Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Murray, Mrs. James Everett (Alice Marshall) '20

148 Rockview Terrace, North Plainfield (1922)

1925 Meeting Minutes "Mrs C. E. Murray" and Mrs. C. Everett Murray

1928 Treasurer Book April 15th $5.00 Listed as Mrs. Everett Murray
1929 Treasurer Book Active $5.00 "Mrs. E. Murray"

No Mention after 1932

Possibly related to the following members:

Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19
Roome, Mrs. John Stanton (Dolores Murray or "Dody") '5
Rushmore, Mrs. Murray (Helen Joy)
Rushmore, Mrs. Townsend (Jean Murray) '20

Washington Park Historic District North Plainfield


Saturday, December 10, 4:00 - 9:00 PM. Tour starts at Church of the Holy Cross, corner of Washington and Mercer Avenues.

Founded in 1988, North Plainfield's only historic district will be featured in a Holiday house tour titled 'Architectural Treasures of North Plainfield'. Nine of the District's homes – mostly Victorians – will be featured, all dressed up for the Christmas holidays.

Tickets are $25 the day of the tour and may be purchased the Holy Cross Church, the tour's starting point, where maps will also be available.

Dear Washington Park Association:

Please link our website to your website. We
will do the same.

Plainfield Garden Club was established in 1915 and many of our early
members were residents of North Plainfield. You can read about the 250+
ladies on the website under "History"

Probably most notable was founding member Mrs. Charles Walter (Mary
Isabella Simpson)McCutchen '15

Other North Plainfield-Plainfield Garden Club Residents include:

Campbell Mabel C. Raper Mrs. William Hall 1928
Eaton Mary Winifred Parlin Mrs. Charles Aubrey 1915
Fleming Helen Hyde Mrs. Austin Lloyd 1919
Foster Fannie C. Groendyke Mrs. John Gray 1915
Hackman Elizabeth or "Betty" Reppert Mrs. Robert K. 1970
Howell Romaine Ray Mrs. Josephus H. 1922
Hyde Helen Miss 1917
Hyde Elilzabeth Kepler Mrs. Charles L. 1917
Hyde Carolyn Knowland Mrs. Frank de Lacey 1919
McGee Emma Louise Whiting Mrs. Henry Augustus 1922
McGee Sarah M. Howell Mrs. Henry Livingston "Harry" 1918
McGee Mary Alice Yerkes Mrs. Walter Miller 1922
Middledith Sarah Augusta Flanders Mrs. James F. 1920
Morison Fanny C. Lemmon Mrs. Nathaniel H. 1916
Murray Mrs. J. Everett 1920
Tingley Miss Dorothea 1932
Trewin Annette Mrs. C. Sidney 1945
Wells Mrs. Henry C. 1920
Wells Nancy G. Mrs. John R., Jr. 1957

We have just begun to post our archival information on line. If
interested, we could send you the addresses of these members. We are
always interested in learning more about them and welcome photographs of
their homes and gardens.

Enjoy the season -

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

The program lists Mr. and Mrs. Brian Murray – relations?

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

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

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

Residence of C. E. Murray, 148 Rockview 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

Davidson Descendants

John Hanrahan
This presents the descendant lines recorded in my database.
Open the Bookmarks Tab to see my Ancestral lines.
Pages tab will make it faster to get to a page.
Index will provide a list of names with page numbers those names can be found.
Descendants of James Davidson
*1 James Davidson b: in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
.. +Mary Struther b: in Norman Scotland or Norham, Northumberland, England m: 09 September 1796 in Berwick-upon-
Tweed, Northumberland, England
... 2 William Davidson b: 27 May 1797 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
... 2 Eleanor Davidson b: 22 March 1799 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
....... +Cornelius S. Nesbit b: in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England m: Abt. 1836
........ 3 Eleanor Nesbit b: 1837 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England d: 1926 York, England
... 2 Bridget Davidson b: 10 May 1801 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
... 2 Roger Davidson b: 20 August 1803 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England d: Bef. 1806 Berwick-upon-
Tweed, Northumberland, England
... 2 George Davidson b: 14 July 1804 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
....... +Ann Struthers
*... 2 Roger Davidson b: 19 April 1806 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England d: 11 May 1875 Plainfield, New
....... +Jean Bertram b: 22 April 1808 in Parish of Stobo, Peebleshire, Scotland d: 06 April 1857 New York City, New York
m: Abt. 1830 in Berwick-on-Tweed, England
........ 3 James Davidson b: Bef. 1834 in Scotland
............ +Elsie Baverstock/Bavistock
........ 3 Elizabeth Davidson b: 05 February 1834 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England d: 13 January 1912
New York City
............ +Stephen Eugene Kirby b: Abt. 1830 in New York City m: Abt. 1855 in Possibly New York
............. 4 Jean Bertram Kirby b: Abt. 1856 in New York
................. +Filley
............. 4 Frederick E. Kirby b: Abt. 1858 in New York
Descendants of James Davidson
............. 4 Mary S. Kirby b: Abt. 1860 in New York
................. +Thomas J. Knowles
............. 4 John Kirby b: Bet. 1860 - 1870 in New York
........ 3 Mary Struthers Davidson b: 01 April 1835 in New York
............ +John W. Murray, Sr. b: Abt. 1835 in Scotland d: Bet. 1890 - 1900 Not listed on 1900 Census m: Abt. 1856 in
Probably in New York
............. 4 William D. Murray b: July 1858 in New York
................. +Mary b: October 1860 in New York m: Abt. 1893 in New York/New Jersey
............. 4 John W. Murray, Jr. b: November 1860 in New York
................. +Amelia b: October 1861 in Rhode Island m: Abt. 1882 in New York/New Jersey
............. 4 Jean Bertram Murray b: Abt. 1862 in New York
................. +Townshed Rushmore

............. 4 Roger F. Murray b: 06 December 1864 in New York d: Bet. 1922 - 1923
................. +Nettie M. Hetfield b: Abt. 1869 in New Jersey
............. 4 Augusta R Murray b: Abt. 1867 in New York
................. +A. A. Tilney

............. 4 Mary Stephens Murray b: Abt. 1869 in New Jersey
................. +Joseph W. Sandford

............. 4 James E. Murray b: Abt. 1871 in New Jersey
................. +Alice Marshall

............. 4 Walter L. Murray b: Abt. 1873 in New Jersey
Descendants of James Davidson
................. +Mary Van Horn
*........ 3 Jane Davidson b: 15 November 1836 in , Rockland, New York d: 01 January 1914 Iowa
............ +Cornelius V. Anderson, Sr. b: 19 April 1835 in New York City, New York, New York d: 15 May 1895 Davenport,
Scott, Ia., US m: 28 December 1858 in New York, New York Co, New York
............. 4 Cornelius V. Anderson, Jr. b: Abt. October 1858 in Died 1 month after birth d: Abt. 25 November 1858
Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
............. 4 Jane Elizabeth "Jen" Anderson b: 09 June 1859 in Williams, Brooklyn, Kings, New York d: 19 July 1923
Possible Davenport, Scott, Iowa
................. +Fred Genslinger b: Abt. 1862 in Illinois d: 02 March 1928 Possible Davenport, Scott, Iowa m: Bef. 1894 in
............. 4 Eleanor "Ella" Anderson b: 06 May 1860 in New York d: 04 July 1888 Chicago, Cook, Ill
............. 4 Emma Louise Anderson b: 1863 in New York d: 1874 Illinois
*............. 4 Elizabeth "Libby" Anderson b: 23 September 1865 in Brooklyn, New York, New York, US d: 03 January 1951
DeWitt, Clinton, Ia., US
................. +Charles Francis Kent b: 05 June 1863 in Davenport, Scott, Ia., US d: 21 June 1944 DeWitt, Clinton, Ia., US
m: 09 May 1893 in Davenport, Scott, Ia, U.S.
............. 4 Benjamin N. "Ben" Anderson, Sr. b: 25 September 1867 in New Jersey d: 02 October 1959 Ilinois/California
................. +Madge VanPelt b: Abt. 25 December 1874 in Louisiana d: Ilinois/California m: 16 March 1897 in Possible
Chicago, Cook, Illinois
............. 4 Cornelia V. "Nealie" Anderson b: 08 April 1871 in Chicago, Ill d: 05 November 1941 DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa
............. 4 Frederick Eugene Anderson b: 16 February 1873 in Chicago, Cook, Ill d: 17 December 1917 Iowa
................. +Arianna Lorton b: 14 July m: Aft. 1910
........ 3 Eleanor "Ella" Davidson b: 16 July 1838 in New York City, New York d: 25 January 1908 Flushing, New York City,
New York
............ +Joseph/James Knowles, Sr. b: 10 February 1839 in New York City, New York d: 23 December 1916 Flushing,
New York City, New York m: 22 April 1861 in Probably in New York
Descendants of James Davidson
............. 4 James Knowles, Jr. d: Died 4 1/2 years old
............. 4 Andrew Anderson Knowles b: Abt. 1864
................. +Anna Coles
............. 4 Charles E. Knowles b: Abt. 1866
................. +Jean N. Nesmith/Nesenilth
............. 4 Jean Bertram Knowles b: 31 March 1867 in New York d: 12 January 1954 Dundas, Ontairo, Canada
................. +Thomas A. Bertram b: 16 January 1864 in Dundas, Ontario, Canada d: 07 June 1954 Dundas, Ontairo,
Canada m: 02 November 1888 in Dundas, Ontario, Canada
............. 4 Elizabeth G. "Lyde" Knowles b: Abt. 1870 in New York
............. 4 William W. Knowles b: Abt. 1872
................. +Suzanne Rockwell
............. 4 Eleanor D. Knowles b: Abt. 1871 in New York
................. +Charles J. Lainge b: in Canada m: Abt. 1902 in ?New York
............. 4 Mary S. Knowles b: Abt. 1877 in New York
................. +Edward Chester Beard b: Abt. 1875 in Connecticut m: Abt. 1916 in New York
........ 3 William Davidson b: Abt. 1841
........ 3 Delia/Adelia Davidson b: 26 February 1845 in New York d: 06 January 1925 Probably in New Jersey
............ +Eric Nicholas Erickson b: 1844 in Norway d: Bef. 1900 New York/New Jersey m: Abt. 1867 in Probably in New
............. 4 Jean Bertram Erickson b: Abt. 1868
................. +James Hallock
............. *2nd Husband of Jean Bertram Erickson:
................. +Henry Hall
Descendants of James Davidson
............. 4 Julius E. Erickson b: May 1870 in New York
................. +Ida L. Haywood b: January 1872 in New Jersey m: Abt. 1896 in New Jersey
............. 4 Roger W. Erickson b: June 1872 in New York
............. 4 Eric N Erickson b: August 1879 in New Jersey
... 2 James Davidson b: 15 October 1808 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
... 2 Mary Davidson b: 11 March 1811 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
....... +Thomas Marshall b: in Of or near London
... 2 Margaret D. Davidson b: 1814 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England d: 1850 England
....... +Leonord Hazelden b: Abt. 05 July 1807 in Framfield, England d: England m: Bef. 1833 in England
........ 3 Leonard Hazelden b: Abt. 30 June 1833
........ 3 Mary Hazelden b: Abt. 01 May 1836
........ 3 Maria Hazelden b: 21 February 1838
........ 3 Bridget Davidson Hazelden b: Abt. 19 August 1842
........ 3 William Hazelden b: Abt. 1845
........ 3 James Davidson Hazelden b: Abt. 1847
Index of Individuals
Amelia -
Unnamed: 2
Anderson -
Benjamin N. , Sr. (aka: Ben): 3
Cornelia V. (aka: Nealie): 3
Cornelius V. , Jr.: 3
Cornelius V. , Sr.: 3
Eleanor (aka: Ella): 3
Elizabeth (aka: Libby): 3
Emma Louise: 3
Frederick Eugene: 3
Jane Elizabeth (aka: Jen): 3
Baverstock/Bavistock -
Elsie: 1
Beard -
Edward Chester: 4
Ben -
(name: Benjamin N. Anderson, Sr.): 3
Bertram -
Jean: 1
Thomas A.: 4
Coles -
Anna: 4
Davidson -
Bridget: 1
Delia/Adelia: 4
Eleanor: 1
Eleanor (aka: Ella): 3
Elizabeth: 1
George: 1
James: 1
James: 5
James: 1
Jane: 3
Margaret D.: 5
Mary: 5
Mary Struthers: 2
Roger: 1
Roger: 1
William: 1
William: 4
Ella -
(name: Eleanor Davidson): 3
(name: Eleanor Anderson): 3
Erickson -
Eric N: 5
Eric Nicholas: 4
Jean Bertram: 4
Julius E.: 5
Roger W.: 5
Filley -
Unnamed: 1
Genslinger -
Fred: 3
Hall -
Henry: 4
Hallock -
James: 4
Haywood -
Ida L.: 5
Hazelden -
Bridget Davidson: 5
James Davidson: 5
Leonard: 5
Leonord: 5
Maria: 5
Mary: 5
William: 5
Hetfield -
Nettie M.: 2
Jen -
(name: Jane Elizabeth Anderson): 3
Kent -
Charles Francis: 3
Kirby -
Frederick E.: 1
Jean Bertram: 1
John: 2
Mary S.: 2
Stephen Eugene: 1
Knowles -
Andrew Anderson: 4
Charles E.: 4
Eleanor D.: 4
Elizabeth G. (aka: Lyde): 4
James , Jr.: 4
Jean Bertram: 4
Joseph/James , Sr.: 3
Mary S.: 4
Thomas J.: 2
William W.: 4
Lainge -
Charles J.: 4
Libby -
(name: Elizabeth Anderson): 3
Lorton -
Arianna: 3
Lyde -
(name: Elizabeth G. Knowles): 4
Marshall -
Alice: 2
Thomas: 5
Mary -
Unnamed: 2
Murray -
Augusta R: 2
James E.: 2
Jean Bertram: 2
John W. , Jr.: 2
John W. , Sr.: 2
Mary Stephens: 2
Roger F.: 2
Walter L.: 2
William D.: 2
Nealie -
(name: Cornelia V. Anderson): 3
Nesbit -
Cornelius S.: 1
Eleanor: 1
Nesmith/Nesenilth -
Jean N.: 4
Rockwell -
Suzanne: 4
Rushmore -
Townshed: 2
Sandford -
Joseph W.: 2
Struther -
Mary: 1
Struthers -
Ann: 1
Tilney -
A. A.: 2
Van Horn -
Mary: 3
Van Pelt -
Madge: 3

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. W. F. Murray
55 Rockview Terrace, N.P.

Mrs. R. F. Murray
901 Madison Avenue

November 2, 1894 New York Times

Sanford - Murray

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Nov. 1 – There was a brilliant wedding in the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church at 7:30 o'clock this evening, when Miss Minnie Breckinridge Murray, daughter of John W. Murray of the German Insurance Company of New York, was married to Joseph Webster Sandford, Jr., son of Joseph W. Sanford of Westervelt Avenue. A large assemblage of society people witnessed the event. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, pastor of the church, performed the ceremony. The church was elaborately decorated with palms and chyrsanthemums.

The bride wore a handsome gown of white corded silk and carried a bouquet of beautiful roses. The maid of honor was Miss Augusta Knox Murray. The bridesmaids were Miss Stella Place, Miss May Sanford, and Miss May Grace Brewster of New York. Albert Tilney was best man. The ushers were Percy H. Stewart, George S. Beebe, Howard W. Beebe, Fred W. Walz, Walter F. Murray, and James E. Murray. A reception followed at the home of the bride's parents.

1925 Meeting Minutes

Referenced Mrs. C. E. Murray as a participating member

April 8, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 27, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 27, 1925 Meeting Minutes

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

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.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Application to the National Register of Historic Places

737-41 Watchung Avenue
The circular side porch is a most significant feature and is one of the few original porches extant in the District. The projecting bay on the south-east has outstanding leaded glass treatment. Interesting alternating triple and double brackets on the porch fascia. Wooden incised lintels with Gothic peak in the Eastlake manner.

In 1895, the home of W. H Murray, "Physician"

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

December 28, 2014

Local blogger Dan Damon wrote this article, Suspicious fire at historic Plainfield building, regarding a fire at the Samuel W. Rushmore building on South Avenue. Many Rushmore relatives have been members of the PGC including current Affiliate Member Ginny Rushmore.

To learn more about this prominent family, click on these member albums:

Rushmore, Mrs. Murray (Helen Joy)
Rushmore, Mrs. Townsend (Jean Betram Murray) '20
Joy, Mrs. James R. (Emma Prentice McGee) '33
Mooney, Mrs. Wandell McMaster (Alice Joy McGee) '47
Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19
Murray, Mrs. James Everett (Alice Marshall) '20
Roome, Mrs. John Stanton (Dolores or "Dody" Murray) '57
Tilney, Mrs. Albert Arthur (Augusta R. Murray) '20
McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Susan M. Howell) '18
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22
Lockwood, Mrs. Frederick M. (Hazel Marshall) '52
Lockwood, Mrs. William L. (Amy M.) '25
Marshall, Mrs. Henry P. (Dorothy Burke) '30
Howell, Mrs. Josephus Halsey (Romaine Ray) '22
Chambliss, Mrs. Leopold A. (Anna Scott Yerkes) '50
Eddy, Mrs. Charles Brown (Ellen Coolidge Burke) '15

And through marriage on her husband's side, the late Mrs. Webster (Barbara Tracy) Sandford '50.

Plainfield firefighters responded early Saturday evening to a suspicious fire in a historic factory structure at South Avenue and Berckman Street.

The complex of three buildings, parts of which are over a hundred years old, most recently housed the Royal Apex Company, a manufacturer of gutters and other metal and plastic extruded products. The buildings have been vacant since 2007, when Royal Apex was bought out by Berger Building Products, Inc., and operations were moved to Pennsylvania.

Originally, the buildings housed the Rushmore Dynamo Works, owned by Plainfield entrepreneur and inventor Samuel W. Rushmore. Rushmore made his fortune in patents and manufacturing several key improvements in automobile technology.

Among his notable inventions – or improvements on those of others – are the automatic starter, cooling systems for internal combustion engines, the flared automobile headlamp, a searchlight, and locomotive headlights. At one time, half of all the automatic starters used in American automobiles were manufactured in the Plainfield location.

Rushmore sold the business in 1914 to the Bosch Magneto Company, with the proviso that the Rushmore name be used on its products for a number of years. When Bosch violated the terms of the agreement, Rushmore successfully sued (see here) for $100,000 (which would be over $2 million today).

Bosch, a German company with a U.S. branch, established a separate U.S. corporation, headquartered in New York City. Because of suspicions of its owners' loyalty, Bosch was nationalized in both the First and Second World Wars – with control returning to private hands in 1948.

Though several area fire companies responded to the blaze, it was quickly brought under control. A source told me the fire is suspected to be arson, a determination that will be made officially by arson investigators.

Monday Afternoon Club Membership