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HISTORY@HOME

"One of the really important things about preservation is

it connects people to history in a very tangible way."

                                                               

                                                                                                        -Anonymous

The success continues
(2005-2020)
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      Facts & Features

                                    9 Bedrooms  

                         10 Bathrooms

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5600 sqft.

Lot: 1 Acre

Single Family

8 Parking Spaces

4 Fireplaces

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      Facts & Features

                                    9 Bedrooms  

                         10 Bathrooms

Year Built :1870

5600 sqft.

Type: Single Family

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Pond

Facts & Features

Bedrooms: 9

Fireplaces: 5

Kitchens: 3

Bathrooms: 11

Lot Size: 1 Acre

Workspace

Library

Basement Rooms: 9

Parking Spaces: 8

Wine Tasting Room

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Nature Preserve

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Firepit

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Recording Studio

Origins

The dust from the Civil War had yet to settle before the first brick of this historic edifice was laid, of what would become known as the Pillars of Plainfield. Seeking to achieve post-civil war economic growth like many other states and communities affected by the ravages of war, Plainfield became a beautiful place to call home for various 19th and 20th century Intellectuals and wealthy families. This influx of Wall Street money led to the creation of “Millionaires Row” in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District area (after the opening of the railway in the 19th century). As a result, many of Plainfield's picturesque suburban communities blossomed and were preserved. This commitment and dedication towards historical preservation continues to this very day and Plainfield's gorgeous architectural legacy has served as an inspiration to hundreds of visitors who tour its various historical districts annually.

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In The Beginning
(1870-1905)

The Pillars

From the History of The Pillars:

The Pillars has changed hands many times in its lifetime and has served many purposes. Its construction and subsequent additions over the years have witnessed numerous national as well as international historic events during the decades. In 1874 (the same year the Chicago Fire burned down 47 acres of the city, destroying 812 buildings, killing 20.), a couple by the name of Stockbridge sold the house to a Samuel R. Jackson, a widower. Mr. Jackson lived there for seventeen years, selling the house to Miss Clementine Yates, a spinster, in April of 1891. Plainfield must have been a fortunate place for Miss Clementine because she was soon to become Mrs. Clarence Holman. Clementine was responsible for the expansion of The Pillars, with a major renovation and addition in 1896 (same year Plessy v. Ferguson: The U.S. Supreme Court introduces the "separate but equal" doctrine and upheld racial segregation.). The addition created a ground floor library, a much larger kitchen with a servant's dining room (now part of the main kitchen), a washing room, and a butler's pantry. Her addition also created the magnificent Colonial Revival front porch and the formal fluted columns that eventually were the inspiration for the B&B's name (Pillars of Plainfield). At the end of August 1905, the Holman's sold the house to a Miss Margaret T. Richards. By then, the Holman's had moved out of the house, which was being occupied by a gentleman by the name of William T. Kirk.

Changing of the Guard
(1905-2005)
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In 1951 (same year Second Red Scare: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. On April 5 they are sentenced to receive the death penalty.), Patricia Terry sold the house to a Mr. Harry Howard and Maxine Garde Stout, who turned around and sold it to a Miss Emily Garde, for $1.00. We can assume that Emily was Maxine's mother. Emily had a long history with the house, selling it in 1972 (same year Watergate scandal: Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee. United States President Richard Nixon and White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman were taped talking about using the C.I.A. to obstruct the F.B.I.'s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.), to a Mr. Ira M. Fine, but apparently acquired it back a short time later. During this time, The Pillars continued as a boarding house, with one, and sometimes two couples occupying each room, sharing the bathroom and kitchen facilities. We know that during the wild seventies, there were many parties on the porch roof and more than one police raid. Legendary parties were thrown where a few notable celebs of the time were known to have attended. The grandeur of The Pillars started to fade and it was on the brink of being lost forever. The entire neighborhood was now a hundred years old and rough around the edges, a far cry from its more stately beginnings. Concerned homeowners and others interested in historic preservation worked long and hard through the seventies, and they were rewarded with a National Historic District designation for the 152 properties in the region. The District was named in honor of Van Wyck Brooks, one of the better-known residents during the twenty-first century. Brooks was born in Plainfield on February 16, 1886. He spent his early years at 563 West 8th Street, a magnificent home built by his grandfather. After graduating from Harvard University in 1907, Brooks began his career as a prolific author, literary historian, and critic. In 1937, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for his book The Flowering of New England. Because of his love of history, it seemed fitting to name this Historic District in his honor.

 

In 1982, Emily Garde sold the house, this time to a Robert and Lynne Wiley. The Wiley's were here for only three years, but started to repair some of the damage that had been done during the boarding house years. They sold the house in 1985 to a John and Barbara Ostrander, who continued the process of restoration. However, the financial strain for restoring over a hundred years of wear was daunting. By the early 1990s the house was in foreclosure and in the hands of a bank. After much negotiating with the bank, Charles (Chuck) and Tom Hale bought the house with the goal of opening a bed & breakfast, the first in Plainfield and the first in this region of New Jersey. They bought the house in 1992, and they spent nearly two years restoring the porches and first floor rooms and renovating the unusable rooms on the third floor. By the time they opened The Pillars as a bed and breakfast in April of 1994, they were beyond broke. They were able to sell the house to Chuck's son, Ken Hale, in April of 1994, allowing it to continue as a B&B and gain recognition through the Internet. By April of 2001, Chuck and Tom Hale were able to purchase the house back from Ken and continue what had become a successful business. By 2005, Chuck and Tom decided it was time to retire as innkeepers, a second or third career for them. The husband and wife team of Lamont Blowe and Nancy Fiske purchased the house in early November of 2005, continuing to operate the house as The Pillars of Plainfield Bed & Breakfast Inn.  

The success continues
(2005-2020)

Between 2005 and 2015 ownership of The Pillars changed hands once again, as many iconic historic places have a tendency to do, and landed in the hands of the amazing Photographer Jessica Tyner.  Working with numerous top clients Tyner transformed The Pillars into the highly successful "J.Tyner Studios".  Jessica's incredible talent and photographic skills breathed new life back into the historical Pillars and helped to keep that aura of historical success flowing upward and onward. 

Fast-forward to 2020, ownership of this iconic residence was then transferred to the current owners, Tracy de Rushe, and Prometheus Worley.  (Interesting Historical Family fact: Prometheus Worley's genetic lineage on his father's side can be traced all the way back to the Royal Standard Bearers that fought alongside "William The Conqueror and The Battle of Hastings in 1066 ".) (https://play.trueroyalty.tv/videos/the-kings-and-queens-of-england-the-normans). For the de Rushe /Worley clan ownership of this historic treasure was truly a dream come true. Having owned and restored a vintage Victorian property previously in Jersey City, they understood the dedication, care, commitment, and continual upkeep necessary to preserve such a historic landmark. For them, The Pillars, with all of its rich and vibrant history, represent a wonderful sense of community, historical continuity, and an inspirational grand legacy they hope to one day pass on to their children.  

Continuing along with that historical aura of success The Pillars, now known as  Maison de Pillars, has become the U.S. branch of their international hybrid Literary Fashion Hub Publishing House, Hampton Court Press.

It is their sincere hope that this chapter within the legacy of The Pillars is a long and interesting one for many years to come. 

 

Please return often to see how we are progressing in the restoration of this gracious home and its exquisite grounds.

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A Geneological and Heraldic History of The Landed Gentry of Great Britian and Ireland Vol-
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Une historie de grandeur
Celebrating 150 Years Of The MET
(1870-2020)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 6,479,548 visitors to its three locations in 2019, it was the fourth most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments.