Views of the Communipaw Abattoir

Before the arrival of the railroads in the mid-19th century, Communipaw, New Jersey, was a small port town in the Hudson River’s west bank. Before 1866, the Pennsylvania Railroad had no dedicated livestock terminal in the New York market. Animals the railroad carried from the west were offloaded in Elizabethport, New Jersey, and were ferried across the Hudson River to Manhattan where they were driven through the streets to the Allerton stockyards at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue. While New York City’s new health laws (which became effective in 1866) contributed greatly to the construction of the Communipaw abattoir and stockyards, the reduction and elimination of the costs of driving livestock across the Hudson River and through city streets also were significant factors along with increased competition for livestock by the three major railroads serving New York City: the Pennsylvania; the Erie; and, the New York Central. Continue reading