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Hudson County, New Jersey

Hudson County Courthouse is located at 583 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306; phone: 201‑795‑6200.


Beginnings [1]

Hudson County was originally called Pavonia, the land of the Peacock, after its original owner, the Dutchman Michael Pauw (Peacock). Part of the domain of the Dutch West Indies Company, the area was governed by Peter Stuyvesant, who established the town of Bergen in 1660. In 1674, all of New Amsterdam (and New Jersey) became English colonies, including Hudson County, which was then still part of Bergen County.

In 1804, Col. John Stevens laid out the "New City of Hoboken" and in the same year, counseled by Attorney Alexander Hamilton, a group of New York City lawyers bought the old ferry site of Paulus Hook (Jersey City). Steam ferries and railroads brought boom times, leading to the official establishment of Hudson as new county in 1840, the smallest in New Jersey. Following the Civil War, Hudson County became a center of industry, home to giants in the soap, tobacco, light bulb, steel, oil, elevator, and engineering fields. Though claimed by New York City, the Statue of Liberty stands in New Jersey waters, on Hudson County's shores.

Past Lady Liberty and through Ellis Island came millions of immigrants over the next century, swelling the tiny county's population and packing its ever more urbanized landscape. Hudson County became the gateway for generations of new Americans who toiled in the factories, rail lines and on the docks of industrial age America. Those waves of immigrants set the tone for a County that still proudly celebrates it diverse neighborhoods and a local cultural mosaic composed of more than a hundred nationalities.

  1. County of Hudson, 2007 County & Municipal Directory, www.hudsoncountynh.org, accessed July 2008