Pavonia was the name given to the large patent of land along the Jersey shore purchased by Mynheer Paauw in 1624. Paauw who also owned other lands sent Cornelius Van Vorst to oversee the settlement. The settlements within Pavonia included Harsimus, Paulus Hook and Castle Point.

In 1855 Homer Ramsdell purchased land between Pavonia and Hoboken. He established a ferry which crossed to Chambers Street and West 23 Street in Manhatten. He also built a tunnel through a section of the palisades for the railroad which is still used today.