Weehawken: Gateway to New York
Access to the Global Marketplace
Weehawken's history was influenced by two geographic features: the Hudson River and the Palisades. The town's location along the river provided a tremendous economic trade opportunity as it facilitated access to markets in New York City and beyond. However, before that potential could be tapped, there was a large obstacle to address: the Palisades. Weehawken's history is rich with efforts to travel around, over and through the formidable Palisades. Once this obstacle was overcome, the area of Lower Weehawken developed to its full potential as a vibrant industrial and commercial center, connecting rail lines and roadways from west, north and south with the busy New York Harbor.
Conquering the Palisades
The Palisades are a 20 mile stretch of steep, rocky cliffs that parallel the Hudson River and form a physical barrier within Weehawken. Although roadways were built over the Palisades as early as the eighteenth century, these routes were difficult for horses to climb. In the early 1860s the Hoboken and Weehawken Horse Railway Company offered its first horse car route to the top of the Palisades by harnessing four horses to each car instead of one, providing enough power to complete the one mile trip in approximately 20 minutes. In 1873, the North Hudson Country Railway developed
The Development of Lower Weehawken
Lower Weehawken, the narrow area between the Palisades and the Hudson River, developed as the township's industrial and commercial center with at least six rail lines moving freight to and from the New York Harbor: the Erie Railroad, the West Shore Railroad, the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad, the Hoboken Manufacturers' Railroad, the New Jersey Junction Railroad and the Fort Lee Railroad. The Weehawken waterfront, lined by multiple wharves, served as a major hub for exporting goods from this region to both domestic and foreign markets. In 1891, approximately 100 carloads of freight were being unloaded per day at the West Shore Railroad terminal. As depicted in historic photographs, Lower Weehawken consisted of multiple railroad lines, industries and wharves that all serviced the New York Harbor trade market.
Location. 40° 45.821′ N, 74° 1.259′ W. Marker is in Weehawken, New Jersey, in Hudson County. Marker is at the intersection of Port Imperial Blvd and Baldwin Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Port Imperial Blvd. Touch for map. Located in small park just on right side of Port Imperial Blvd just after intersection with Baldwin Avenue when traveling North. Marker is in this post office area: Weehawken NJ 07086, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Highwood (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Hamilton-Burr Duel (approx. half a mile away); Death Rock of Alexander Hamilton (approx. half a mile away); Weehawken Dueling Grounds (approx. half a mile away); Weehawken Korea and Vietnam Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Eldorado Amusement Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pietro di Donato (approx. 0.7 miles away); Maxwell House Coffee Plant (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Weehawken.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 9, 2015, by Bill Donovan of Maplewood, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 9, 2015, by Bill Donovan of Maplewood, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.