American History and Genealogy Project


Pre-Glacial Ages ~ Bayonne New Jersey

Thousands of years ago, perhaps 5,000, perhaps 20,000, before the northern section of the American continent was lapped in glacial ice, the whole of Bergen Neck (now Jersey City and Bayonne) was submerged land. The Hudson River at that period had a double channel, the main one flowing down the valley west of the Palisades, forming a vast sea north of Staten Island and extending from Newark Heights to South Brooklyn. This sea had two outlets; one west of Staten Island and the other east; the latter now the Narrows.

Years later the ice cap from the Arctic regions slowly but restlessly overspread the metropolitan district under hundreds of feet of ice, until it had reached a point where the waste from melting was as rapid as the advance. The ice finally blocked the western channel with so much pulverized debris of trap, pebbles, dirt, sandstone, etc., that it gradually closed that branch of the river, thereby causing the Hudson to flow east of the Palisades in a channel deepened and widened by these forces.

After this change, when the ice had melted and the flow of water in the western channel had consequently lessened, the land that had previously been submerged, appeared. This included a narrow strip running north and south, dividing the sea in the middle and forming Bergen Neck, the southern extremity of the. Palisade ridge.1

1. See article in the New York "Herald" July 10, 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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