One figure of Plainfield's past, not that long ago, is Charles H. Detwiller Jr. The name is familiar to those who have visited the Plainfield Public Library's History Room, either in person or on line, to get access to blue prints of Plainfield homes.
But my knowledge of Mr. Detwiller just went as far as his blue prints. Little did I know that there were not one Charles Detwiller but two, Sr. and Jr. Charles H. Detwiller Junior is the one that has captured my attention since yesterday when I received a copy of the Crescent Area Historic District original inventory manuscript that was used to nominate the neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places. It was Charles H. Detwiller Jr. who catalogued and described each of the 124 properties that were nominated to become part of the Crescent Area Historic District. The year was 1979.
A search for who was Detwiller Jr. took me to Rutgers. The Rutgers University Library describes him as follows:
His first recorded historical restoration project was the Drake House (circa 1747), Plainfield, the interiors of which Detwiller worked on in 1950. The next major project, in 1961, was the Stage House Inn (circa 1837), Scotch Plains, which involved not only restoration but house moving. Other important projects were the Mystic Maritime Museum (circa 1810), Mystic, Connecticut, which entailed new construction in period style, the Badgley House (circa 1710-40), Mountainside, which he measured and prepared a proposal to reconstruct, and the Old Red Mill Museum and Historic Village in Clinton, new construction in period style.
Detwiller also did consulting work with ten different historical societies throughout New Jersey and, in conjunction with a variety of engineering firms, advised on the cultural impact of major highway extensions in northern and central New Jersey (I-287, I-78 and Route 55)."
There is more to this story, but I am lacking the time to continue. If you want to read more about Charles H. Detwiller and his work here in Plainfield please visit the following link: