Originally inhabited by Native Americans, the region presently known as Bayonne was claimed by the Netherlands after Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River which is named after him. According to Royden Page Whitcomb's 1904 book, First History of Bayonne, New Jersey, the name Bayonne is speculated to have originated with Bayonne, France, from which Huguenots settled for a year before the founding of New Amsterdam. However, there is no empirical evidence for this notion, which is considered apocryphal. Whitcomb gives more credence to the idea that Erastus Randall, E.C. Bramhall and B.F. Woolsey, who bought the land owned by Jasper and William Cadmus for real estate speculation, named it Bayonne for purposes of real estate speculation, because it was located on the shores of two bays, Newark and New York.
The city experienced strikes that led to significant civil unrest during the Bayonne refinery strikes of 1915–1916, in which mostly Polish American workers staged labor actions against Standard Oil of New Jersey and Tidewater Petroleum, seeking improved pay and working conditions. Four striking workers were killed when strikebreakers protected by police fired into a crowd.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.082 square miles (28.702 km2), including 5.804 square miles (15.033 km2) of land and 5.278 square miles (13.669 km2) of water (47.62%) was water.
The city is located south of Jersey City on a peninsula earlier known as Bergen Neck surrounded by Upper New York Bay to the east, Newark Bay to the west, and Kill Van Kull to the south.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include: Bergen Point, Constable Hook and Port Johnson.
The 2010 United States Census counted 63,024 people, 25,237 households, and 16,051 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,858.3 per square mile (4,192.4/km2). The city contained 27,799 housing units at an average density of 4,789.4 per square mile (1,849.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.21% (43,618) White, 8.86% (5,584) Black or African American, 0.31% (194) Native American, 7.71% (4,861) Asian, 0.03% (16) Pacific Islander, 10.00% (6,303) from other races, and 3.88% (2,448) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 25.79% (16,251) of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 56.8% of the population.
Out of a total of 25,237 households, 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the city, 22.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.4 years. For every 100 females the census counted 91.7 males, but for 100 females at least 18 years old, it was 87.9 males.
The U.S. Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $53,587 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,278) and the median family income was $66,077 (+/- $5,235). Males had a median income of $51,188 (+/- $1,888) versus $42,097 (+/- $1,820) for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,698 (+/- $1,102). About 9.9% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 61,842 people, 25,545 households, and 16,016 families residing 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 per square mile (1,839.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.8% White, 5.50% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.46% from other races, and 4.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.81% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, the most common reported ancestries of Bayonne residents were Italian (20.1%), Irish (18.8%) and Polish (17.9%).
There were 25,545 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 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.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% 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% who were 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 in the city 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.
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 (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.
The Bayonne Town Center, located within the Broadway shopping district, includes retailers, eateries, consumer and small business banking centers. The Bayonne Medical Center is a for-profit hospital that anchors the northern end of the Town Center. It is the city's largest employer, with over 1,200 employees. A 2013 study showed that the hospital charged the highest rates in the United States.
Bayonne Crossing on Route 440 in Bayonne, includes a Lowe's, New York Sports Club, and Wal-Mart.
On the site of the former Military Ocean Terminal, the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor includes new housing and businesses. One of them, Cape Liberty Cruise Port is located at the end of the long peninsula with Royal Caribbean. Also found is a memorial park for the Tear of Grief, a monument that is 100 feet (30 m) high and weighs 175 short tons (159 t) commemorating September 11th, 2001 and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The firearms manufacturing company Henry Repeating Arms moved from Brooklyn to Bayonne in 2009.
Hackensack RiverWalk begins at Bergen Point where the Kill Van Kull meets the Newark Bay 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.
Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is part of a walkway that is intended to run the more than 18 miles (29 km) from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge.
In August 2014, the Bayonne Hometown Fair, a popular tourist and community attraction that ceased in 2000, was revived by a local business owner and resident. The first revived Bayonne Hometown Fair took place from June 6–7, 2015.
The City of Bayonne has been governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government (Plan C), implemented based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission as of July 1, 1962, before which it was governed by a Board of Commissioners under the Walsh Act. The governing body consists of a mayor and a five-member city council, of which two seats are elected at-large and three from wards.
As of 2016, the Mayor of Bayonne is Jimmy Davis, who was elected in a runoff election on June 10, 2014, against incumbent Mayor Mark Smith. Members of the Bayonne City Council are Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski (At-large), Thomas Cotter (First Ward), Salvatore Gullace (Second Ward) and Gary La Pelusa Sr. (Third Ward) and Juan M. Perez (At-large), all of whom are serving concurrent terms of office that end on June 30, 2018.Mayors of Bayonne
Mayors have been governing the community since Bayonne was established in 1869.
The first mayor of Bayonne was Henry Meigs, who served from 1869–1879.
The mayor with the longest term in office was Dennis P. Collins, who served from 1974–1990.
Pierre P. Garven served two non-consecutive terms from 1906–1910 and 1915–1919
Dr. Bert J. Daly served three non-consecutive terms from 1914–1915, 1927–1931 and 1943–1947.
Bayonne is split between the 8th and 10th Congressional Districts and is part of New Jersey's 31st state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Bayonne had been split between the 10th Congressional District and the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections. The split placed 33,218 residents living in the city's south and west in the 8th District, while 29,806 residents in the northeastern portion of the city were placed in the 10th District.
New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne Jr. (D, Newark). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach). For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 31st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D, Jersey City) and in the General Assembly by Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D, Bayonne) and Angela V. McKnight (D, Jersey City).
Hudson County is governed by a directly elected County Executive and by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, which serves as the county's legislative body. Hudson County's Freeholder District 1 includes all of Bayonne and a part of Jersey City. As of 2015 is represented by Kenneth Kopacz The County Executive is Democrat Thomas A. DeGise, whose term of office ends December 31, 2015.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 32,747 registered voters in Bayonne, of which 17,087 (52.2%) were registered as Democrats, 2,709 (8.3%) were registered as Republicans and 12,928 (39.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 23 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 66.4% of the vote (13,467 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 32.6% (6,605 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (197 votes), among the 20,454 ballots cast by the city's 34,424 registered voters (185 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 59.4%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 57.0% of the vote here (13,768 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 40.6% (9,796 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (283 votes), among the 24,139 ballots cast by the town's 35,823 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.4%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 56.0% of the vote here (12,402 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 42.2% (9,341 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (184 votes), among the 22,135 ballots cast by the town's 32,129 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.9.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 49.3% of the vote (5,322 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 49.1% (5,297 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (169 votes), among the 10,987 ballots cast by the city's 34,957 registered voters (199 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 31.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 53.8% of the vote here (7,421 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 38.7% (5,333 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.8% (662 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (183 votes), among the 13,781 ballots cast by the town's 32,588 registered voters, yielding a 42.3% turnout.
The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority (BMUA) is the second agency to use wind power in New Jersey and has built the first wind turbine in the metropolitan area. Construction of a single turbine tower was completed in January 2012. It is the first wind turbine created by Leitwind to be installed in the United States.
In December 2012, the autonomous agency entered into a water management agreement with the Bayonne Water Joint Venture (BWJV), a partnership between United Water and investment firm Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts. The 40-year concession agreement is a public-private partnership between the city and the BWJV in which the private partners pay off the BMUA's $130 million debt and take over the operations, maintenance, and capital improvement of Bayonne's water and wastewater utilities in exchange for a regulated share of the revenue. United Water is managing the operations for the partnership, while KKR is providing 90% of the funding. A rate schedule was included in the agreement, and it contained an immediate 8.5% utility rate increase (the first rate increase since 2006), followed by two years without increases, followed by annual increases estimated to range between 2.5% - 4.5%. This partnership was sought for several reasons, including the BMUA's debt, its shortage of skilled employees, and its lagging rate revenue from years without rate increases and reduced demand. Part of this reduced demand stemmed from the closure of the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne, and the fact that the subsequent plans to redevelop the site with housing fell short. The BMUA's $130 million debt that was paid off by the BWJV represented over half of Bayonne's overall debt ($240 million) at the time, and in March 2013, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the credit rating of Bayonne from 'negative' to 'stable', citing the water deal.
The city of Bayonne is protected on a full-time, around-the-clock basis by the 161 professional firefighters of the city of Bayonne Fire Department (BFD), which was founded on September 3, 1906, and operates out of five fire stations, located throughout the city. The BFD operates a fire apparatus fleet of five engines, three ladders, one squad (rescue pumper), one rescue truck (part of the Metro USAR Collapse Rescue Strike Team), two fireboats, a Multi-Purpose Unit (M.P.U.), a large 4,000-US-gallon (15,000 l; 3,300 imp gal) foam tanker truck, a haz-mat truck,and numerous other special, support and reserve units. Each piece of apparatus is staffed by three fire fighters and a captain. Each platoon works on a 24 hours on, 72 hours off schedule and is commanded by a Battalion Chief. The BFD responds to approximately 17,000 emergency calls annually. The current Chief of Department is Keith Weaver.
The department is part of the Metro USAR Strike Team, which consists of nine North Jersey fire departments and other emergency services divisions working to address major emergency rescue situations.
The Bayonne Board of Education serves students from pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 12 schools had an enrollment of 9,418 students and 646.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.58:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are the 11 elementary schools — Henry E. Harris No. 1 (grades PreK-8; 636 students), Phillip G. Vroom No. 2 (PreK-8; 421), Dr. Walter F. Robinson No. 3 (PreK-8; 788), Mary J. Donohoe No. 4 (PreK-8; 485), Lincoln Community School No. 5 (PreK-8; 444), Horace Mann No. 6 (PreK-8; 599), Midtown Community School No. 8 (PreK-8; 1,087), George Washington Community School No. 9 (PreK-8; 663), Woodrow Wilson School No. 10 (PreK-8; 617), John M. Bailey School No. 12 (PreK-8; 637) and Nicholas Oresko School No. 14 (PreK-8; 444) an advanced school for gifted and talented students in academics, the arts, and physical education; and Bayonne High School (9-12; 2,597). Bayonne High School is the only public school in the state to have an on-campus ice rink for its hockey team.
During the 1998-99 school year, Midtown Community School No. 8 was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education. During the 2008–09 school year, P.S. #14 was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School award, and Washington Community School No. 9 was honored during the 2009–10 school year.
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 that 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.
Beginning with the 2006–07 school year, the Board of Education implemented a dress code for students in pre-K through eighth grade. Under this code students wear a school logo shirt and a variety of pants, skirts, shorts, and other prescribed items. The plan was intended to "increase student identification with their schools and the district, eliminate many of the distractions associated with differences in social or economic status, allow the children, their teachers and the Board of Education to concentrate on shared pursuit of educational excellence [and] instill a sense of belonging and school pride". The decision prompted a battle between the Board and parents upset at the manner in which the policy was imposed, the cost of the uniforms, the loss of freedom of expression to students in choosing the clothing they wear and issues regarding the manner in which the contract was awarded.
Private schools in Bayonne include All Saints Catholic Academy for grades PreK-8 and the co-ed Marist High School for grades 9-12, both of which operate under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.
The Yeshiva Gedolah of Bayonne is a yeshiva high school / Bais Medrash / Kolel with 130 students.
Holy Family Academy for girls in ninth through twelfth grades was closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year in the wake of financial difficulties and declining enrollment, having lost the support of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia in 2008.
The Bayonne Public Library, one of New Jersey's original 36 Carnegie libraries, the Bayonne Community Museum, the Bayonne Firefighters Museum, and the Joyce-Herbert VFW Post 226 Veterans Museum provide educational events and programs.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 76.55 miles (123.20 km) of roadways, of which 65.78 miles (105.86 km) were maintained by the city, 4.82 miles (7.76 km) are overseen by Hudson County, 4.04 miles (6.50 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 1.91 miles (3.07 km) are the responsibility of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The Bayonne Bridge connects south to Staten Island over the Kill Van Kull. Kennedy Boulevard is a major thoroughfare along the west side of the city from the bridge north to Jersey City and North Hudson.
The Newark Bay Extension (Interstate 78) of the New Jersey Turnpike northbound travels to Jersey City and, via the Holland Tunnel, Manhattan. Westbound, the Newark Bay Bridge provides access to Newark, Newark Liberty International Airport and the rest of the turnpike (Interstate 95).
Route 440 runs along the east side of Bayonne, and the West Side of Jersey City, partially following the old Morris Canal route. Although it has traffic lights it is usually the quickest route north-south within Bayonne. It connects to the Bayonne Bridge, I-78, and to Route 185 to Liberty State Park.
Bus transportation is provided on three main north-south streets of the city: Broadway, Kennedy Boulevard, and Avenue C, both by the state-operated NJ Transit and several private bus lines. The Broadway line runs solely inside Bayonne city limits, while bus lines on Avenue C and Kennedy Boulevard run to various end points in Jersey City. The NJ Transit 120 runs between Avenue C in Bayonne and Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan during rush hours in peak direction while the 81 provides service to New Jersey.
MTA Regional Bus Operations provides bus service between Bayonne and Staten Island on the S89 route, which connects the 34th Street light rail station and the Eltingville neighborhood on Staten Island with no other stops in Bayonne. It is the first interstate bus service operated by the New York City Transit Authority.
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has four stops in Bayonne, all originally from the former Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ). They are located at 45th Street, 34th Street, 22nd Street, all just east of Avenue E, and 8th Street (the southern terminal of the 8th Street-Hoboken Line) at Avenue C, which opened in January 2011.
For 114 years, the CNJ ran frequent service through the city. Trains ran north to the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Jersey City. Trains ran west to Elizabethport, Elizabeth, and Cranford for points west and south. The building of the Aldene Connection by-passed CNJ trains around Bayonne so that nearly all trains would either terminate at Newark Pennsylvania Station or at Hoboken Terminal. Until August 6, 1978, a shuttle service between Bayonne and Cranford retained the last leg of service with the CNJ trains.The Bayonne Bridge is the fifth-longest steel arch bridge in the world. For the more than 45 years from its dedication in 1931 until the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge, the Bayonne Bridge was the world's longest such bridge.
Constable Hook is the site of two burials grounds known as the Constable Hook Cemetery, numerous tank farms and the Bayonne Golf Club, situated at the city's highest point
Shooters Island, closed to the general public, is a 35 acres (14 ha) island—of which 7.5 acres (3.0 ha) are in Bayonne—that is operated as a bird sanctuary by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
See List of Registered Historic Places in Hudson County, New JerseyBayonne Truck House No. 1, home to Bayonne Firefighters Museum
Bayonne Trust Company, home to Bayonne Community Museum
First Reformed Dutch Church of Bergen Neck
Robbins Reef Light - Built to serve ships heading into New York Harbor, the current structure at the site dates to 1883, replacing an earlier lighthouse constructed in 1839.
Bayonne is located within the New York media market, with most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. Local, county, and regional news is covered by the daily Jersey Journal. The Bayonne Community News is part of The Hudson Reporter group of local weeklies. Other weeklies, the River View Observer and El Especialito also cover local news. Bayonne-based periodicals include the Bayonne Evening Star-Telegram (B.E.S.T.).
Bayonne's local culture is served by the Annual Outdoor Art Show, which was instituted in 2008, in which local artists display their works.
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.
Films set in Bayonne include the 1991 film Mortal Thoughts, with Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, which was filmed near Horace Mann School and locations around Bayonne and Hoboken; the 2000 drama Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr.; the 2002 drama Hysterical Blindness; and the 2005 Tom Cruise science fiction film War of the Worlds, which opens at the Bayonne home of the lead character, and depicts the destruction of the Bayonne Bridge by aliens. Films shot in Bayonne include the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, scenes of which were filmed at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, and the 2008 Mickey Rourke drama The Wrestler, which was partially filmed in the Color & Cuts Salon and the former Dolphin Gym, both of which are on Broadway in Bayonne.
The November 16, 2010, episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart parodied former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's reality television series, Sarah Palin's Alaska, in the form of a trailer for a fictional reality show called Jason Jones' Bayonne, New Jersey, whose portrayal of the city was characterized by prostitution, drugs, crime, pollution and a stereotypical Italian-American population. Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith criticized the sketch, saying, "Jon Stewart's unfortunate and inaccurate depiction of Bayonne represents a lame attempt at humor at the expense of a rock solid, all-American community."
The comic strip Piranha Club (originally "Ernie"), drawn by Bud Grace, is set in and around Bayonne.
The ABC sci-fi comedy television series, The Neighbors, is about a family that moves from Bayonne into a fictional gated community, Hidden Hills, that is populated by aliens from another planet posing as humans.
The Best Show with Tom Scharpling records near Bayonne, and the town is frequently mentioned due to Associate Producer Mike Lisk (a.k.a. AP Mike) being a Bayonne native, who tends bar at Massa's Tavern, a local bar.
The city has a very ethnically diverse population, home to large populations of Italian Americans, Irish Americans, Polish Americans, Egyptian Americans, Dominican Americans, Mexican Americans, Salvadoran Americans, Pakistani Americans, Puerto Ricans, amongst others.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bayonne include ((B) denotes that the person was born in the city):