out on newark bay

by Edgar Leslie

Image: Corey Best via skyscrapercity.com
Image: Corey Best via skyscrapercity.com


There’s a project under way,
        Every minute of the day,
Brainy engineers,
        Working hard for years,
Thanks to their ideas,
        We’re finishing Newark Bay,
That’s just why I say:


        Out of Newark Bay,
                Soon will come the day,
        Captains will escort,
                Ships of every sort,
        To this wonderful port,
                When everything’s complete—just watch us.
        Dredges pumping clay,
                From the bottom night and day,
        Pictures right before my eyes,
                A great Commercial centre lies,
        Out on Newark Bay.


Ten score years ago and more,
        Men had dreams of what’s in store,
For the pioneers,
        Things looked dark for years,
Now a light appears,
        The terminal’s under way,
Hip, Hip, Hip Hooray.


        Out on Newark Bay,
                N. J.—U. S. A.
        At some near-by date,
                We’ll perpetuate,
        Our great wonderful State,
                We’ll put her down in history—just watch us.
        We’ll be known some day,
                In a Universal way,
        Imports, Exports, large and small,
                Soon we shall receive them all,
        Out on Newark Bay.

In 1914, under the direction of the Newark Board of Street and Water Commissioners, workers began reclamation of 4,000 acres of tidal wetlands, excavation of a 7,000-foot-long ship channel and construction of docking and handling facilities that would grow into the modern Port Newark.

To increase public interest in the development the mayor proclaimed October 20, 1915, “Port Newark Terminal Day,” and it was likely for this occasion that popular songwriter Edgar Leslie penned the lyrics above. They are preserved on a fragment of a printed program in the collections of the Newark Public Library’s Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center.

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