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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, an Italian sailing for England, explored the coast of North America and reached Newfoundland.

1524

  • Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian sailing for France, sailed along the coast of North America from Cape Fear to Newfoundland and entered New York Bay.

1609

  • Henry Hudson, an Englishman, sailing on the Dutch East India Company ship Half Moon, searched for a northwest route to the Indies; he sailed from Newfoundland to the Chesapeake Bay and returned northward to enter New York Bay and the North (Hudson) River.

1610

1623

  • The Dutch West India Company established its headquarters at New Amsterdam for the colony of New Netherlands on the east and west shores of the Hudson River. It includes northeastern New Jersey and Manhattan Island. The Dutch claim all of New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and sections of Connecticut. Settlers started to come to the colony.

1630s

  • Dutch settlement began on the western shoreline of the Hudson River at Communipaw and other areas in northeastern New Jersey.
  • Michael Pauw received a land grant on the west bank of the Hudson River that he called "Pavonia" through the Dutch patroon system; it includes 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. It became part of present-day Jersey City.

1633

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

1634

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

1636

1638

  • William Kieft was named the third Director-General of New Netherlands. New Sweden was settled by Peter Minuit; he built Fort Christina along the Delaware River.

1643

  • Wars between the colonists and Native Americans began at Pavonia during the tenure of William Kieft.

1647

1658

1660s

  • The Dutch settlement at Bergen (Jersey City), on the site of present-day Bergen Square, became the first permanent European settlement in New Jersey.  A palisade to fortify the village was completed in April 1661.
  • The settlement at Communipaw became a fortified village.
  • The first regular ferry service was established between the Communipaw settlement and Manhattan Island.
  • The Speer Burial Ground began at Bergen Avenue and Vroom Street.
  • The Bergen Columbian Academy, the first recorded school, was established in Bergen (Jersey City).

1661

  • The first public road built connecting Communipaw settlement with Bergen Township was built.

1662

English Control and Dutch Culture (1664-1775)

1664

  • Directory-General Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherlands to the English. Charles II and the Duke of York conveyed all the land between Delaware and the Hudson Rivers to John, Lord Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret as the proprietors of the colony of New Jersey. Philip Carteret was named the first proprietary governor of the colony.
  • Sip Manor House was 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

1680

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

1682

1690

  • The Summit House was constructed 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. It overlooked the Hudson River at the present site of Grand and Hudson Street.

1740

 

1760

  • The first part of the Van Wagenen home (Apple Tree House) was constructed.
  • Jacob Prior constructed a tidewater mill at Mill Creek (Prior's Mill).
  • Retirement Hall was built by Captain Thomas Brown, a merchant and slave trader.

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

 

 

 

 

The Revolutionary War Era (1776-1789)

1776

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

1779

  • Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee of Virginia led a successful attack on the garrison at Paulus Hook (August 19th), held by the British since 1776, but failed to capture it from the British.
  • The 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

  • The Columbian Academy was built on site of Martin Luther King Elementary School (Public School No. 11) on Beren Avenue.

1804

1812

  • Robert Fulton purchased land on Steuben Street and Green and Morgan Streets for his shipyard, purchased in 1804. His steamboat "The Jersey" sailed to New York.

1815

  • Isaac Edge windmill was 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 was 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) was founded by George Dummer and Associates at Washington and Essex Street.

1825

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

1827

1829

  • The second charter of incorporation (January 23) under the name "Jersey City."
  • Jersey City's volunteer fire department began and night watchmen (the first police force) were appointed for public safety.
  • 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

  • The Morris Canal, which opened in 1831, is extended to Jersey City.
  • New Jersey Railroad cut through Bergen Hill near the 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

  • The southern portion of Bergen County (Van Vorst Township/Harsimus) separated from northern Bergen County becoming Hudson County.

1840s

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

1841

  • The Cunard Line began at the Jersey City docks. The "Hibernia" was docked in Jersey City in 1847. 
  • The third and present building of the Old Bergen Church on Bergen Avenue is built.
  • Township of Van Vorst (former Harsimus) is 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, it joined the municipality of Jersey City.

1844

1845

1847

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.
  • Gas street lamps were installed in the city.

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 a grid for the Lafayette section of Jersey City.
  • Hasbrouck Institute at Mercer Street is opened as a private school for young men. It moved to Crescent Avenue
    in 1893.

1857

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

1859

1861

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

1871

  • The new charter of incorporation for the City of Jersey City. It included the cities of Bergen, Hudson City and Jersey City.
  • Beginning of the city's first paid Fire Department.
  • 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) completing the boundaries for Jersey City. 
  • 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 was opened by Frank Henderson.
  • Odd Volumes was ounded 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 (now under the ministry of the York Street Project) 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

1907

1908

  • The first route of the Hudson Manhattan tubes (now PATH) opened under the Hudson River. The Powerhouse is activated to generate energy for the Hudson & Manhattan Tunnel (February 25).
  • The Evening Journal was renamed the Jersey Journal.

1910

1911

  • Hudson and Manhattan "Tube Trains" (now PATH) began service to New York.
  • St. Ann's Home for Aged  (former Lembeck home) wa ounded 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

1916

  • The "Black Tom" ammunition depot explosion occurred at the coast of Jersey City on July 30th.

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

  • The Colgate Clock is installed at the Jersey City waterfront.
  • The Hotel Plaza is built in the Journal Square area at Sip Avenue.

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

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

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

2000

2001