Situated on the peninsula separating New York Bay from Newark Bay, the city of Bayonne presents a remarkable solid appearance. The main streets are broad, extensive neighborhoods of single and two-family houses look well tended, no skyscrapers are apparent and the stores seem to be selling things people need father than reflecting trends. Bayonne, in fact, has the reputation of being a remarkably stable community, where people stay for generations.
First settled in 1646 by the Dutch, Bayonne became a resort area in the 18th century and an industrial one in the 19th century . Oil companies began their transformation of the waterfront in 1875 and the city is now home to a variety of industries, among which might be included, the military. The Military Ocean Terminal, the largest military post in the free world, is also Hudson County’s largest employer.
Bayonne is considered the birthplace (1913) of the diner: a bar and grill owner named Jerry O’Mahoney is credited with the idea of modeling a restaurant on the lunch wagon. Bayonne is also the birthplace of many entertainers, among them Frank Langella, Sandra Dee and Mickey Rooney.
The southern tip of the peninsula, Constable Hook, was the first to be developed, but it is now an industrial enclave occupied b oil refineries, tank farms, warehouses and trucking terminals.
The city has a rich ethnic mis with significant populations of Irish, Polish, English, Italian and Jewish backgrounds. Some of the diversity is still reflected in the number of churches.