PLAINFIELD, NJ — The Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum will participate in Union County’s “Four Centuries in a Weekend,” Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, 2019, from Noon - 5 PM.

An ensemble from  the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra will be playing musical selections in the second-floor ballroom on both days from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey’s oldest community orchestra, is celebrating its 100th season in 2019-2020.  The Symphony, now under the direction of maestro Charles Prince, is composed of talented community members as well as professional musicians from the Tri-State area.  At least half of the members have performed with the Symphony for more than ten years, giving the orchestra its cohesive sound.

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The Plainfield Symphony was started in 1919 by seven talented Plainfield community residents who played various musical instruments including: violin, cello, and clarinet.  Mrs. Harry K. (Elizabeth) White, Mrs. Noel (Violet) Evans, Kenneth F. H. Underwood, G. W. V. Moy, Dr. Leonard Waldo, Joshua L. Loizeaux, and William L. Littlewood were the founding members.  Their professions included: former mayor, engineer, writer, corporate treasurer, and housewives.

Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield says, “The Society will mount an exhibit in 2020 highlighting the founding members of the Plainfield Symphony and interesting stories about the Symphony.  Research is currently underway, and photographs and stories of the founding members are being sought.” If anyone has photographs of the founding members, please contact the Historical Society of Plainfield at  

Please join us at the Drake House Museum during Four Centuries and enjoy musical selections from a century old organization.  Additional activities for all ages will include:  "Mail a history postcard” and “Take a selfie with Alexander Hamilton.”

This history program is made possible in part by a 2019 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and by the members of Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum. This event is free. Donations are always appreciated.



It was at the Drake House that George Washington consulted with his officers during and after the Battle of Short Hills fought over the entire Plainfield area on June 25-27, 1777. On permanent display at the Drake House Museum are three Colonial-era rooms:  the kitchen, the Queen Anne dining room, and the Washington bedroom. The parlor and the Harberger Library are interpreted as period Victorian rooms.

The Drake House Museum displays two large paintings by noted Civil War painter Julian Scott, a Plainfield resident and a Medal of Honor recipient.  A Union County history card exhibit panel about Caesar, a freed African American and Revolutionary War teamster, is located in the Queen Anne dining room.  A National and New Jersey Historic Site, the Drake House Museum is an exciting link to Plainfield’s Revolutionary War history.   

The Drake House Museum is a city-owned public museum administered by the Historical Society of Plainfield and is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, New Jersey. Donations are always appreciated.  Onsite parking is available. For directions and more information about the Drake House and the Historical Society of Plainfield, visit

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Department of State through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Recreation; New Jersey Council for the Humanities; a 2019 HEART Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; the City of Plainfield; the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission; the Hyde and Watson Foundation; the McCutchen Foundation; the Plainfield Foundation; and the Gannett Foundation.