History of Ellis Island

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History of New York’s Ellis Island

Millions of visitors flock to New York City for many reasons for work and play.  New York city is filled with magnificent night life, business opportunities, landmarks and tourist attractions which breathe life into one of the most popular city cities in the United States.

Ellis Island ImmigrantsFrom 1892 to 1954, people were arriving to the New York area came to America with the dreams of having a much better life and a more substantial chance for liberty and freedom from oppress governments and countries they were living in. It is said that 40 percent of all people in America have at least a single person in their family tree that they can be traced back to Ellis Island.

Ellis_islandThe Background History of Ellis Island Ellis Island is located off the tip of Manhattan, sitting on approximately 27.5 acres of land in the middle of  the New York harbor.   In 1812, this little island was a fort built to protect New York City.  It was the United States Federal Government which turned it from a fort and into a immigration processing station or center.  The Statue of Liberty was standing tall in all her magnificence and natural beauty, representing liberty for all who pass her way, shows up from the point of Ellis Island.   History tells us that Ellis Island was the processing area for million of immigrants.  Ellis Island had actually gone through some major remodellings throughout the decades, enhancing the size, medical facilities and increasing the housing as it was developed from 1776 to the 1900’s.  Ellis Island now holds a historical gallery of her long history, which tells the stories of how she came to be and the immigrants that have pasted through these doors to a life of liberty and new found freedoms.

Ellis Island arrivals, 1904
The Voyage to Freedom
Just the thought of coming to America attracted millions of immigrants from the southern and northern parts of Europe as they discovered a way out of their dire scenarios of persecution, oppression and challenges, including both political and economic problems. These tough individuals originated from all various backgrounds. As soon as arriving from their rugged trip to America, some passengers were allowed to go on coast without making their method through inspection. This benefit was given to those considered to be very first and 2nd class citizens.  All others of lower standing were shipped off to Ellis Island by way of ferry to go through health and profile evaluations. Those immigrants planning the trip to America needed to pay anywhere from twelve dollars to sixty dollars per person, meaning that most households had to conserve their cash for years prior so they could take the long trip to America.

Immigrants Ellis Island Even when the cash was available, families still had to go through the procedure of being evaluated prior to them boarding a ship to sail to America.   Lower course guests needed to deal with over crowdedness and no fresh air due to the fact that they were put on the bottom floor of the ships to make the long dangerous journey.  Once they made it to their location, passengers had to go through the a check of their personal possessions and a physical examination by physicians before they were freed into their new life or were detained because of problems that the doctors discovered.  For each individual, lower class immigrant, the inspections and examinations lasted approximately 5 hours. Sometimes, exactly what was supposed to be a road to freedom by coming to America ended in grief, heartache and frustration.   This happened when a family member was not permitted to go stay based on the final examination and assessment was completed of that individual.

Ellis Island New York
Ellis Island and the Immigrant- Annie Moore
Although Ellis Island is a highlight of New York City, its size is so huge that 80 percent of its structure overlaps into New Jersey. Before its name modification, Ellis Island had been originally called Oyster Island, Island of Tears and Island of Hope. However, the Native American’s called this area Gull Island.  On January 1, 1892, a ship coming in from Ireland, landed at Ellis Island with a load of Irish Immigrants. The very first person to step foot on the island was Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl.  Upon doing this, the teenager was presented with a gold coin, its monetary valued at ten dollars for being the very first individual to step foot on the recently built Ellis Island.   Annie and her siblings had spent 12 days on the ship as they set out to join their mom and dad who were currently living comfortably in New York City.  Annie Moore and her siblings are recognized as the first people to show up on the remodelled island. A statuary with the image of Annie and her siblings now stands at the Ellis Island Museum, illustrating when Annie Moore first stepped foot on this historical landmark called Ellis Island.