The Ironbound district of Newark, New Jersey, has been known by many names over the years – Down Neck, the East Ward, the Meadows. There was even a time in the early days when locals called it Texas, owing to its remote setting in the marshes around the mouth of the Passaic River.
Then everything changed. Newark boomed with industrial growth, and the Ironbound grew right along with it. The Morris Canal was completed in 1832, followed in short order by the first of several railways – the “iron” that eventually gave the neighborhood its name. Factories went up, immigrants poured in, and the Ironbound became a “district of industrial uproar … its people … a hodge-podge of nationalities … speaking many old world tongues.”
In these pages, Edward A. Jardim tells the story of the Ironbound with all the humanity and dynamism of the neighborhood itself – the shifting populations; the political intrigues; the fortunes and follies; the saints, sinners, and ordinary joes. It’s a story of struggle and aspiration, of social change and economic upheaval, and, perhaps most important, of an urban community shaped by industrialization and its aftermath.