Plainfield Garden Club








1931 Archives

See "Alice Harding"

http://andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=plainfield-garden-club&type=3683

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

Dedication Rock

This photo was found in the Plainfield Library archives 2010 with the date "1939" but it may be from the original installation which has been documented in 1931.

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

Changes made in By-Laws 1931 - 1932

Treasurer's Book from Mrs. Morrell

Treasurer's Book from Mrs. Morrell

Treasurer's Book from Mrs. Morrell

Treasurer's Book from Mrs. Morrell

Mountainside Garden Club formed in 1931

http://www.thejointlibrary.org/archives/books/FanwoodFireCompany/pg_0036.pdf

Mrs. Stephen G. (Eva Lemira) Van Hoesen '21

that "the trunk of the tree occupies the entire walk in front of
the Henry L. Jesperson home." Mrs. Van Hoesen was also
charter member of the Mountainside Garden Club that was
formed in 1931. She was instrumental in assisting the New
Jersey State Garden Club in their effort towards establishing
the "Blue Star Drive" along Route 29 (now Route 22) from
Mountainside to North Plainfield. This drive honored the men
and women who served in World War II and was called a living
tribute to all of the New Jersey soldiers. Five thousand flowering
dogwood trees were planted along this six mile stretch of
road. Many Fanwood residents donated money towards the
purchase of these trees. The name Blue Star Drive was chosen
as it represented the blue star on the service flags that hung in
the windows of servicemen's homes. Blue Star Drive was
dedicated on October 10, 1944. Mrs. Van Hoesen was also
responsible for the Fanwood tradition of decorating a live
Christmas tree at the Fanwood railroad station. In 1924 as a
Fanwood resident and member of the National Tree Planting Association she urged the Fanwood council to invest in a live tree to be planted on the Fanwood Station Park grounds. In 1926 a live tree was planted at a cost of one hundred and fifty dollars by the borough and decorated for the Christmas season.

1931 Treasurer Book

from Anne Shepherd's memorabilia

August 17, 2012 – This note in Anne's handwriting was found in her file for the garden club. A good guess would be that she wrote this down at perhaps a club meeting at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday, May 8, 1956

Tea to Honor Pioneer in Planting of Dogwood

Almost as though it had the power of imagination, the dogwood in Cornus (Dogwood) Dr., Cedar Brook Park, is expected to reach its annual stage of flowering beauty this week.

For tomorrow, at 4 p.m., members of the Plainfield Garden Club and its Cornus Arboretum Committee will hold a tea and reception to honor two pioneers in the 25-year-ago development of what has become the most outstanding horticultural display in this section of the country.

They are Mrs. Thomas van Boskerck and Miss Harriette R. Halloway and the tribute will be paid to them in the Field House of Cedar Brook Park, with Mrs. Robert T. Stevens acting as chairman, assisted by Mrs. Georges J. His and Mrs. William K. Dunbar Jr.

Commission Cooperated

Mrs. Van Boskerck suggested the planting of a vacant space in Cedar Brook park – then under development – with dogwood, in 1931, a suggestion which aroused immediately the interest of the Garden Club members. Support came from Miss Halloway and the then club president, Mrs. Henry Wells. Cooperation of the Union County Park Commission was obtained.

In 1940, plans were made for an extended planting, with Mrs. William A. Holliday and Mrs. William Tyler as co-chairmen. They approached the Park Commission and that body furnished a large boulder and suitable tablet for the drive entrance.

The 1931 planting had included 78 white and 17 pink dogwoods. In 1940, another 110 were added, on both sides of the drive. The Park Commission added a background of evergreens to make the setting even more attractive.

Plantings Expanded

The suggestion of W. R. Tracey of the commission led, in 1946, to further expansion of the plantings into a full arboretum. In its development, the advice and cooperation of Ralph H. Carver of the commission, was an important factor.

There are now 45 varieties of dogwood in the Arboretum, and some young trees are grown to add to the arboretum in the commission's nurseries. So extensive was the local display grown that it now is necessary to exchange with other arboretums in the nations, since the average nursery no longer has the capacity to supply rare and beautiful varieties.

By request, articles on the Cedar Brook Arboretum have been written for the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America and the Bulletin of the Arboretum organization in Seattle, Wash.

Dr. Donald Wyman, head of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., has listed the Cedar Brook plantings in his authoritative "Arboretums and Botanical Gardens of America," a unique distinction.

One rare species is the "Cornus Nuttalli," native of the West Coast from British Columbia to Seattle, Wash. Told that it had once held a single bloom here, Dr. Wyman was astounded.

This year, the rare tree, planted by Miss Halloway, has nine buds.

Tuesday, May 8, 1956

Saturday, May 21, 1966 Something to Be proud of . . . Many Worked Together for County Park Displayt

Caption: DOGWOOD IN FLOWER – Cedar Brook Park's Dogwood Arboretum is a horticultural collection of 61 varieties that is the pride of Plainfield Garden Club and the Union County Park Commission. The display of dogwood blossoms is not the showiest, but it's the most complete in the country. Each year the trees in bloom are a joy to those who visit the planting or follow the drive through Cedar Brook Park. The trees in the Cornus Collections line both sides of the Park Drive.

Something to be Proud of . . .

Many Worked Together for County Park Display

Horticulturalists know it as the "Cornus Collection in Plainfield." The Plainfield Garden Club speaks of it as "our dogwood plantings in Cedar Brook Park." Since last year, the double line of pink and white flowering trees at the Park Ave. entrance to the park as been officially named "The Harriette R. Halloway Cornus Collection."

But to most admirers of the annual evidence that spring is here, it is just "those beautiful trees in the park" whether they refer to them by their botanical or popular name – cornus or dogwood.

Many who come to see the trees are unaware that this collection includes ore than 60 varieties of dogwood, every kind that can grow in this climate. While the trees are beautiful, it is the horticultural collection of so many varieties that counts to the credit of the Plainfield Garden Club even more than the display. It is not the greatest show, but it's the most complete collection.

Dr. Benjamin Blackburn of Drew University in Madison has remarked that this group of trees, growing in a compact reserved area, is a marked achievement on the part of the Union Count Park Commission, the Plainfield Garden Club and Miss Halloway, who served for more than 35 years as a volunteer consultant to the Park Commission and in keeping records of all the plantings.

Miss Halloway, for whom the grove is named, still watches for the flowering season of the dogwood. Now 91, Miss Halloway is a resident at the McCutchen Nursing Home, North Plainfield.

Among the personal possession she treasurers is the Distinguished Service Medal of the Garden Club of America. Also she is a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society of England and a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums. She is a member of the Plainfield Garden Club and has earned recognition from the New York Botanical Gardens, American Horticultural Society and other organizations for her work and her writings about gardens, flowers, and flowering shrubs and trees.

A great part of the reward to her and the Plainfield Garden Club is that so many people can enjoy the cornus collection in the park. Miss Halloway says: "Each year the trees continue to be beautiful and a joy, if not forever, at least for many years."

THE CEDAR BROOK Park Dogwood Collection is unique, Dr. Blackburn believes. "None other is known to exist in this county," he said, "and a match for it is not be found growing in the Royal Botanic Gardens in London or in Edinburgh or other famous gardens in Great Britain and Europe."

The dogwood collection got its start in 1931 when W. R. Tracy, superintendent of the Union County Park Commission, decided to turn an old city dump into a beauty spot and the Plainfield Garden Club contributed 75 white dogwoods to help the project.

In 1940 the club gave an additional 110 trees to balance the two sides of the drive and complete the groupings. The 61 species now flourishing in the park include nine from Asia, two from Europe and 12 from North America, a number of hybrids and "cultivars," special horticultural selections that have been propagated vegetatively.

The Park Commission has planted a background of evergreens, including hemlocks and pines, to enhance the effect of the dogwoods. Enlarging on its original purpose to beautify the area, the Plainfield Garden Club cooperated throughout the year with the commission in developing the collection and all varieties are now labelled with correct names. A boulder with a tablet also has been installed in the area..

At the 25th anniversary of the Garden Club, held in 1940, Mrs. Thomas R. VanBoskerck, who had written a history of the club's first quarter century, recalled that the members had anticipated the park's work in beautifying the dump area and first had presented 50 dogwood trees to the park through the generosity of Mrs. Charles A. Eaton who took them from her own woods in Watchung. A fund to beautify the park had been started originally in 1924 with Mrs. William Halliday in charge.

Dr. Blackburn points to the Cornus Collection in Plainfield as an admirable example of cooperation among groups interested in the cultural and horticultural riches of a municipality.

25 Years Ago, 1941

Clifford M. Baker, president of the Muhlenberg Hospital board of governors announced that Allen V. Heely, headmaster of the Lawrenceville School, would speak at the graduation exercises for the hospital's school of nursing. Mr. Heely's sister-in-law, Mrs. Lawrence S. Heely, was president of the Women's Auxiliary Hospital. Dr. William B. Fort, senior attending surgeon, was to award the prizes, and William Whitwell Robison and Mrs. Edward Leroy Voorhees were to present diplomas and pins.

The Rev. Harry James Knickle, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, was observing the 10th anniversary of his priesthood.

George A. Ballantyne of 30 Westervelt Ave. was honored by the First Presbyterian Church Session for years of faithful service as head usher.

Saturday, May 21, 1966 Something to Be proud of . . . Many Worked Together for County Park Displayt

Saturday, May 21, 1966 Something to Be proud of . . . Many Worked Together for County Park Displayt

Saturday, May 21, 1966 Something to Be proud of . . . Many Worked Together for County Park Displayt

Cornus Arboretum

From the 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

Our beautiful dogwood trees stand on what was once the city dump. The story of this evolution of beauty began in 1929 when Mrs. Charles Eaton presented 50 dogwood trees to Cedar Brook Park from her own woods. In 1931, with Mrs. Henry Wells as Chairman, 45 dogwood trees, white and pink, were donated by the Plainfield Garden Club and were planted on one side of the drive entering from Park Avenue. Nine years later, (1940), under the guidance of Mrs. Thomas R. Van Boskerck and Mrs. William Holliday, 110 trees were added to extend the first row and to form another on the opposite side of the road. Since this planting coincided with our own 25th anniversary, a large boulder bearing a bronze marker was placed near the entrance.

In 1946, the Park Commission, a group of progressive and dedicated gentlemen, asked our Club if we would sponsor a Cornus Arboretum, using the Dogwood Drive as a foundation. We accepted – indeed, yes! A committee was formed with Miss Harriette R. Halloway as Secretary and Advisor, whose goal it was to include every Cornus, Specie and Cultivar, which was obtainable and which would thrive in this climate. Through the years, chairmen have included Mrs. R. T. Stevens, Mrs. George His, and Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler. As in our other gardens, the Park Commission has planted, raised seedlings in their nursery and provided maintenance.

Through purchases, gifts and exchanges with other Arboretums, 26 varieties were planted in the next five years. By 1948, there were 219 trees, giving masses of beautiful spring bloom as well as fall display of foliage and berries. Thousands of visitors walked or drove through this fairyland of beauty, surely the better for having seen it.

Today, through the inspired leadership of Miss Halloway, the Cornus Collection contains more than sixty varieties, some quite rare. All the others being horticultural selections of "clones" (cultivars). Experts consider the Cornus Collection to be the outstanding horticultural and civic achievement of our Club. It was highly gratifying in 1957, when officials from the New York Botanical Garden came out to see it.

Prof. Benjamin Blackburn, in a recent article in the American Horticulture Magazine says, 'It does not appear that a comparable collection exists. The Cornus Collection offers an admirable example of cooperation between groups interested in the cultural and horticultural riches of a municipality . . . none other is known to the writer to be existing elsewhere in the country."

To quote Miss Halloway, "each year the trees continue to be beautiful and a joy, if not forever, at least for many years."

Written by Victoria Furman