Dan Aubrey’s July 5, 2017, article, “An Island Adventure in New Jersey’s Capital,” is still making waves. Aubrey spoke about the islands in the Delaware River, especially Rotary Island, at the January 18 Trenton Rotary Club meeting. The club had owned the island and operated a camp on it during the first half of the 20th century.

Aubrey brought Leonard Pope, 74, who as a young boy had lived on the island with his caretaker parents until 1950. Pope had contacted Aubrey after reading the story.

During the luncheon George Pearson, a Lawrenceville architect, recommended he search for the 1970 book “History of the Trenton Rotary Club 1914-1969” and its section on Rotary Island.

“When I returned to the Trenton Free Public Library to see if it was there, the librarian dealing with the historical collection located it in a box in a storage area,” says Aubrey. “It was worth the effort and provided some interesting history.”

Here is an example: “Before the Revolution, it is said, the island was first used as a common pasture for cattle of various farmers. By the year 1755, a man named William Logan occupied the island and then Joseph White lived there and farmed it. After he died in about 1816, various owners cultivated ‘White’s island’ eking out an existence here, probably aided by the abundance of fish in the Delaware, and braved the flood waters which, on one or two occasions, just covered the island.

“In 1889, a canoe club formed in Trenton by 20 men, each declaring himself of good character and at least a fair swimmer, purchased the island for $1,700. They incorporated in the year 1900 and issued 200 hundred shares of stock, each share having the face value of $50.”

#b#To the Editor: Thanks for a Special Opera#/b#

On February 3 children’s performer Dan Zanes brought his new sensory friendly folk opera to McCarter. This new production offered a “relaxed performance” concert to an audience of more than 400.

This marks the sixth season that McCarter has offered a relaxed performance for people on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. Relaxed performances feature adjustments to the lighting, special effects, and music to allow everyone to enjoy the magic of a live performance.

Zanes’ “Night Train 57” is the first time McCarter has presented a relaxed performance that was specifically designed as such. We are grateful to Zanes for creating a joyous, interactive performance for a family audience, many of whom have limited opportunities to enjoy a concert or performance together.

McCarter, in collaboration with five other area theaters, is working to program more relaxed performances, share best practices, and develop a public calendar of regional relaxed performance events.

We are grateful for the contributions of Jazams, which provided small toys for our audience members to quietly fidget with. We also acknowledge our volunteer ushers.

Finally we thank the Karma Foundation for its leadership support of these relaxed performances. They have generously funded this program since its inception.

We look forward to serving our community in this way for years to come.

Emily Mann

Artistic Director,

McCarter Theater

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