The Stevens Family
While the descendants of Colonel Stevens no longer live in Hoboken, the family's legacy can be seen around town.
The Stevens Institute overlooks the river along Castle Point and stretches across the last lands the Stevens family bequeathed. At the university's Davidson Laboratory, experiments in ship design echo the work of the Stevens brothers in improving maritime engineering. The Church of the Holy Innocents, the charming small homes on Willow Terrace, and the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company building are all fruits of the Stevens' work, as are many of the parklands within the Mile Square City.
The ferry to Manhattan, an enterprise so important to the Stevens family and the early history of Hoboken, still runs from piers in the city, and the dock at Lackawanna Terminal is still in the style pioneered by Robert Stevens. The railroad tracks that stretch out of the Lackawanna Terminal are shaped as Robert Stevens designed them when he made the pioneering work of his father into a practical mode of transportation.
Colonel John Stevens, as the treasurer of New Jersey during the Revolution and the founder of an important port city, left a lasting mark on the United States. His descendents in public service continued the legacy of civic-minded activity.
Thousands of people have made Hoboken into the city it is today, and countless people have made steam travel and railroads a reality. Yet the activities of Colonel John Stevens and his descendents form a large part of these stories. Hoboken's first family left a large mark on the town they founded and on a transportation revolution, both of which have had worldwide significance.