PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a video documentary, "Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past and Present," on Saturday, August 3, at 11 a.m. at the Plainfield Public Library.  A discussion led by Brad Fay, President of the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition, will follow the film.

"Farming in the Millstone Valley – Past and Present,” is a 35-minute documentary based on an historic account by Jessie Lynes Havens of Montgomery Township, and made by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition of Rocky Hill, in association with the Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery.  

The Millstone Valley of central New Jersey, settled by Dutch farmers three centuries ago, helped New Jersey earn its nickname, Garden State, the breadbasket of New York City.  That story culminates in today’s farm-to-table movement.

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“Area residents will be delighted to learn the stories behind easily recognized local landmarks, farms, and restaurants,” said MVP Coalition President Brad Fay. “We are grateful of the support we received from state, county, and private grants that made this film possible.”

Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield, will provide an introduction about farming in the Plainfield area.  “Growing up in Plainfield, I remember some of the orchards, fields, farm houses, and farmers in my neighborhood.  Farmers played an important role in the history of Plainfield during the Revolutionary War to the very last farm in Plainfield, Peterson’s farm.”

This free program is made possible by the Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum in co-operation with the Plainfield Public Library, and is in honor of the City of Plainfield’s sesquicentennial celebration. 

The presentation will be held in the Anne Louise Davis room at the Plainfield Public Library, located at 800 Park Avenue in 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

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 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.