations for the most part are tastefully done and are not detrimental to the basic style and charm of the original building. This makes for a particularly fine collection of buildings appropriate to an Historic District.
Notes on Recollections of Long-time Residents of the Area
Longtime residents of Plainfield have been interviewed regarding their recollections of famous residents of this area. Those persons interviewed were Mrs. Lawrence Heely, Mrs. Henry Noss, Mrs. Dorothy Wills, Mrs. Helen Mygatt, Mr. John Harmon, Miss Gwen Cochran, Mrs. Dorothy DeHart, Miss Dorothy Leal, Mr. Alfred Genung, Mr. Alex Kroll, Mr. A.L.C. Marsh, Mrs. Hendrick Van Oss and others.

Many people have lived there who were outstanding in cultural fields, education and politics, as well as very successful professional and business men, active both locally and in New York City. Also educators and statesmen lived here.

John Carlson, a renown artist and member of the National Academy lived on 3rd Place as did Alex Seidel who achieved international fame for his designs for Steuben Glass. Another prominent artist who lived here was Thomas Hart Benton whose brother lived for many years on Crescent Avenue. Also William Gilbert, a well known illustrator, lived on Crescent Avenue.

The author of the White Cliffs of Dover, Alice Duer Miller, A. Van Dorn Honeyman, the famous historian, lived on 9th Street, and also Van Wyk Brooks another well-known author. Ernest Ackerman, a representative in U.S. Congress in the 1870's and his brother Marion Ackerman, who lived on Crescent Avenue, founded the Lone Star Cement Company and were deeply involved in many large national important financial and industrial enterprises.

The famous opera singer, Mario Caruso, married a Goddard and was frequently a visitor to Plainfield to the Goddard House at 213 East 9th Street. This family had a profound influence on the musical advancement of the entire area.

The area abounded in lawyers, judges and politicians, including four Mayors of Plainfield, and people in the foreign service for 25 years, such as Hendrick Van Oss, most recently served as ambassador to Madagascar and other countries.

The Crescent Avenue area was truly the heart of the town and boasted the most important and influential people of the period 1860 through 1920. The homes of these people reflect their taste, affluence and are a tangible piece of architectural history reflecting a glorious past.

The Crescent Area Historic District is a great deal more than a lot of old houses. It is probably one of the finest collections of Victorian architecture in the country. The term Victorian is all inclusive and embraces numerous styles that echo tastes and decorative devices of other periods of architecture from other countries and other times than the one in which the present buildings were constructed. The majority of these have what in architectural terms is referred to as Italianate which stems from the architectural styles popular in Italy going back as far as Byzantine derivative styles, and 15th century Venetian palaces. These variety of design styles result in the sudden surge of interest in European cultures and an attempt by the suddenly successful and new class of wealthy businessmen who were anxious to reflect their success in the work of finance in their homes. These interests were stimulated by their travels abroad and what they had seen, which was considered elegant. Thus we have Tuscan towers, Italian villas, Palazzo's with loggia and arcaded window and arches, Renaissance, Egyptian motifs, classical elements, and finally the exuberant eclectic styles throwing the more American traits of Carpenter Gothic and Stick style in for good measure. English architecture is also reflected with half timber, projecting gables, Eastlake influence, Queen Anne and Edwardian styles. The detail photos of these buildings reflect the painstaking craftsmanship of the builders and imaginative design abilities of the architects. It is truly a tangible record of the past which should be preserved as close to its original state as practical, in their new role of many being converted for multi-family use.

The Crescent Area Historic District is one of the finest collections of suburban Victorian architecture in New Jersey. Developed as a speculative real estate venture in the 1870's by Job Male, the buildings are an impressive presentation of Italianate and Second Empire style architecture of the mid to late 19th century. The houses were primarily designed for wealthy businessmen and, consequently, visages within the district still retain a fine elegance in their total ambiance of buildings and their association with landscaping, rustic streets, sidewalks, and trees.

Blumenson, John J.G. Identifying American Architecture
Central New Jersey Times, 1870-1885.
Clayton, W. Woodford. History of Union & Middlesex Counties, 1882.
Cochran, Jean Carter. The History of Crescent Avenue Church
The Courier News, History of Plainfield, 1964.
The Courier News, November 1-4-8, 1954.
Devlin, Harry. To Grandfather's House We Go.
Downey, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses.
The Drake House Museum & The Plainfield Public Library, Scrapbooks and Files.
Dunham, F.A. Atlas City of Plainfield and Boro of North Plainfield, 1894.
Fitzgerald & Co. (Pub.). Springfield, Massachusetts, Plainfield City Directory, 1876-7.
Gowans, Alan. Images of American Living.
Honeyman, A. Van Dorn. History of Union County, Volumes I, II, & III.
Lapsley, Howard G. History of Plainfield, 1942.
League of Women Voters. This is Plainfield, 1954.
McCabe, Wayne. Historic Tour – Plainfield, N.J.
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Area, N.J.
Pub. by Plainfield Courier News. Plainfield & Vicinity in Pictures, 1926.
Plainfield Daily Press, Friday & Saturday, January 30, 31, 1891.
Plainfield Evening News, Saturday, May 23, 1888.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1879-80.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1894-5.
Pratt, Dorothy & Richard, A Guide to Early American Homes.
Smiley, F.T. History of Plainfield, 1891.
† Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., A.I.A., Architect and Marilyn Rupp, Architectural Historian, Crescent Area Historic District, Union County, New Jersey, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1974-1975 Directory

June 6, 1992 Historical Society of Plainfield Secret Gardens Tour

June 6, 1992 Historical Society of Plainfield Secret Gardens Tour

1. Drake House
2. Shakespeare Garden
3. Victorian Hideaway, 935 Madison Avenue

4. Holly, Box and Ivy, 836 Arlington Avenue
King, Mrs. Victor R. (Elizabeth J.) '48

5. Green-Wreathed Carriage House, 825 Carlton Avenue
Lare, Mrs. William Sloane (Dorothy) '54

This is the Carriage House to 1127 Watchung Avenue
Ginna, Mrs. Daniel F. (Katherine Whiting Lewis) '15

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

7. Hillside in Bloom, 1314 Highland Avenue
Noss, Mrs. Henry (Edith Edwards Tyler) '66

A drive, swathed in daylilies, coralbells and iris, wanders back to the vision of an open, sunlit meadow beside a shady wood. Only steps from an urban intersection lies a naturalist's paradise, alive with the hum of insect life in conversation with the earth. The garden spills over its hillside like a mountain stream, swirling into curling waves of color and quiet eddies of bloom. Residents of the mellow, terraced cottage atop the slope need only step outside to view the world in microcosm, secure from unwelcome distractions.

The hand of a scholarly plantsman has been at work on the hill. Plants native to the North American continent coexist happily with varieties from far corners of the globe. Exbury azalea from England stands should to shoulder with Carolina azalea. Japanese iris and oriental poppies come into bloom as Dutch tulips fade. French tarragon grows close by English rosemary and Japanese bunching onion. Honeysuckle from old Tartary partners that from New England, Confederate violets at its feet. In the grove, London plan trees, similar to our sycamore, raise majestic crowns. From their leafy cover, goldfinches, chickadees and wrens make daring raids on unique, turkey-wire feeders, invented by the gardener to protect ground-feeding songbirds from predators and the competition larger birds present.

Soil preparation and enrichment, weed and pest control and regulated irrigation are constants in the gardener's life. The tools of that life – compost, hose and hoe, pruner, stake and spade – are symbols of the labor required in every garden plot. Vigorous growth is the reward.

It takes time to absorb the many attractions of a garden on this scale, so settle on a nearby bench hand-painted with ivy, sweet peas and hydrangeas to compliment the gardener's handiwork. Fooled by artful imitation, a butterfly, one of nature's airborne blossoms, may join you for a moment.

8. Elegant Serenity, 1332 Prospect Avenue
Van Boskerck, Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) '15

9. Hidden Harmony, 1401 Chetwynd Avenue

10. Petals on the Paving, 1081 Rahway Road
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65

11. Woodland Idyll, 1275 Denmark Road
Sandford, Mrs. Webster (Barbara Tracy) '50

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)

Edith Tyler Noss donates a wedding dress, breeches and coat. The bridal gown dates to 1869. The bride who wore it was Mrs. Noss' grandmother, Eliza Margaret Schroeter. Eliza first married Colonel Mason Whiting Tyler who fought in the Civil War. Eliza's grandfather, Elija Boardman (1760-1823) was a U.S. Senator from 1821 to his death in 1823. His white satin breeches and coat and the wedding gown are stored at the Drake House.

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Edith Noss 1978

Noss, Mrs. Henry Boyer (Edith Edwards Tyler) '66

1332 Prospect Avenue, Plainfield NJ 07060

1332 Prospect Avenue, Plainfield NJ 07060

Three photos of the home & garden of Plainfield Garden Club founding member Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck '15 located at 1332 Prospect Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey 07060

Home of Mrs. Noss' aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck '15


Lucy Winslow Van Boskerck (Potter) Mitchell (daughter of founding PGC member Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck, with her Aunt, Mrs. William Seymour (Ethel Van Boskerck) Tyler '15 and her cousin, Mrs. Edward Hume (Margaret Rowe Tyler) Clendenin '44 and her husband Edward Hume Clendenin in front of Mrs. William S. Tyler's home at 520 West 8th Street, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Mrs. William Seymour (Ethel Van Boskerck) '15 is Mrs. Noss' mother.
Mrs. Edward Hume (Margaret Rowe Tyler) '44 is Mrs. Noss' sister.

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

May 2, 2021 Update on the Plainfield Symphony June 5th Garden Tour


Brenda has shared the gardens that will be on the June 5th Plainfield Symphony Tour

#1: 701 Belvedere Avenue - start of tour for pick up of brochure and map
#2: Belvedere Avenue - enter via laneway on Park Place
#3: 837 Berkeley Avenue
#4: 1314 Highland Avenue [Former home of PGC member Mrs. Henry (Edith Edwards Tyler) Noss '66]
#5: 1419 Evergreen Avenue
#6: 1440 Martine Avenue [Former PGC member Tim Kirby '13 and on 2014 tour. See here and here.]
#7: 1001 Rahway Avenue [Former home of Mrs. George Washington (Agnes Warren Fraker) '32 and Mrs. Roswell H. (Louise Cornell) Rausch '65]
#8: Shakespeare Garden

While strolling in the neighborhood, consult THIS LIST of all the former grand homes of PGC members – they are in alphabetical order by street. Maybe you can spy a special specimen tree or garden ornament that was most likely added to the property by one of our historical ladies!

A few notes from our irrepressible Brenda:
1. a revised SAVE the DATE card will be sent to you as some of the gardens had not been seen by a couple of us on the committee and we absolutely will need an extra hour for the tour so revision will read from noon till 4 pm.

2. I am planning on having musicians at the SG from sometime after 2:30 as most people will stay East of Park Avenue to see the local gardens.

3. Hope to have a ‘plein air' artist around that time too although SG is part of their four spots for a Sunday ‘plein air' event. It's still in the works.

Please sign up to serve as a docent in the garden here.