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North River (Hudson River)   Leave a comment

See also “New York Harbor.”

North River is an alternate name for the southernmost portion of the Hudson River in the vicinity of New York City and northeastern New Jersey. The colonial name for the entire Hudson was given to it by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century, the term fell out of general use for most of the river’s 300+ mile course during the early 1900s.  However it still retains currency as an alternate or additional name among local mariners and others as well as appearing on some nautical chartsand maps. The term is used for infrastructure on and under the river, such as the North River piers, North River Tunnels, and the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

At different times “North River” has referred to the entire Hudson; the approximate 160-mile portion of the Hudson below its confluence with the Mohawk River, which is under tidal influence; the portion of it running between Manhattan and New Jersey; and/or just the short length flowing between Lower Manhattan and Hudson County, New Jersey. Its history is strongly connected to New York Harbor‘s shipping industry, which shifted primarily to Port Newark in the mid-20th century due to the construction of the Holland Tunnel and other river crossings and the advent of containerization.

The names for the lower portion of the river appear to have remained interchangeable for centuries. In 1909, construction of two tunnels projects was under way: one called the North River Tunnels, the other, the Hudson Tubes. That year the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, commemorating the first European to record navigating the river, Henry Hudson, and the first man to use paddle steamer named the North River Steamboat to sail up it, Robert Fulton, was celebrated, leading to controversy over what the waterway should be called.

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Posted January 20, 2014 by David Polakoff in North River (Hudson River)

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