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First history of Bayonne, New Jersey

I take great pleasure in complying with the request of the author that I write a few words of introduction to his History of Bayonne. So far as I am informed, it is the first attempt on the part of any one to collect and record, in permanent form, matters of historic interest relating to this locality. It is true that one or more histories of this county have been written, but none of them have paid much, if any, attention to this particular community. The task of the author has, therefore, been that of a pioneer, and for that reason we are the more indebted to him. If the contents of the book record accurately the events which lead to the settlement of this part of Bergen Neck, and the trying experiences of its early inhabitants, the story will be worth reading; and if we fully appreciate the advantages that we have, as compared with them, we should be easily persuaded that the future history of our city depends very largely upon ourselves. If we are true to our opportunities, our children may be able to say, "We are citizens of no mean city." While it may be true that it is two hundred and fifty years since the first settlers located here, it is also true that the history of Bayonne, from a commercial standpoint, begins at a much later date. Prior to the establishment of the oil refineries at Constable's Hook, Bayonne was unknown outside of Port Johnson, except as a fishing village and summer resort. Since then its desirability for commercial purposes has attracted the attention of manufacturers and men engaged in large business enterprises. Its prospects now seem fair to become one of the principal manufacturing centers of the State.

Bayonne, like many suburbs under the shadow of a great city, has suffered by reason of those who would otherwise have been its most influential citizens, being absorbed in the affairs of the metropolis. With men of force residing within our borders, who are also identified with business interests here, there is a strong probability of a greater local interest being developed. I believe that in this respect, the present is the beginning of a new epoch. With the natural advantages of a large water front, and the facilities afforded by the railroads entering our city, there is every reason to believe that in the near future great changes will be worked in our midst. It is, therefore, fortunate that one of our citizens has undertaken to perpetuate the memory of the past before all the old residents have departed, and the ancient landmarks disappeared. Such a book as the History of Bayonne should tend to foster civic pride, without which no city can succeed. I have been awaiting with much interest the appearance of the book, and feel quite confident that it will serve a very useful purpose in the community.

Thomas Brady, Mayor's Office
November 1, 1904


Source: First history of Bayonne, New Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24 East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.

 


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