Plainfield Garden Club

1940 Archives

Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden

Back of Photo

A daffodil border along Cedar Brook Park's Shakespeare Garden offers a "taste" of the floral "menu" offered to camera fans.


B - G1 - 56

View showing daffodils in bloom along border of Shakespearean Garden

Photo by Harvey A. Scheckler.

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

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

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Courier-New November 18, 1940

Surprising List of Projects Accomplished Found in Garden Club History

(Condensation of a history written by Mrs. Thomas Rowe Van Boskerck, a charter member of the club.)

On Monday morning, April 5, 1915 at the invitation of Mrs Henrietta B. Herring, 19 women met with her in the Public Library to discuss organizig a Garden Club in Plainfield. Her suggestion met with enthusiastic response. Upon motion, a committee was formed to present a constitution and by-laws after the acceptance of which a nominating committee was appointed.

The committee reported the following women as having consented to serve the club: President, Mrs. Frank O. Herring; vice presidents, Mrs. Frank D. Warren, Mrs. Edward James Patters, and Mrs. Thomas R. Von Boskerck; secretary and treasurer, Mrs. Jabez C. Gilbert; executive committee, Mrs. John B. Dumont, Mrs. Howard Fleming and Mrs. Frederick W. Yates.

Charter Members
Among the charter members of the organization who made up the 50 in addition to the officers already mentioned were Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Mrs. Elliott T. Barrows, Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Mrs. William M. Stillman, Mrs. Louis G. Timpson, Mrs. Henry D. Hibbard, Mrs. George P. Mellick, Miss Josephine H. Lapsley, Mrs. John P. Stevens, Mrs. Horace N. Stevens, Mrs Streuhli, and Mrs. C. B. Tyler.

Also, Mrs. Albert H. Atterbuy, Mrs. Ernest R. Ackerman, Mrs. W. A. Connor, Mrs. E. J. Corey, Mrs. J. W. DeGraff, Mrs. C. B. Eddy, Mrs. Chapman Fiske, Mrs. J. G. Foster, Mrs. Daniel S. Ginna, Mrs. Howard Huntington, Mrs. Charles L. Hyde, Mrs. F. deLacey Hyde, Mrs. D. Clinton Ivins, Mrs. H. C. Ivins, Mrs. Thomas H. Leggett, Mrs. Edward H. Ladd, Mrs. J. Kirtland Myers, Miss Elsie Martin and Mrs. Frederick G. Mead.

Also, Mrs. Charles W. McCutchen, Mrs. H. C. McMillan, Mrs. Arthur R. Otterson, Mrs. Charles A. Reed, Mrs. H. G. Runkle, Mrs. Percy H. Stewart, Mrs. W. F. Taliaferro, Mrs. H. C. Tracy and Mrs. Frederick K. Wallace.

The first executive meeting was held April 14, 1915 at the home of Mrs. Herring. The first general meeting was held May 12, 1915 at the home of Mrs. Connor.

In the autumn of the first year Mrs. Herring suggested that the members give jelly to the Fruit and Flower Guild as a slight expression of gratitude for the pleasure they had derived from teh club.

War Work
Those of us who remember the formative years, can think back on our activities which were linked to the first World War. During this period we co-operated with the Short Hills Garden Club in planting shrubs, bulbs, etc., on the grounds of the base hospital at Colonia and sent a wheel chair, chevrons to th emen who lacked them and other gifts besides supplying and arranging flowers each week in the ward [not legible] Gardens by giving prizes [not legible] and co-operated with the Mayor's Committee for home gardens which added to the food supply. There were months at a time when the club suspended its meetings due to war work. In this field Mrs. Herring took the lead. Day after day, she, who had no car, contrived to get to the Raritan Arsenal where she wrestled with the sun-baked clay soil to make a plt of green grass and a sunken garden attainable to invalided men in wheel chairs.

A newspaper clipping pasted to the minutes of September 24, 1919 says, "The Plainfield Garden Club had a most delightful social meeting yesterday afternoon at Camp Raritan where the club has done much to turn the cheerless, barren waste into a refreshing oasis with its many flourishing plants and bright blooming flowers which, under the supervision of the faithful and untiring president, Mrs. Frank O. Herring, were planted and coaxed to grow in the most uncompromising soil."

The president thanked the army officers for their co-operative and great interest in the efforts to make the wilderness blossom and the Commandant of the post, Col. Andrews, resplended, telling of their pride an pleasure in showing their floral display when guests arrived from Washington. For there was no other camp like theirs and all the thousands of plants, gifts through the Plainfield Garden Club."

In 1920 the work at Raritan ended as the Army appointed its own staff to carry it on. At the duriation of the war, we sent seeds and sets of farm implements to devastated France and returned to our regular meetings.

Mrs. Eaton Made President
Mrs. Herring served six years as president until 1921 when Mrs. Charles Eaton was elected and Mrs. Herring became honorary president. In her retiring speech, Mrs. Herring likened the club to a tree "whose branches ahd grown and spread in various directions and hoping great things for its future."

In 1921 also a successful Dahlia Show was held with classified entries. In the minutes this was recored, "At Dahlia Show no one was more interested or happy ever the result and as ever full of plants for the furture. She (Mrs. Herring) went home, her arms full of flowers and so proud of the prize she had won and in les than two hours she had gone to her reward."

IN 1922 a die was cast for bronze medal to be known as a memorial to Mrs. Herring for most meritorious display at Dahlia Show each year. She left $100 to be used for the advancement of the club although no decision was reached at that time as to its use.

An Associate Membership was formed in 1924. Also a separate fund was started to acquire the necessary amount to finance a piece of civic planting. During the following years, we had made various plantings throughout the town and affiliated ourselves with many organizations to support projects consistent with our aims. Those included conservation of wild flowers, dogwood and certain greens exploited by the Christmas trade, conservation posters, clean-up prizes to school children, control of roadside bill boards and the like.

We fought tent caterpillars, ragweed, unsightly conditions along railroads. We furnished shrubs and trees for these areas and for parks, schools, dormitories, Community HOuse and the Children's Home. In 1925, we presented and had planted an Oriental spruce in City Hall Park as a living Christmas tree.

Shakespeare Garden a Project
In 1926, the Garden Club became a member of the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey and in the same year, the Shakespeare Club of Plainfield invited us to join with them in creating a Shakespeare Garden in Cedarbrook Park. This work was complete in 1927 with each plant a living memorial to a poetic line. At that time it was one of the seven or eight in the United States and was considered unsurpassed except for one in Cleveland. Among those who helped create the garden, the name of Mrs. Samuel Carter must be associated for those who knew the making of this enchanting spot, felt the delicacy of perception which chose the creeping little thymes and loved quotations.

In 1929, 50 dogwood trees were presented to Cedarbrook Park by Mrs. Charles Eaton from her own woods. In 1931, with Mrs. Henry Wells as chairman, 45 dogwood trees, white and pink, at the cost of $230, were planted in Cedarbrook Park on one side of the drive which runs in from Park Ave. entrance. Today, in 1940, as this article is being written, 100 dogwood trees, at the cost of $336, have been placed on the opposite side of this same road to complete the picture and fulfill the object of the fund started in 1924. Mrs. William Holliday and her committee have done a fine piece of work on this. A line of pin oaks and some pink dogwoods have been placed as a background by the park authorities. They feel that our gifts have inspired others in the Union County park system.

Put Unemployed to Work
In 1931 ours was the first club to help the unemployed though turning waste spaces into small garden spots. One of these on the south side of Greenbrook at Watchung Ave. was changed from a dumping ground into a delightful little park named Sahcunk, for the tribe of Indians who originally lived along its trail. Sahcunk meaning "Meeting of Streams." Under the able direction of Mrs. James L. Devlin this was accomplished together with a playground established on a rectangular bit of dreary land at the base of the railroad track on Cottage Pl. Here rose vines were planting on the embankment with flowering shrubs at the base. Iris topped the low stone wall that lined the length of the street. Slabs of stone were set up for benchs and together with the Recreation Committee a sandbox, slides and swings were provided with a trained supervisor in attendance. The city installed a shower. Our club gave an American flag with its pole and [not legible] baby parties [not legible] with prizes. In 1932 there was 3,068 children in attendance and 4, 375 in 1933. Living conditions improved in that section and the adults used the park at night. The city eventually took over this playground.

Iris and Peony Gardens
In 1932, at the suggestion of Miss Harriette R. Halloway, and with the cooperation of the American Iris Society and the Park Commission, an iris garden was laid out by Olmsted Brothers of Boston in Cedarbrook Park. They started with 3,450 plants and 470 varieties. In 1934 this was listed by the American Iris Society as an unusually fine garden. Now, in 1940, there are fully 50,000 plants and 1,300 different varieties. Thousands of people and officials from the Brooklyn and New York Botanical Gardens come to see them in bloom each May.

John Wister, president of the American Iris Society, who paid a visit in 1934, wrote as follows:

"Speaking for the American Iris Society, I can ssure you of our continued interest in this splendid public garden. We have helped establish other similar gardens from New Hampshire on the northeast to Georgia in the south and Idaho and Saskatchewan in the northwest. I have visited quite a numbe of these gardens, perhaps a third or half of the total number, and while many of them are very fine, I can assure you that none of them surpass the Plainfield garden in beauty of setting, in arrangement of varieties in color, in interest, in the large number of fine varieties used and in the careful and instructive labeling. In all these things the Plainfield garden stands out most prominently and you are certainly to be congratulated for the fine work which has been done there."

It is thanks to Harriette Halloway's conception and untiring care that we have this display which adds to the beauty of our town and to the credit of our club. In 1939 she started a peony garden in this same park.

In 1933 it was decided to send an exhibit to the International Flower Show in March. In this show the following year the Plainfield Garden Club tied with East Orange for first place among the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey, receiving the sweepstakes prize. Three original poems written by our club members in open competition were chosen fro illustration in International Shows.

Garden Center Established
In 1934 a Garden Center was first held in a room in the Plainfield Public Library and later established with the cooperation of 10 other garden and nature clubs in the field house at Cedarbrook Park, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Devlin. In 1937 it developed into the Union County Garden Center Association, with 11 member clubs to share equal responsibility; the Plainfield Garden Club no longer to be permanent chairman.

In 1938, Mrs. Boardman Tyler's beautiful fountain, her own work, won first place at the International Show in New York City. In 1940 a request was made to again place this exhibit in Gardens on Parade at the World's Fair, but the committee which had staged it orginally thought it would be too arduous a task to keep the planting in good condition over a period of time, so the invitation was declined.

On different occasions our constitution and by-laws have been amended and membership enlarged and lessened. A few have resigned and too many of our cherished friends have gone gallantly donw the long trail. Among them, Marie Louis, superintendent of Muhlenberg Hospital, one of our former honorary members, who by her knowledge of horticulture, supplied vegetables all year round to the patients, beautified the grounds and oversaw a small greenhouse. The forget-me-not in her own tiny garden are today a living memorial to her untiring energy and love of growing things.

Future committees could obtain much valuable information from a separate report on the many flower shows the club has held, ranging from the unclassified dahlias of the early years to the very finished product of the spring flower show held in the Plainfield Armory in the year 1940. The experts who judged said it was the best show of its kind outside of the International held each March in New York City.

Members Prominent
Of the separate individuals in the club who have staged these shows, who have in themselves become judge inside and outside the State of New Jersey and who have invariably brought back ribbons, prizes and reputations from their own exhibits at the World's Fair, as well as in International Shows, this article unfortunately cannot deal. One of our presidents, Mrs. Frederic W. Goddard, went from chief executive of our own board to become president of the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey and later became their exhibition chairman for the International Show.

Mrs. Devlin served as chairman for the entire schedule of the Federated Garden Clubs of New Jersey at an International Show. Other members have held executive positions on the Federated board and have affiliations with many horticultural societes throughout our country and abroad.

Mrs. Edward Harding, our late honorary member, hybridized an iris and peonies. At the time of her death she had three new registered iris seedlings, one of which in 1934 was on trial at the Royal Horticulture Society in Wisley, England. It was named "Commodore Fellows" in honor of the chief officer of the Himmalayan flight. A beautiful yellow irs has been named Alice Harding for her.

Mrs. Garrett Smith has been radio chairman of the New Jersey Federated Clubs and has played an active part on the Plainfield Shade Tree Commission and the Federated Shade Tree Commission of New Jersey.

Mrs. John J. O'Donohue, Ms. Henry C. Wells, Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, Mrs. Clifford M. Baker, Mrs. Lewis Williams, Mrs. Arthur G. Nelson, Miss Edna Brown and Mrs. William W. Coriell complete our list of presidents to date. It is to them, their boards and committees that the club owes the position it holds today. The membership as a whole as developed a greater knowledge of horticulture some specializing in lilies, hemerocallis, alpines and seeds from South Africa. Others by the advancement of their individual gardens which for charm and interest have held their own with those of larger estates in other countries.

This is then but a feeble attempt to suggest what spade work, feeding, staking and pruning has taken [not legible] president livened our club. She hoped its branches would grow and spread in various directions, expecting great things for its future. There is every reason to think her wish may come to pass, unless the flame of war that is today sweeping across Europe, Africa and Asica scorch our own shores. If all culture is to disappear in this holocast and Adam has to start over again to plow his sterile land with a flint rock lashed by a thorn to a stick, we can only pray taht Gd will in His infinite mercy create once more an Eden. If this does happen, we are confident that Eve, with all her garden experience, next time, will know a snake when she sees one.

History of the club to 1940

History of the club to 1940

History of the club to 1940

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

History of the club to 1970 by Mrs. Henry Noss

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

Garden Club to Hear
Talk on New Iris
Mrs. S. G. Van Hoesen of Fanwood
will present an illustrated talk, on 'New Iris' at the meeting of the Garden Club of Cranford, to be held Monday afternoon at 2:30 at the home of Mrs. Harold P. Yates, 400 SPringfield Avenue.

Assisting hostesses will be Mrs. G. Griffiths; Mrs. S. R. Droescher, Mrs. C. F. Hansel, Mrs. L. B. Hassard and Mrs. J. Conrad.

The following members will be admitted to the club at this meeting: Mrs. E. E. Angen, Mrs. J. F. Geaney, Mrs. G. C. Hanson, Mrs. D. P. Loomis, Mrs. E. E. Moody, Mrs. T. R. Ossman, and Mrs. L. A. Rice.

1940 - 1941 Treasurer Book

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Jul 24, 1940

Edward J. Harding

Plainfielder Named to U.S. Board

Edward J. Harding, formerly of Plainfield, managing director of the Associated General Contractors of America, has been named to Construction Advisory Committee of the United Stated Army and Navy Munitions Board.

This was annouced today by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Lewis Compton, formerly of Metuchen, who are joint chairmen of the munitions board.

Other members of the Construction Advisory Committee include: Col. John P. Hogan, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers who will serve as committee chairman; Alonzo J. Hammond, president of the American Engineering Council.

Also, E. P. Palmer, past president, Associated General Contractors of America; Malcom Pirnio, general chairman, Construction League of America; Stephen F. Vorhees, past president, American Institute of Architects.

Duties of teh committee will be to advise with the Army and Navy Munitions Board in connection with plans for the national defense program. These plans primarily relate to industrial constructions necessary to support a war effort. In the analysis of these plans, due consideration will be given to the entire construction needs of the country, both civil and military, it is said.

Through the committee it is desired to present to the construction industry the probable war load and to prevent the overloading of that industry in any particular area. Committee will also work in close cooperation with the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense.

Mr. Harding, who was born and educated in Plainfield, is the son of Mrs. Edward J. Harding Sr., 16 Laramie Rd., and the late Mr. Harding. He is married and has two children, a son, Edward J. Harding Jr., and a daughter, Anais. His present home is in Silver Springs, Md., outside of Washington, D. C. Mr. Harding is a member of the Plainfield Lodge 885, BPO Elks.

Mr. Harding has studied construction problems in every state in the union. He was associated with McAdoo Tunnels in New York as paymaster for 15 yeras and during the World War he served as manager for James Stewart & Co., Washington, D. C., on of the largest contracting firms in the United States.

He was one of the original members of the Associated General Contractors of America at its formation in 1918. He served as its membership manager for many years and then was appointed assistant general manager before being named managing director.

Mr. Harding has a brother, Louis R. Harding, 16 Laramie Rd., sergeant-at-arms in the Fourth Judicial District Court, this city; and two sisters Miss Grace M. Harding, 16 Laramie Rd., and Miss E. Catherine Harding, who resides with Mr. Harding and his family in Silver Springs, Md.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Librarry Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

A planting of dogwood trees presented to the Union County Park Commission by the Plainfield Garden Club are dedicted in Cedar Brook Park where the trees were set out. The gift, which is noted on the bronze tablet members of the club and Park Engineer W. R. Tracy (extreme right) are surveying, marks the 25th anniversary of the club. Left to right are Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Arthur G. Nelson, president; Mrs. Thomas R. Van Bosckerck, Mrs. Henry C. Wells, Mrs. William A. Holliday and Mr. Tracy (Story on Social Page)

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Library Archive

*The following six photos of this particular article are related. Article found in or near the 1936 scrapbook

Garden Club Dedicates Anniversary Dogwood Trees

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archive

An outstanding display at the North Plainfield Flower Show to be held next Tuesday and Wednesday by the St. Agnes Guild of the Holy Cross Church will be the reproduction of a 17th Century walled garden executed by Effingham Pinto, show manager, and shown above.

Plainfield Public Library Archive


Many 'Open Garden Days' For British Relief Planned By New Jersey Clubwomen

Mrs. Arthur G. Nelson, president of the Plainfield Garden Club, has announced a number of gardens in the vicinity will be opened for inspection during May and in June, as well as the gardens at "The Pines" which Effingham Pinto will exhibit Saturday and Sunday for the benefit of the Plainfield Home Defense equipment funds. Mr. Pinto's gardens will be on display also June 21 for the rose exhibit.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

circa 1940

The International Garden Club has announced a pilgrimmage to three old houses and gardens, also for British relief. The Bartow Mansion at Pelham Bay, N. Y., now the clubhouse of the International Garden Club, will be opened Wednesday, as will be Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor and High Low House in Greenwich, Conn.

Thursday, May 22, the Rahway unit of the British War Relief Society will sponsor a Garden Tour. Open Gardens include those of Mrs. John Garderegg [Anderegg] of Colonia, a member of the Plainfield Garden Club; Mrs. Edward K. Cone of Colonia, whose daughter , Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, also is a member of the

Effingham Pinto

Yale 1920: 731 West 8th Street, Plainfield, NJ
House possible called 'The Pines'

Effingham A. Pinto 1903-1904 Yale


Love in the Tropics [Broadway]
One Glorious Hour [Broadway]
The Climax [Broadway]
Pietro Golfanti
The Virgin of Bethulia [Broadway]
The Gift [Broadway]
On the Stairs [Broadway]
Anna Ascends [Broadway]
"Beauty" Tanner
The Dancer [Broadway]
Paul Kerinski
The Climax [Broadway]
Pietro Golfanti
Our Little Wife [Broadway]
The Angel in the House [Broadway]
Cheer Up [Broadway]
Dickie Carter
The Rainbow [Broadway]
James Judson
Diplomacy [Broadway]
The Climax [Broadway]
The Climax [Broadway]
Pietro Golfanti

Theatre Magazine, Volumes 29-30
edited by W. J. Thorold, Arthur Hornblow, Perriton Maxwell, Stewart Beach 1919

Effingham Pinto

Don Effingham Amore De Cordova Y Pinto, who we call familiarly Effingham Pinto, just like that, has the distinction of coming back to where he started from, and make good all over again.

Distinguished with the most imposing name any mere New Yorker could have, he graduated from Yale with a reputation for being one of the best "actresses" New Haven ever produced, for like Julian Eltinge, Mr. Pinto had his first taste of state success as the leading lady in his college shows.

From Yale, he decided to turn to the theater in earnest, and betook himself to the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Carnegie Hall, to learn to be an actor after he knew how to be an actress.

His first part after he graduated from the Academy was Pietro Golfanti, the young Italian composer in Joe Weier's original production of "The Climax" – by the way of the first Hooverized, or small-cast plays. Mr. Pinto's serious sincerity, his Latin appearance, and his quite remarkable talent at the piano made him an immediate success.

Now, after a dozen years, he is playing Pietro on Broadway again in a revival of "The Climax" with Eleanor Painter as the star. In the meantime he has had half a dozen good roles, but non as telling as the young composer. He has played with Henry Miller in Ruth Chatterton's first success "The Rainbow" and in a wide variety of parts ranging from "Diplomacy" to "Baby Mine."

Effingham Pinto impersonating the Triumphant spirit of France / photograph by Apeda.

Image Details
Image Title: Effingham Pinto impersonating the Triumphant spirit of France / photograph by Apeda.
Creator: Apeda Studio (New York, N.Y.) – Photographer
Item Physical Description: 1 photographic print : b&w ; 24 x 15 cm.
Notes: National Endowment for the Arts Millennium Project. Note 2.) Some surface deterioration of image. Note 3.) Title devised from typed information pasted on verso. Note 4.) Treasures of the American Performing Arts, 1875-1923
Source: Variety, vaudeville & burlesque. / Variety dancing.
Location: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts / Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Catalog Call Number: *MGZEA (Variety dancing - United States, no. 42)
Digital ID: variety_0042v
Record ID: 1924930
Digital Item Published: 8-9-2010; updated 3-25-2011

Effingham Pinto in "The Climax

July 29, 2013 Mrs. Van Hoesen's War Effort

Terrain, that wonderful garden store in PA, sent along an article titled "American Gardener: Victory Gardens"

Between 1941 and 1945, posters like the ones above [See Link] dotted the American landscape, encouraging citizens to support the war by planting a vegetable garden at home. First planted in 1917 during WWI, "victory gardens" became especially important during WWII, when a combination of rationing, transportation shortages, and the need for canned goods to feed overseas troops meant that Americans had to find new ways to put food on the table. While alleviating the pressure on the nation's food supply, the gardens also provided a morale boost to citizens by letting them contribute to the war effort. At the height of the movement, more than 20 million gardens were planted in backyards, at schools, and even on city rooftops. The campaign was a stunning success– in 1944, an estimated 40% of all vegetables grown in the US came from victory gardens. Similar efforts took root in the UK and Canada, with related initiatives that encouraged canning homegrown vegetables. America's most famous victory gardener was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who planted her own plot at the White House.

Want to learn more? Two original victory gardens are still growing– the Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston, and the Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis. You can also visit a modern garden based on a 1943 pamphlet design at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

In our own 1942 Archives, Mrs. Anderegg writes:
The war which was sweeping over France while Mrs. Van Boskerck's history* concluded had now reached our shores. "Come to open purple testament of bleeding war." (King Richard) Our members were working for the U.S.O., the Red Cross and Camp Kilmer, apart and in conjunction with the garden club. Plans were sent to the camp to enhance its barren scenes, and seeds to Brittain. Victory gardens were planted, two new chairmanships were added to the executive board – War Activities and Victory Gardens.

*Mrs. A refers to the club history, the first 25 years, written by Mrs. VB in 1940, mere months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our nation's entry into WWII.

One of the most interesting bits of information we have from the WWII years, is a speech by Mrs. Van Hoesen telling of her personal experience in garden therapy at Camp Kilmer in Edison.

Camp Kilmer in 1945 served as an Army Hospital for returning injured soldiers and the PGC was very involved there with the therapy gardens, a Victory Garden, a flower garden and delivering, twice a week, flower arrangements to the wards even though there was gasoline rationing making even local travel very difficult. (During WWII, our meetings were held at a locale that was in walking distance of everyone's homes.)

Mrs. Hoesen was asked to give this speech at the national Victory Garden Conference of the WFA (War Food Administration):

Through gardening, Plainfield Garden Club Member Mrs. Van Hoesen Helps Our Nation's Heroes Recover

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