The Plainfield Seminary

Miss Eliza Elvira Kenyon,
Founder of Plainfield Seminary, undated

"The Chestnuts"
Plainfield Seminary on Seventh Street,
as shown in "Plainfield, N.J. Illustrated," 1895.


Located on West 7th Street, near Park Avenue, the Plainfield Seminary building was constructed in 1855 and was known as “The Chestnuts.” At that time it housed the Opheleton Female Seminary, which was founded by E. Dean Dow.  Around 1867, Miss E. E. Kenyon, a prominent society lady and founder of the Monday Afternoon Club, and her sister, Mrs. Maxson, took over Opheleton. The Seminary, also known as the “Plainfield College for Young Ladies,” “Plainfield Seminary for Young Ladies and Children,” and “Miss Kenyon’s Seminary” had day students and boarding students.  Although the Seminary closed its doors on June 9, 1919, it had an active alumnae group which held meetings for many years.


Opheleton Female Seminary
Graduation Diploma for Cornelia Boice, 1860.