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Chronology: Chronology

This guide provides a chronological framework for important events in Jersey City's history.

Image Gallery

A. Harry Moore School

Courtesy, RF Smith

Fourth Regiment Armory

Courtesy, RF Smith

Jersey City Athletic Club

Courtesy, RF Smith

Bayview & NY Bay Cemetery

Courtesy, RF Smith

Bergen Ave. near Fairmount

Courtesy, RF Smith

Bergen Square

Courtesy, RF Smith

Christ Hospital

Courtesy, RF Smith

City Hall, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Columbia Hall

Courtesy, RF Smith

Old HC Courthouse & Jail

Courtesy, RF Smith

Divine Fairmount Hotel

Courtesy, RF Smith

HC Administration Building

Courtesy, RF Smith

Hancock House

Courtesy, RF Smith

HC (Brennan) Courthouse

Courtesy, RF Smith

Lincoln Monument

Courtesy, RF Smith

Lincoln Park

Courtesy, RF Smith

Lincoln Park

Courtesy, RF Smith

Hudson (now JFK) Boulevard

Courtesy, RF Smith

Journal Square

Courtesy, RF Smith

Lincoln High School

Courtesy, RF Smith

Newark Avenue, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Newark Avenue, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Pacific Avenue, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Paterson Plank Road, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Paulus Hook Monument

Courtesy, RF Smith

Pershing Field

Courtesy, RF Smith

Dudley S. Gregory Mansion

Courtesy, RF Smith

Pulaski Skyway

Courtesy, RF Smith

Jersey City Reservoir

Courtesy, RF Smith

Tise Tavern

Courtesy, RF Smith

Van Vorst Park

Courtesy, RF Smith

YMCA, Jersey City NJ

Courtesy, RF Smith

Barrow Mansion

Courtesy: Jersey City Free Public Library

Chronology and Timeline for Jersey City Past and Present

Dutch Colonization and Settlement (1623-1663)

 

  • Lenape people lived on the eastern and western banks of the Hudson River.

1497

  • John Cabot explored the coast of North America for England.

1524

  • Giovanni da Verrazano sailed for France and entered New York Bay.

1609

  • Henry Hudson on the Dutch East India Company ship Half Moon sailed for The Netherlands looking for a northwest route to the Indies; he sailed from Newfoundland to the Chesapeake Bay and returned northward to enter New York Bay.

1610

  • Dutch West India Company received charter from The Netherlands.

1623

  • The Dutch West India Company established its headquarters at New Amsterdam for colony of New Netherlands on east and west shores of the Hudson River. First settlers came to colony.

1630

  • The Dutch settlement began on the western shoreline of the Hudson River at Communipaw
  • Michael Pauw was granted an estate he called "Pavonia" through the Dutch patroon system; it included today's Jersey City and Hoboken
  • The island of Harsimus was claimed by the Dutch West India Company as part of a grant to Michael Pauw

1633

  • Michael Paulusen became superintendent of Pavonia and took up residence at Paulus Hook.

1634

  • Jan Evertse Bout became superintendent of Communipaw settlement at Pavonia. He built first house at Communipaw Bay (later South Cove).

1636

  • Cornelius Van Vorst built a home at Harsimus Cove.
  • Abraham Isaacsen Planck bought land at Paulus Hook.

1638

1643

  • Indians wars began at Pavonia during tenure of William Kieft.

1647

1658

  • Peter Stuyvesant purchased land from the Indians.

1660

1661

  • First public road built connecting Communipaw settlement with Bergen Township.

1662

English Control and Dutch Culture (1664-1775)

1664

  • Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherlands to the English. Charles II and the Duke of York conveyed all the land between the Delaware and the Hudson Rivers to John, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret as the proprietors of the colony of New Jersey.
  • Sip Manor House built by Nicholas Varleth at Newkirk Street and Bergen Avenue.

1668

  • Governor Philip Carteret of New Jersey approved a new charter for the Town of Bergen.

1669

  • Site of Newkirk family homestead granted by Governor Philip Carteret.

1680

  • Congregation of Dutch Reformed Church erected Octagonal Church at southeast corner of Bergen Avenue and Vroom Street. It replaced original church.

1682

  • Bergen Township was the government seat of Bergen County (to 1690s).

1690

  • Construction of Summit House by Matthias Newkirk.
  • Cornelius Van Vorst purchased Paulus Hook property from Abraham Isaacsen Planck. This included almost half of present-day Jersey City.
  • Elsworth Tavern, owned by Verdine Elsworth, opened overlooking the Hudson River at present site of Grand and Hudson Street.

1740

 

1760

1762

  • Eagle Tavern (later known as Tise Tavern) constructed on Bergen Avenue near Glenwood Avenue.

1764

  • Ferry service established between Paulus Hook and New York City as part of a stage coach route to Philadelphia.

1773

  • Second Bergen Church built at southwest corner of Bergen Avenue and Vroom Street.
 

 

 

 

The Revolutionary War Era (1776-1789)

1776

  • General George Washington ordered fortifications of Paulus Hook but is taken by British.
  • Patriots abandon Paulus Hook and retreat to Bergen Township.
  • Bergen Township fell to British and was abandoned by patriots (October).

1779

  • Major Henry "Light horse Harry" Lee of Virginia captured Paulus Hook fort from the British on August 19.
  • Van Vorst home at Harsimus was occupied by the British after the Battle of Paulus Hook.

1780

  • Story of patriot Jane Tuers (home stood at southeast corner of Bergen Avenue and Mercer Street).
  • Gen. George Washington met Major Gen. Marquis de Lafayette at the "Apple Tree House."
 

 

 

 

From Townships to Municipality (1790-1869)

1790

  • Columbian Academy founded on site of Martin Luther King Elementary School (No. 11).

1804

1812

  • Robert Fulton purchased land on Steuben Street and Green and Morgan Streets for his shipyard.

1815

  • Isaac Edge windmill built at foot of Montgomery Street.
  • George Tise placed the cornerstone of the former Stuyvesant Tavern on the rear wall of his new tavern.

1816

  • Col. Richard Varick built Prospect Hall overlooking the Hudson River.

1820

  • Paulus Hook incorporated as the City of Jersey in the County of Bergen by the New Jersey Legislature (January 28); five freeholders were chosen annually to constitute the Board of Selectmen of Jersey City.

1824

  • Jersey City Glass Works (later P.C. Dummer & Company) founded by George Dummer and Associates at Washington and Essex Street.

1825

  • William Colgate established a factory at Harsimus.
  • Jersey Porcelain & Earthenware Company founded by P.C. Dummer.

1827

1829

  • Second charter of incorporation (January 23) changes name of community to Jersey City.
  • Volunteer fire department and night watchmen initiated.
  • Harsimus Cemetery began at Newark Avenue.

1831

  • St. Peter's R.C. Church founded (January 29). It was the first Roman Catholic parish in Jersey City and Hudson County. It was dedicated in 1839.

1833

1835

1836

  • Morris Canal extended to Jersey City.
  • New Jersey Railroad cut through Bergen Hill near present site of Journal Square and filled in much of Mill Creek.

1837

  • Third charter of incorporation of Jersey City; it separated from Bergen Township and was granted its own mayor and city council.

1838

  • Jersey City separated from Bergen Township and became an independent municipality; Charter for the City of Jersey City adopted (February 22); it permitted the election of a mayor and common council.
  • Dudley Gregory became first mayor of Jersey City.
  • Buck's Hotel on York Street was used for first meeting of mayor and council (April 16).
  • Beacon Racetrack opened in Jersey City Heights area.

1839

1840

  • Southern portion of Bergen County separated from the north becoming Hudson County.

1840s

  • New Jersey Railroad built depot on west side of Hudson Street North of Montgomery Avenue.

1841

  • Cunard Line began at Jersey City docks.
  • Third and present building of Old Bergen Church.
  • Township of Van Vorst (former Harsimus) separated from Bergen Township and received a charter (March 11)
    to be an independent municipality (most of downtown Jersey City, excluding Paulus Hook). Ten years later is joined the municipality of Jersey City.

1844

1845

1847

  • Dixon Crucible Company relocated from Massachusetts to Jersey City.

1848

1850s

  • Erie-Lackawanna Railroad reached Jersey City as its eastern terminus.

1851

  • In March, the Township of Van Vorst became part of Jersey City, becoming the Third and Fourth Wards.
  • Horticulturalist Peter Henderson designed Victorian-style Van Vork Park.
  • Construction for Reservoir 3 begun on Summit Avenue.

1852

  • Town of Hudson separated from North Bergen and was chartered by the New Jersey Legislature in April.

1853

1854

1855

  • Township of Bergen was chartered. It extended from present-day Journal Square to approximately Communipaw Avenue. It had a population of 4,792.
  • City of Hudson was chartered in April; it had a population of approximately 3,000. The first mayor was Gen. E.R.V. Wright. It is popularly referred to as Jersey City Heights.

1856

  • Keeney & Halladay laid out grid for Lafayette section.
  • Hasbrouck Institute at Mercer Street is opened as a private school for young men. It moved to Crescent Avenue
    in 1893.

1857

  • Speer Cemetery on Vroom Street made a public burial ground on former DeMott estate.

1859

  • First police headquarters constructed at Cooper's Alley and Gregory Street.

1861

  • City Hall of Jersey City constructed at Cooper Place.
  • Central Railroad of New Jersey opened a station in Greenville.

1863

  • Greenville received charter, making it a separate town from Bergen.

1865

1866

1867

1868

  • Township of Bergen was renamed Bergen City and John Hilton became its first mayor.
  • Hudson City Savings Bank founded by Garret D. Van Reipen (second Mayor of Hudson City) at Five Corners location.

1870

  • Jersey City, City of Bergen and Hudson City merged into one municipality called Jersey City.

New Industries and New Immigrants (1870-1912)

1870

  • Jersey City denied home rule; Hudson City, Bergen and Jersey City consolidated.
  • P. Lorillard Tobacco Company moved to Jersey City from New York.

1871

  • New charter of incorporation for the City of Jersey City. It included the cities of Bergen, Hudson City and Jersey City.
  • Pennsylvania Railroad began operations at Exchange Place and Harsimus Cove, making Jersey City its eastern terminus

1872

  • Jersey City High School founded (origins of present-day Dickinson High School).
  • William Dickinson became Superintendent of Schools. High School is later named for him.

1873

  • Greenville merged with the municipality of Jersey City (August 11).
  • Alexander Hamilton (no relation to former Secretary of Treasury) fled to Mexico with the contents of the city treasury.

1874

1876

  • New Jersey legislature restored home rule to Jersey City with a new charter.
  • Erminnie Smith started the Aesthetic Society.

1877

1878

1879

  • E.F.C. Young elected president of the First National Bank of Jersey City.

1880s

1880

  • Peter Woodland, a Hudson River Terminal worker, buried at Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery.

1881

1884

1886

1887

  • Academy of Music opened by Frank Henderson.
  • Odd Volumes founded as a charter member of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Club.

1889

1890

1891

  • St. Joseph's Home for Blind at Pavonia Avenue and St. Joseph's School for the Blind at Baldwin Avenue were founded.

1892

  • Electric trolley began operations in Jersey City.

1893

  • Whittier House, a social settlement house, founded by Cornelia Foster Bradford at Grand Street.

1895

  • Hudson County (now John F. Kennedy) Boulevard opened.
  • Mary Philbrook, from Jersey City, is first woman in New Jersey admitted to the bar.
  • Regiment Armory completed for the 4th Regiment of the New Jersey National Guard.

1896

  • Jersey City's City Hall at Grove Street and Montgomery Avenue completed.

1899

  • Pennsylvania Railroad began the marine freight terminal at Greenville yards.

1903

  • Publication of "The Housing Conditions of Jersey City" by Mary B. Sayles, a resident of Whittier House.

1904

1905

1906

  • First Colgate Clock installed on Jersey City waterfront.
  • Erie Railroad began construction of the Bergen Arches.
  • Jersey City High School (now Dickinson High School) opened; it was renamed in 1913.

1907

1908

  • Powerhouse is activated to generate energy to Hudson & Manhattan Tunnel (February 25).
  • Evening Journal renamed the Jersey Journal.

1910

1911

  • Hudson and Manhattan "Tube Trains" (now PATH) began service to New York.
  • St. Ann's Home for Aged founded at Old Bergen Avenue.

1912

1913

Era of Mayor Frank Hague (1913-1949)

1913

  • Lincoln High School opened at Crescent Avenue.
  • Main Post Office opened at Washington Street.
  • Jersey City adopted a commission form of government under the Walsh-Leavitt Commission Government Act of 1911. The voters elect a commission of five members from which one is chosen mayor. Mark Fagan was the first mayor under this plan. It replaced the aldermanic form of government.

1914

1917

  • Frank Hague elected mayor of Jersey City, beginning an era of political control in Hudson County.

1920s

1921

  • School for Crippled Children opened at Clifton Place.
  • Dempsey-Carpentier fight takes place at Boyle's Thirty Acres (July 2).

1924

1925

  • Mary T. Norton elected the first Congresswoman from Hudson County, representing Bayonne and Jersey City.

1927

1928

1929

1930s

1931

1932

1935

  • The New Jersey State Normal School became the New Jersey State Teachers College (now New Jersey City University) and offered a four-year Bachelor of Science in Education degree.

1936

  • New Jersey State Teachers College offered a degree program in Health Education and Nursing in cooperation with the Jersey City Medical Center.

1937

1941

1942

1944

1946

  • Jackie Robinson broke the "color line" in professional baseball at Roosevelt Stadium.

1947

1949

  • John V. Kenny brings an end to Hague regime.

1950

Challenges and Changes in the Post-War City (1950-1975)

1960

  • Charter revision for Jersey City's municipal government.

1961

  • Jersey City adopted Plan C under the Optional Municipal Charter Law (Chapter 210 of New Jersey Laws 1950). The voters citywide elect a mayor and three council members, and the voters of each ward (six) elect one council person. The council is headed by a council president chosen from its nine members. It replaced the commission form of government in place from 1913.

1962

  • Father Divine purchase Fairmount Hotel for his Peace Mission Movement.
  • Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University) began the administration of the A. Harry Moore School.

1964

  • Lena Edwards, MD, received Presidential Medal of Freedom from Lyndon B. Johnson.

1969

1974

Towards a Better Future (1976 - Present)

1976

  • New Jersey and federal government agreed to preserve and develop former Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal site as Liberty State Park. It opened on Flag Day, June 14th.

1982

1984

1989

1991

1993

  • Liberty Science Center and Hall of Technology opened at Liberty State Park.
  • Restoration of the Loew's Jersey Theater begun by Jersey City Economic Redevelopment Corporation and Friends of the Loew's.

1995

1998

  • Jersey City State College is restructured and renamed New Jersey City University.
  • Commemorative statue of Jackie Robinson placed in front of PATH terminal at Journal Square.

1999

  • Christopher Columbus Square dedicated at Liberty State Park.

2000

2001