Somerset County residents and VIPs who came out on a rainy Saturday morning fifty years ago today for the grand opening of Somerset's first county park may have done a double-take when they looked at their programs. What had been often referred to as "Raritan River Park", and most recently as "Island Park" had a new name.
The News-Record even provided a map, showing the location of Island Park on Old York Rd.
But careful readers may have noticed a second news story in the same newspaper - on the same page!
The Park Commission had just selected - indeed had received permission - to use the name "Duke Island Park". Permission was granted by Doris Duke, who had already been instrumental in getting the park up and running even before the groundbreaking back in February.
The heiress, who resided just across the river on her Hillsborough estate, had provided $30,500 to repair the Headgates Dam, and had donated 55 acres of land - plus trees, shrubbery, and maintenance equipment.