Main Menu | NJ Bicycle Routes | Great Jersey City Stories | New Jersey History | Hudson County Politics | Hudson County Facts | New Jersey Mafia | Hal Turner, FBI Informant | Email this Page
Removing Viruses and Spyware | Reinstalling Windows XP | Reset Windows XP or Vista Passwords | Windows Blue Screen of Death | Computer Noise | Don't Trust External Hard Drives! | Jersey City Computer Repair
Advertise Online SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Marketing - SEM Domains For Sale George Washington Bridge Bike Path and Pedestrian Walkway Corona Extra Beer Subliminal Advertising Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Pet Care The Tunnel Bar La Cosa Nostra Jersey City Free Books

Jersey City And Its Historic Sites

By Harriet Phillips Eaton
Published 1899

This Web version, edited by GET NJ

Street Railways

In early days the people of Bergen and Communipaw had to go by private conveyance or else walk to the ferry by the Mill road; later stages were run by Peter Merselis from the ferry to Bergen, via Five Corners. There was an office and waiting room at the corner of Bay street and Newark avenue, and in Bergen the stages started from the Columbian Hotel, a building now known as Foye Hall, at Foye Place. After a time omnibuses were introduced, and large open sleighs were used in the winter. Peter Merselis sold out to the Jersey City and Bergen Railroad Company which was incorporated by an act of the Legislature of New Jersey approved March 15, 1859. Under this act they were authorized to lay out and construct a railroad from some point on the Kill von Kull, at or near Bergen Point, to the Newark Turnpike road leading from Jersey City to Newark, with the privilege of constructing one or more branches extending to the several ferries in the County of Hudson, south of Hoboken. During several years they ran a line with dummy engines from the Pennsylvania Railroad ferry to Bergen Point.

The Common Council of Jersey City granted permission to lay a single track of iron rails in Montgomery street, Newark avenue, Grove street to Montgomery street, Gregory street to York street, and Hudson street, to Montgomery street. After the railway was laid it was lawful for the company to run cars to be drawn by horses. These first street cars were peculiar; they were like the body of an omnibus set on a truck; the driver's seat was up on top in front; by means of a strap he opened or pulled shut a door in the rear of the car; the door was reached by two or three steps. Fares were passed up to the driver through a hole back of the driver's seat. At the ends of the route the driver turned the horses and the car turned upon the truck, which was stationary. Long after ordinary street cars were introduced these were used for night traffic, the last car leaving the ferry about midnight.

The Common Council of Bergen granted a franchise in 1864 for the operation of horse cars; this franchise included that part of the city known as Lafayette. As late as 1870 long open sleighs were used in heavy snows during the winter, instead of the cars. For ten or fifteen years the cars were not heated during the cold weather, straw being put on the floor as a protection for cold feet. The first trolley car was run in Jersey City on the Montgomery street line, from Bergen Avenue to Monmouth street, in 1890. In 1893 the Consolidated Traction Company took charge, and in November of that year on several of the lines the horse cars were replaced by the trolley system. The extensive car sheds of the Company are on the south side of Montgomery street east of Bergen avenue, and on the north side of Montgomery street between Tuers avenue and Jordan street, partly on the site of Tuers Pond, which was filled in over thirty years ago.

Table of Contents

Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

Questions? Need more information about this Web Site? Contact us at:
297 Griffith St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307