Bayonne ( bay-OWN) is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. Located in the Gateway Region, Bayonne is situated on a peninsula located between Newark Bay to the west, the Kill Van Kull to the south, and New York Bay to the east. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 63,024, reflecting an increase of 1,182 (+1.9%) from the 61,842 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 398 (+0.6%) from the 61,444 counted in the 1990 Census.
Bayonne was originally formed as a township on April 1, 1861, from portions of Bergen Township. Bayonne was reincorporated as a city by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1869, replacing Bayonne Township, subject to the results of a referendum held nine days later. At the time it was formed, Bayonne included the communities of Bergen Point, Constable Hook, Centreville, Pamrapo and Saltersville.
While somewhat diminished, traditional manufacturing, distribution, and maritime activities remain a driving force of the economy of the city. A portion of the Port of New York and New Jersey is located there, as is the Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Originally inhabited by Native Americans, the region presently known as Bayonne was claimed by the Netherlands after Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River which is named after him. According to Royden Page Whitcomb's 1904 book, First History of Bayonne, New Jersey, the name Bayonne is speculated to have originated with Bayonne, France, from which Huguenots settled for a year before the founding of New Amsterdam. However, there is no empirical evidence for this notion, which is considered apocryphal. Whitcomb gives more credence to the idea that Erastus Randall, E.C. Bramhall and B.F. Woolsey, who bought the land owned by Jasper and William Cadmus for real estate speculation, named it Bayonne for purposes of real estate speculation, because it was located on the shores of two bays, Newark and New York.
Bayonne became one of the largest centers in the nation for refining crude oil and Standard Oil of New Jersey's facility – which had grown from its original establishment in 1877 – and its 6,000 employees made it the city's largest place of employment.