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This guide provides a chronological framework for important events in Jersey City's history.
Lenape people lived on the eastern and western banks of the Hudson River.
John Cabot explored the coast of North America for England.
Giovanni da Verrazano sailed for France and entered New York Bay.
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.
Dutch West India Company received charter from The Netherlands.
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.
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
Michael Paulusen became superintendent of Pavonia and took up residence at Paulus Hook.
Jan Evertse Bout became superintendent of Communipaw settlement at Pavonia. He built first house at Communipaw Bay (later South Cove).
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.
Governor Philip Carteret of New Jersey approved a new charter for the Town of Bergen.
Site of Newkirk family homestead granted by Governor Philip Carteret.
Congregation of Dutch Reformed Church erected Octagonal Church at southeast corner of Bergen Avenue and Vroom Street. It replaced original church.
Bergen Township was the government seat of Bergen County (to 1690s).
Robert Fulton purchased land on Steuben Street and Green and Morgan Streets for his shipyard.
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.
Col. Richard Varick built Prospect Hall overlooking the Hudson River.
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.
Jersey City Glass Works (later P.C. Dummer & Company) founded by George Dummer and Associates at Washington and Essex Street.
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.
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.
Challenges and Changes in the Post-War City (1950-1975)
Charter revision for Jersey City's municipal government.
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.