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fills MEETING HOUSE OF THE FRIENDS IN PLAIN! HELD, ERECTED UN 1787, IS PERFECTLY SOUND TO I>\Y. VVATCHUKG WENUE MEETING HOUSE OF THE FRIENDS i '!■■•■ en at the doae o( centennial service in 18S& * OLDTIME MEETINO HOUSE. VIiERE THE FRIENDS IN PLAIN Fit 1.1 • HAVE WORSHIPPED MORE THAN A CENTURY. Few t.niL-it.i.- link-; between the eighteenth £nd twentieth centuries now remain in this >, and where such links have survived t arch of Improvements and th-- wear and tear if time ••■ml the elements they should be I sed of much historic value. One of li> ■ links in good preservation la the old Friends' Meeting House in Watchung-ave., pi ilnneld, N. J. Prior to Its erection the Friends In th«- vicin ity of Plainfield had built a meeting house on land given for that purpose by John Laing. It wai : itn.it' il about three miles east »t the \i t structure, and was called the Plainfield M.-etlng House, the site of the present city of Plain Held being known a.s the "land of John Webster." According to records kept by Friends, at a monthly meeting held in Rah way on "Eleventh month, 15th, 17*7," a committee was appointed for the purpose of "building a new meeting house In and for Plainneld." This committee consisted of representative men In the society, Including John Webster, David Vail, Jonah Vail, Isaiah Shotwell, John Webster, 3d, Isaac 1. Ing, Jacob Idling, Samuel Pound, Isaiah Dun ham, John Haydock, Benjamin Stackhouse, Joseph Bhotwell, William Smith, Hartshorn K. Randolph, Abraham Copeland and Samuel Marsh. They recommended the purchase of .i lot of land consisting of three acres, near the house of John Webster, 3d, as a suitable place for the erection of the new house, its dimen ,-ions to be 31 by 4S feet Its cost was &'-" 7s. lOd. At the time of its erection the federal con stltutlon of the United States had only Just been formulated, and George Washington had SOME OF THE LEADING FRIENDS OF THR PLAINJILJLD MEETING. Bffiftnff from left to right the names arc Catharine X Webster, ■ birthright menker: Harvey S. Moore; Sarah Clifton act-d ninety-two years a btrthricat member, and w. L». wllUuiun. " ' NEW-YORK TRIBUNE ILLUSTRATED SI "ITLKMKNT. INTERIOR OF THE MEETING HOUSE AS IT LOOKS TO-DAY. not .yet been elected President of the United States. Little dreamed the building committee of 17**7 that the quiet Bite selected would become the centre of activities for the traffic of a future city! Within a few feet of the Central Rail road of New- Jersey, on whose elevated trarks thousands of passengers and millions of dollars' worth of freight pass daily, and Just at the point where is the distributing centre of the trolley system of the section, stands the old meeting house, a silent witness of the faith of past Bent-rations, when ste.;m was undreamed of and no Wilde*! fancy of Imaginative man had thought of harnessing the lightning to convey him on his journeys and aid him in holding converse at distant points over land and m a. The strength of timber and durability of the materials selected by that building committea are attested by the fact that in spite of the devastating work of more than a century the old shingle sid- d. wrought nailed meeting house stands to-day as it was built, with th<» ex ception of one end damaged by lire and repaired in 1573. The massive timbers inside el-arly show the marks of the implements wielded by the builders in primitive days. No paint or fresco has ever decorated the walls and ceil inps. Only the mellowing of time hus soft ened the hues and enriched the colors of the natural woods. The same old boarded seats in which the dedicators sat in their quaint at tire on the 20th day of Eighth month. 17S8, are th« re still. The initials on the backs vt some of them, bearing date 1814 and ISS2, suggest that even In the olden time "For Satan tind3 some misrhief still for idle hands to do.** In the early days of PlainftVld th- settlers on <"■-.■• and Cetfar brooks were the families of the Websters. Shotwells and Vails. The ten dency to locate la contiguous sections i.s shown by th.- statement of Sarah Vail, afterward the wife of Zachariah ■-:■.-. who said that when she was a girl she often mt-t sixty of her first cousins when she attended worship in the o!J meeting house in Peace-st., the early name of the present Watchung-ave. A bit of Revolutionary history connect- >1 ui;h the building of the meeting house is that Kd» ward Fitz Randolph, who guided lleneral W.i^h injrtorj to th>? juttirg ruck on the mountainside that commanded a tine view of the plain bflow, where Piainfield now stands, was a mas..i:. and helped to build this place of worship. "An up and coming man fur those days, truly." said <rie who knew him. "was Edward Fitz Randolph; who bullded more wisely than he knew -.-. hen he wrought so well on this old structure, and quick to see a vantage point, fur he observed Washington's Rock, and made himself great by serving greatness! This Fitz Kandolrh was an ardent Quaker, and sat on the facing seats at the meeting." Outside the old house of worsh ing elms, marked by low headston departed worthies, the nu-mbt-rs I . : meetinj?, whose monument is in hea the living hearts of their d>-.- ■ iv^o have inherited th»ir virtue and Krai tian character. That this landma torio monument and a house of w may be d- alt as p> ntly with by ti: Ing years as in the ;>ast Is the «W whom it is dear. AT JOHN h\n\ s QMAfM. The guidebooks unite in tellinff th. visit .«r in Edinburgh to see the grave of John KaUL It '3 situated in Parliament Square, and i~ » ' ly a small rectangular slab of stone raall la t h * cobblestone paving of the street, wjft elled Inscription. "J. K. I'm^." Uut it h •** against even the acute tourist that he tin. ls the great reformer at once. For only fly.- feet a«ay from the holy ground there is a similar sunken •lab. and many times a day parti* * of u-ur- Mi may be seen approaching on tlpn «• the stc ond stone, and bending over it with ke.n int. rest only to read. "Wllktng Patent Hydrant. " an* find themselves face to face with the water sup ply system of a modern town Instead of «• bones of the eminent clergyman.