This exhibition documents places that were once at the center of daily life in Plainfield. In some cases a building remains under a different guise; in others, the site has changed beyond recognition. The photographs in this exhibition reveal how much American life has changed in the last 150 years.
It is hard to imagine that Plainfield was once a country resort where people would come for the weekend to stay at the Netherwood Hotel. Visitors and residents once spent their days swimming and ice skating at Tier’s Pond. Residents of surrounding towns came to Plainfield to shop, to see movies, and to participate in community-wide events. Plainfield was a bustling commercial center of department stores, specialty shops, office buildings, theaters and train depots.
Through this exhibit we invite you to journey back into different periods of Plainfield’s past to discover what life was like in the “old days” of grand hotels, theaters, and fabulous mansions. We extend our appreciation to the longtime Plainfield residents who shared their memories with us and suggested sites for exhibit consideration. The Plainfield Public Library is fortunate to have a treasure trove of resources from which to draw: historical newspapers, city directories, and a collection of 20,000 historical photographs that include late 19th and early 20th century glass plate and nitrate negatives.
Funding has been made possible by the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library and by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
* * * Please use the drop-down menu above to see the other Lost But Not Forgotten locations. * * *
Would you like to contribute a memory, photograph or memento that captures more of the past?
Click on the icon on the right to e-mail us your input for future library exhibits.
The images used in this online exhibit are part of the Plainfield Public Library Local History collection.
These images are the property of the Plainfield Public Library and are not to be used in any manner
without the expressed written permission of the Library Director.
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