“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Ellis Island

Ellis Island wayside image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, August 8, 2009
1. Ellis Island wayside
Ellis Island acted as an immigration station for the United States from 1892 to 1954. The 13.7 acre island is made up almost entirely of landfill, with the original island measuring only 3.3 acres. Prior to its expansion and its use as an immigration station, the island was known primarily for its oyster beds. In the 19th century, Ellis Island formed part of a harbor fortification system which included Castle Clinton at the Battery in Manhattan, Castle Williams on Governors Island and Fort Wood on Liberty Island.

In 1890, a wood frame structure was erected on Ellis Island to serve as an immigration processing station. At the turn of the century, a fire razed this structure, and it was replaced by the Main Building, which you can see now. As immigration numbers ballooned, hospital buildings, dormitories, contagious disease wards and kitchens were constructed on the island between 1900 and 1915. Until the 1950s, more than 12 million immigrants flowed through this port of entry to make new lives in the United States.

Incoming immigrants traveling in first and second class passed into the country without comprehensive inspection;
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, unknown
2. Inset
Ellis Island Immigrant Landing Station, NY
however, those passengers in steerage entered the Ellis Island facility for a full medical and legal inspection. If the immigrant’s papers were in order and they were in reasonably good health, the Ellis Island inspection process lasted approximately three to five hours. Immigrants were excluded if a doctor diagnosed a contagious disease that would endanger public health, or if a legal inspector thought the immigrant was likely to be a burden on social services, become a criminal of an illegal contract laborer. During World War I, immigration policy began to change, and by the 1920s, the facility was used primarily as a detention center. It continued in this role through World War II until its closure in 1954.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson declared Ellis Island part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island was opened to the public in 1976 and nearly a decade later underwent a $160 million restoration. The Main Building was reopened to the public in 1990 as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Today the museum receives almost 2 million visitors annually.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 40° 41.352′ N, 74° 1.381′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, unknown
3. Inset
Immigrants enter the Ellis Island facility.
. Marker is on Craig Road North south of Division Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Governors Island, New York NY 10004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coast Guard Housing (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); West (about 600 feet away); Flight on Governors Island (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Early Birds (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Statue of Liberty (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wheeler Avenue (approx. ¼ mile away); Division Road (approx. ¼ mile away); McKim, Meade & White, Architects of Governors Island (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . .  Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation Website (Submitted on February 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Ellis Island from Governors Island image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, August 8, 2009
4. Ellis Island from Governors Island
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.
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Feb. 24, 2021