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Bayonne (pronounced BAY-own) is a city in Hudson Countymarker, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker, south of Jersey Citymarker. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city had a total population of 61,842. The Census Bureau's 2006 population estimate for Bayonne is 57,886, a decrease of 6.4% from 2000.

According to tradition, the city derives its name from the Basque city of Bayonnemarker in Francemarker. It is said that French Huguenots settled there some time before New Amsterdam was founded. French-speaking Walloons were a large percentage of the population of New Netherland during the mid-seventeenth century and may have given the name. However, there are no historical records to prove this. A 1904 history suggests that the area's developers named it Bayonne because it is on the shores of two bays, Newarkmarker and New York, hence Bay-on, or "on the Bays".Bayonne was originally formed as a township on April 1, 1861, from portions of Bergen Township. Bayonne was reincorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1869, replacing Bayonne Township, subject to the results of a referendum held nine days later.


Bayonne was first home to the Lenape Native Americans before the arrival of Henry Hudson. Henry Hudson first sailed through the Kill Van Kullmarker into Newark Baymarker in 1609, where it is said he dropped anchor at Birds' Point, now Constable Hook. Hudson claimed the area for the Netherlandsmarker. Then in 1646, Dutch West India Company gave John Jacobson Roy, chief gunner or konstapel at Fort Amsterdammarker, a grant of land later known as Constable Hook. Further expansion of the territory came in 1654 when Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant gave out numerous land grants in the upper part of the peninsula (modern-day 30th street) which, was named Pamrapo. In 1661, the Bergen Township was formed by the Dutch which, stretched southward to Bergen Point. The area then came under British rule in 1664 after they defeated the Dutch for the area. In 1714, the Township of Bergen became one of three townships in the new County of Bergenmarker. In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, British and patriot forces clashed at Fort Delancy in what is now Bayonne.

In 1836, the Morris Canal which ran from Phillipsburgmarker to Newarkmarker during the time, was extended to Bergen Neck to New York Bay. On March 15, 1861 the New Jersey Legislature approved unification of Bergen Point, Centerville, Salterville, and Constable Hook into the Township of Bayonne. The City of Bayonne was approved by the New Jersey Legislature in 1869. Industrial growth came to Constable Hook in 1872 when Standard Oil bought land there. Later, in 1875 Prentice Oil Company also established at Constable Hook. It would later be sold to a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad called Empire Transportation Company, a competitor of Standard Oil. Even more expansion came to Bayonne when Tide Water Oil Company, previously located in Pennsylvania, relocated.


Bayonne is located south of Jersey Citymarker on the Bergen Neck peninsula surrounded by New York Bay to the east, Newark Bay to the west, and the Kill van Kullmarker to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29.1 km²), consisting of 5.6 square miles (14.6 km²) of land and 5.6 square miles (14.6 km²) or 50.04% of water.

Communities within Bayonne include Bergen Point and Constable Hook.


Bayonne, like New York City has a humid subtropical climate according to the Koppen climate classification. The climate in Bayonne is moderated by the nearby ocean and surrounding waters.


According to the census in 2000, there were 61,842 people, 25,545 households, and 16,016 families in the city. The population density was 10,992.2 people per square mile (4,241.1/km²). There were 26,826 housing units at an average density of 4,768.2/sq mi (1,839.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.64% white, 5.52% African American, 0.17% Native American, 4.14% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.46% from other races, and 4.02% from two or more races. Puerto Ricans or Latino of any race accounted for 17.81% of the population.

Bayonne is a diverse city, with a large community of Latinos, Irish American, Polish Americans, and Italian Americans. According to the census in 2000, the ancestry of Bayonne residents was: Italian (20.1%), Irish (18.8%), Polish (17.9%), German (6.1%), Arab (3.8%), United Statesmarker (2.5%).

There were 25,545 households, of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18, 42.8% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42, and the average family size was 3.10.

22.1% of the population was under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.6%, 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household was $41,566, and the median income for a family was $52,413. Males had a median income of $39,790 versus $33,747 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,553. About 8.4% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.9% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Bayonne is governed under the Faulkner Act system of municipal government by a mayor and a five-member city council. The council has three members from wards and two elected at large, all of whom serve four-terms in office, elected concurrently in non-partisan elections.

The current mayor of Bayonne is Mark Smith, who won a special election in November 2008 to fill the unexpired term of former mayor Joseph Doria, who stepped down on September 18, 2007 to serve as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Members of the Bayonne City Council are:
  • Vincent Lo Re Jr. (council president at large);
  • Terrence Ruane (at large);
  • Theodore Connolly (first ward);
  • John Halecky (second ward);
  • Gary La Pelusa (third ward).

Federal, state and county representation

Bayonne is split between the tenth and thirteenth Congressional districts and is part of New Jersey's 31st legislative district.

For the 2008-2009 legislative session, the 31st district of the New Jersey legislature is represented in the assembly by Bayonne's Anthony Chiappone.


Public schools

The Bayonne Board of Educationmarker currently serves around 9,600 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are ten pre-k-8 elementary schools — Henry E. Harris No. 1 (710 students), Phillip G. Vroom No. 2 (405),Dr. Walter F.marker Robinson No.marker 3marker (583), Mary J. Donohoe No. 4 (471), Lincoln No. 5 (471), Horace Mann No. 6 (603), Midtown Community School No. 8 (1,099), George Washington School No. 9 (688), Woodrow Wilson No. 10 (562) and John M. Bailey No. 12 (734) — P.S. #14, which is currently a neighborhood school for grades pre-K through 6, as well as for gifted and talented students in academics, the arts, and physical education and for students in grades 5 to 8. There is an application and interview process open to all children in the district to enter the gifted and talented program. Each year, 48 students are accepted into the program. Bayonne High Schoolmarker is the only public school in the state to have an on-campus ice rink for its hockey team.

For the 2004-05 school year, Mary J. Donohoe No. 4 School was named a "star school" by the New Jersey Department of Education, the highest honor a New Jersey school can achieve. It is the fourth school in Bayonne to receive this honor. The other three are Bayonne High School in 1995-96, Midtown Community School in 1996-97 and P.S. #14 in the 1998-99 school year.Horace Mann No. 6 was also named one of the 2006 Just for the Kids Benchmark Schools.P.S. 14 was named a National Blue Ribbon School in Fall 2008.

Private schools

Private high schools in Bayonne include Holy Family Academymarker and Marist High Schoolmarker. All Saints Catholic Academymarker and Beacon Christian Academy are private elementary schools in Bayonne.



Bayonne is connected to Staten Islandmarker, New Yorkmarker by the Bayonne Bridgemarker. The Bayonne Bridge is lit in patriotic colors, red, white and blue, in the evenings, as a 9/11 memorial initiated by a then 8-year-old girl, Veronica Marie Granite, in the summer of 2002, with the assistance of then-municipal council member-at-large Maria Karczewski.

The Newark Bay Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 78) provides access to Jersey City and, via the Holland Tunnelmarker, to Manhattanmarker. In the opposite direction on the Newark Bay Extension, the Newark Bay Bridgemarker provides access to Newarkmarker, Newark Liberty International Airportmarker and the rest of the Turnpike (Interstate 95).

Route 440 runs along the east side of Bayonne, and the west side of Jersey City, following the old Morris Canal route. Although it has traffic lights, it is usually the quickest way to go north-south within Bayonne. It connects to the Bayonne Bridge, I-78, and to Route 185 to Liberty State Parkmarker.

The Bayonne Bridgemarker, which connects Bayonne to Staten Islandmarker, was completed in November 1931. At the time, it was the longest steel arch bridge. Today, it is the third-longest such bridge, after the Lupu Bridgemarker in Shanghai, Chinamarker and the New River Gorge Bridgemarker in West Virginiamarker.


Bus transportation is provided on three main north-south streets of the city: Broadway, Kennedy Boulevard, and Avenue C, both by the New Jersey Transit operated by the state and several private bus lines. The Broadway line runs exclusively inside Bayonne city limits, while bus lines on Avenue C and Kennedy Boulevard run to various end points in Jersey City. One Kennedy Boulevard service, Coach USA 99S, runs to the Port Authority Bus Terminalmarker in midtown Manhattanmarker and rush hours peak direction. The NJ Transit 120 runs between Avenue C in Bayonne and Battery Parkmarker in Downtown Manhattan, while the 81 provides service to New Jerseymarker.

Light Rail

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which was completed in 2000 currently has stops throughout Bayonne, Jersey Citymarker, Hobokenmarker, Weehawkenmarker, Union Citymarker and North Bergenmarker.

Stations in Bayonne are:

The fourth station, 8th Streetmarker, which will be located at Avenue C, is under construction. Incidentally, all of these stations were the train stations for the old Central Railroad of New Jersey railway system.

Service within Bayonne is available between these three stations. Northbound service from Bayonne runs through Jersey City, mostly near the waterfront, to Hoboken Terminalmarker. Other parts of the system can be accessed via transfers. The Tonnelle Avenuemarker (in North Bergen) and other stations north of Hoboken Terminal can also be reached by transferring at stations between Liberty State Parkmarker and Pavonia-Newportmarker for the West Side Avenue-Tonnelle Avenue route, or at Hoboken Terminal for the Tonelle Avenue-Hoboken route. The Liberty State Park station is a transfer point for those traveling between Bayonne and stations on the West Side Avenuemarker (Jersey City) line. Connection to PATHmarker trains to midtown Manhattanmarker and to New Jersey Transit commuter train service are available at Hoboken Terminal, and connections to PATH trains to midtown Manhattan are available at the Hoboken Terminal and Pavonia-Newport stations. Transfers to PATH trains to Newarkmarker, Harrisonmarker, and downtown Manhattan are available at Exchange Placemarker.

In 2005, eight PCC trolly cars from the Newark City Subway were given to the Bayonne to be rehabilitated and operated along the proposed loop to connect to the 34th Street stationmarker of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine joined a contingent of state and federal officials to announce on May 6, 2006 that funding was in place to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system to Eighth Street in Bayonne. With the engineering work nearly complete, work on the rail line and the station is expected to start by 2008 and should be complete by 2009.


Urban Enterprise Zone

Portions of Bayonne are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate, as opposed to the 7% rate charged statewide.

Bayonne Crossing

The long-planned Bayonne Crossing, a power center to be located on Route 440, has finally gotten the green light to begin construction, according to a statement made by Michael O'Connor, executive director of the Bayonne Economic Development Corp. Cameron Group, the conditional developer for the site, will soon begin construction. Announced tenants include anchor stores Walmartmarker, T.G.I. Friday's, Best Buy, Lowe's Home Improvement, and New York Sports Club, as well as Starbucks Coffee, Sonic Drive-In, and Sleepys. This area also houses the foundation of VMware, a Palo Altomarker-based corporation (although it still has a significant presence in Bayonne). Plans formerly included a Circuit City, which was replaced by Best Buy due to Circuit City's bankruptcy and eventual close.


Bergen Point

Constable Hook

Kill Van Kull meets Newark Bay
The Bayonne Golf Club at New York Harbor, a private links style golf course that was constructed on marshland at Constable Hook. A flagpole, displaying a large American flag that is visible from Manhattan and other surrounding communities, stands next to the golf course's clubhouse, which also marks the highest point of elevation in the city of Bayonne.

Hackensack RiverWalk

Bayonne's section of the Hackensack RiverWalk (Bergen Point to Bellman's Creek in North Bergen), if fully completed, would run from the southwest corner of Bergen Point where the Kill Van Kullmarker meets the Newark Baymarker and connect to the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. A plaque unveiled on May 2, 2006 for the new Richard A. Rutkowski Park, a wetlands preserve on the northwestern end of town that is part of the RiverWalk. Also known as the Waterfront Park and Environmental Walkway, it is located immediately north of the Stephen R. Gregg Hudson County Park.

National Registered Historic Places

See List of Registered Historic Places in Hudson County, New Jersey

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

Military Ocean Terminal

On the site of the former Military Ocean Terminal, plans for Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor include new housing and businesses. Construction is underway and one section of housing is completed. A memorial park for the Tear of Griefmarker, commemorating September 11th, 2001, Cape Liberty Cruise Portmarker and Port Libertymarker are located at the end of the long peninsula. In 2005, eight PCC trolly cars from the Newark City Subway were given to the Bayonne to be rehabilitated and operated along a proposed loop to connect to the 34th Street stationmarker of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Local media

In popular culture

  • In the 1963 film, PT Boat 109, one of the main characters manning a repair facility in the Pacific where PT 109 is docked, speaks to Lt. John F. Kennedy , and states, "If I was not here (in the middle of the Pacific), I would be manning a dock in Bayonne, New Jersey."
  • In the 1990 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bayonne is referred to as "The Slime Capital of the World."
  • Bayonne is often used as the butt of jokes on television shows such as The Odd Couple. Frosty the maid was hailed as the "Beast from Bayonne", and in another episode, Oscar says about his loyal poker buddies, "Guys, I got my hands stamped together at Bayonne High".
  • In the 1997 film Men in Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, they mention that Bayonne has been taken over by aliens.
  • The 2000 film Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. takes place in Bayonne.
  • Bayonne is the home of several polar bears in children's books by Daniel Pinkwater: Bayonne is the location of the Hotel Larry, in The Larry series (Young Larry, At the Hotel Larry, Bongo Larry, Ice Cream Larry, Sleepover Larry, Dancing Larry), and the bad bears Irving and Muktuk (from the books Bad bears go visiting, Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears, Bad bears in the big city, Bad bears and a bunny, Bad bear detectives) reside in the Bayonne zoo.
  • Bayonne is the setting for the comic strip "Piranha Club" by Bud Grace.
  • Jackie Gleason, a former headliner at the Hi-Hat Club in Bayonne, was fascinated by the city and mentioned it often in the television series The Honeymooners.
  • Bayonne is mentioned as Louie Lastik's home town in Remember the Titans.
  • The 2008 film Assassination of a High School President was shot at Bayonne High School in Bayonne.

Notable residents

See also


External links

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