All programs start at 2 pm unless otherwise noted
Sunday, July 15, 2018- Lecture "The Chain That Saves the Colonies"
Sunday, August 5, 2018 -“What is Jazz and Why Does It Matter?” lecture by Michael Conklin from
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 2018 Tri-County History Fair, Plainfield Public Library from 11 AM to 3 PM.
Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, 2018 – County of Union – “Four Centuries in a Weekend.” Special Program at the Drake House on Saturday, October 20, 2018 – “New Jersey Field Music Group”
Sunday, October 28, 2018 – “Legends of Sleepy Hollow 1792” by storyteller/re-enactor Alisa Dupuy
TBA – November 2018 – “Let’s Talk Quilts” lecture by Susan JeromeFriday
December 7, 2018 – Twenty-Second Annual Tree Lighting at 6:30 PM.
The Chain that Saved the Colonies
The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a lecture entitled “The Chain That Saved The Colonies” on Sunday, July 15, 2018, starting at 2:00 PM at the Drake House Museum. The lecture will given by Donald “Doc” Bayne.
“Many New Jersey residents are not aware of the Great Chain that spanned the Hudson River at West Point during the American Revolutionary War. Doc Bayne has spent years researching the Great Chain and locating many of the remaining huge links of the hand-forged chain,” said Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield. This is the story of one man’s quest to find the surviving links and to tell an amazing account of ingenuity, fortitude, and determination of the men of the Continental Army.
Donald “Doc” Bayne has been interested in history since the age of 8. He was drafted into the U.S. Army, and then became a commercial pilot. He worked for the Minolta Corporation, and later started a career with an audio visual company designing distance-learning classrooms for William Paterson University and U.M.D.N.J. as well as video conferencing systems for various companies at the World Trade Center. He then became a full-time Park Ranger, Environmental Educator and Historian at Sterling Forest State Park. He is now retired, and is on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Historical Society, the Board of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site, the Board of The Incorporated Orange County Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association, the President of The Friends of Sterling Forest, and a member of the Greenwood Lake Historical Association.
Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served. Program suggested donation is $5, and free to members of the Historical Society of Plainfield. Drake House Museum is air conditioned.
Centennial of World War One
Photo: Ernest Brooks
From 2013 to 2019, the World War One Centennial Commission will commemorate the centennial of the Great War, also known as "the War to end all wars."
The Historical Society of Plainfield will participate in the commemoration of World War One by helping the World War One Centennial Commission identify the monuments located within the City limits that are dedicated to World War One and its veterans.
The City of Plainfield has a number of World War One monuments including: Plainfield Veterans' Memorial Monument, World War plaque at the steps of City Hall, World War One Honor Roll tablet located inside City Hall, flagpole monument on Watchung Avenue, flagpole monument at St. Mary's Church, memorial tablet located inside Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and Plainfield High School memorial tablet. It is interesting to note that the War Memorial Flagpole monument at Watchung Avenue is listed in the Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum. The artist was Gaetano Cecere (1894-1985).
The Historical Society is requesting the assistance of the Public to identify any other World War One monuments or memorial tablets that may be located at churches, parks, or other places. Pictures will be taken and descriptions will be written, and then submitted to the World War One Centennial Commission. If you know of any other World War One monuments or tablets, please supply your information to the Drake House Museum firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 755-5831.
The Historical Society is planning a future exhibit about World War One and the impact of the War on the City. Plainfield lost a number of young men, and the Historical Society has a notebook which contains information about 45 of these casualties of war. Former Mayor Leighton Calkins lost his only son. Many of these men died from the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, and the City of Plainfield also suffered great losses from the Influenza Pandemic. One of Plainfield's World War One surviving veterans was Evarts Tracy, the pioneering camouflage officer of the World War One. Tracy was also a member of the architectural firm that designed the 1903 buildings of Muhlenberg Hospital.