Introduction to Elizabeth, New Jersey
The city of Elizabeth, one of New Jersey's largest cities, is the county seat of Union County. Located only 20 miles southwest of New York City, Elizabeth lies on Newark Bay and is connected to Staten Island by the Goethals Bridge. One of the New York metropolitan area's prime residential and industrial centers, Elizabeth is a highly industrialized city with major shipping operations and one of North America's largest seaports. It is bordered by Cartaret (to the south), Westfield (to the west), Newark (to the north), and Staten Island (to the east). Elizabeth is a focal point of several major thoroughfares, including Interstates I-78, I-95, and I-278; U.S. Routes 1, 9, and 22; and New Jersey State Highways 27, 28, and 81. The city is home to a portion of the Newark/Elizabeth Liberty International Airport.
First settled in 1664, the community was originally named "Elizabethtown" by its English settlers in honor of the wife of noted colonial proprietor Sir George Carteret. It served as the first capital of New Jersey and officially became the city of Elizabeth upon its incorporation in 1855. Its first major industry was the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which employed thousands, but since World War II, the city has seen major growth in its transportation facilities. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal (sometimes referred to as "Port Elizabeth") has become the principal container ship facility serving the northeastern quadrant of North America and one of the busiest ports in the world.
Points of Interest in Elizabeth
Historic Midtown Elizabeth boasts more than a dozen historical sites and landmarks. The Elizabeth Public Library is housed in an elegant building which has undergone significant upgrades in recent years. The structure was a gift from Andrew Carnegie during the early part of the 20th century. The historic Ritz Theatre is one of the state's oldest and largest operating theaters and dates back to 1926. Another historic site is Boxwood Hall, former home of Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, and Jonathan Dayton, the youngest signer of the Constitution. Nearby is the Belcher Ogden Mansion, former residence of Royal Governor Jonathan Belcher and the last remaining original Royal Governor's mansion in the country. The ethnic diversity of Elizabeth is reflected in its annual festivals and parades. The Elizabeth Latin Carnival, held in early September, draws crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Other special festivities include Portugal Day, Pride Day in the Port, Unity Day, and Julyfest. Every Sunday before Memorial Day the city hosts the annual Tour De Elizabeth, a bike tour of the entire City.
The New York metropolitan area is replete with world-class attractions of all types. Some of the more noted include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Bronx Zoo, the Apollo Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Sports fans have a wide choice of options close by Elizabeth. The New York area boasts several teams which are all located less than an hour away. Some of New York and New Jersey's major league professional teams include New York's Mets and Yankees (Major League Baseball), Giants and Jets (National Football League), Rangers and Islanders (National Hockey League), the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets (National Basketball Association), the New Jersey Devils (National Hockey League), Red Bull New York (Major League Soccer), the Long Island Lizards (Major League Lacrosse), and a women's pro basketball team, the New York Liberty (WNBA).