Plainfield, NJ – April 5, 2019 – This Spring, the Historical Society of Plainfield will be participating in a fundraising program, the World War 1 (WW1) Poppy Program, originally started by the WW1 Centennial Commission. 

The red poppy is an internationally recognized symbol used to honor the sacrifice made by veterans particularly those who died at Flanders Field in Belgium. Shortly after the war, fields of poppies were seen growing in between the cemeteries where the soldiers were buried. Red poppies were then used on posters to encourage people to sign up for the army or to buy war bonds, and also in ceremonies honoring the war dead. 

According to the Drake House, each seed packet honors the legacy of the 4.7 million American veterans who served during WW1 and the 116,516 American who never made it home.  Plainfield lost 45 residents during WW1. “Plainfield During WW1 and the Influenza Pandemic,” is the topic of an exhibit currently at the Drake House and highlights the biographies of the 45 men. 

Sign Up for E-News

The Drake House release details Plainfield’s connection to WW1 including the history of a former Plainfield resident, Evarts Tracy, who played a significant role during WW1. As a pioneering camouflage officer who grew up on West Eighth Street in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District, Tracy was considered to be one of the foremost architects in America in 1915. Tracy built his home on Hillside Avenue in the Hillside Avenue Historic District. An architect by profession, he designed the old Plainfield Police Station, Muhlenberg Hospital, and many residences in Plainfield. Tracy is buried in Hillside Cemetery in his family’s plot. His military service during World War One was memorialized on the Plainfield City Hall bronze memorial tablet.

Read more about Evarts Tracy on the WW1 Centennial Commission’s website:

https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/evarts-tracy.html

Packets of the poppy seeds are available for $2 each and can be purchased at the Drake House.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PLAINFIELD

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 www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org