With the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as a spectacular backdrop, Liberty State Park is one of the state's most dramatic parks.
The Indians called it Kioshk, or Gull Island, after the birds that were its only inhabitants. The Dutch settlers called it Oyster Island, after the many surrounding oyster beds. The Island barely rose above the surface at high tide. Back to Top By the time of the American Revolution, the Island was owned by Samuel Ellis, a New York merchant and owner of a small tavern on the island catering to fisherman.
The name Ellis Island stuck. Artesian wells were dug, and landfill from incoming ships' ballast and New York City subway tunnels doubled the size of Ellis to over six acres.
While the new immigration station was under construction, the Barge Office on the Battery on the tip of Manhattan was used for immigration reception. She came with her two younger brothers to join their parents in New York City. That first day, three large ships were waiting to land, and immigrants passed through Ellis Island.
In the first year, nearlyimmigrants passed through the Island. No one died, but most of the immigration records dating from were destroyed. In five years, some 1. While a new, fireproof immigration station was being constructed on Ellis, processing was transferred back to the Barge Office.
This was scarcely big enough for the surge in immigration in the pre-World War I years. The island was continuously enlarged with landfill, remodeling, additions and new construction.
The all-time daily high was on April 17th of this year when a total of 11, immigrants were processed. The first Immigration Quota Law passed the U. Congress, adding to the administration problems at Ellis Island. It provided that the number of any European nationality entering in a given year could not exceed three percent of foreign-born persons of that nationality who lived in the U.
Nationality was to be determined by country of birth, and no more than 20 percent of the annual quota of any nationality could be received in any given month.
The total number of immigrants admissible under the system was set at nearly , but numerous classes were exempt. This marked the end of mass immigration to America.
The Immigration Act also provided for the examination and qualification of immigrants at U. The main function of Ellis Island changed from that of an immigrant processing station, to a center of the assembly, detention, and deportation of aliens who had entered the U.
The buildings at Ellis Island began to fall into disuse and disrepair. Byapproximately aliens and citizens, with German, Italian, and Japanese people comprising the largest groups, were detained at Ellis Island.
The detainees became so numerous that the immigration functions had to be transferred to Manhattan for lack of room.
Ellis Island was also used as a hospital for returning wounded servicemen and by the United States Coast Guard, which trained about 60, servicemen there. Remodeling and repairs were performed on the buildings to accommodate detainees who numbered as many as 1, at one time.The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) stands on Liberty Island in the harbor, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument recalls the period of massive immigration to the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
The story of the Statue of Liberty and her island has been one of change.
With the placing of “The New Colossus” on a plaque in the pedestal in , Lady Liberty’s significance grew as an inspiration to immigrants who . The first extension beyond Manhattan Island’s boundary came when some Westchester County towns were annexed into New York City in In an effort to consolidate the area, Manhattan became one of five boroughs of New York City in After 12 days at sea, passengers gathered shoulder to shoulder to see Lady Liberty, who overlooked the gateway to their new world and a brand new life.
We take a look at the symbolism and history of the architecture on New York’s Ellis Island. Today, Liberty Island is home to the Statue of Liberty. The island’s history, however, goes back much further than the Statue. During this time, much of the west side, Upper New York Bay, contained large tidal flats which hosted vast oyster beds, a major source of food for the Indian population.
There were several islands which were not. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in and has hosted a museum of immigration since It was long considered part of New York, but a United States Supreme Court decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey.