It is a short jaunt from the Statute of Liberty Island to Ellis Island, however, much can be seen in this short Hudson River sail.
Staten Island Ferry
Then you arrive at Ellis Island where 40% of the descendants of our current population came through its doors. Millions arrived to the find the magic of America escaping political problems, unemployment, and other persecutions. Between 1901 and 1910, 8.8 million arrived, and were processed at the Island.
To best capture all during your visit recommend reviewing the national parks web site, http://www.nationalparks.org, once you have ascertained the amount of time you wish to spend on site. There are 3 levels to the Museum, and much to see on each level. In the nooks and crannies of the Museum there are short videos and a myriad of items of interest. The New Eras of Immigration on the first floor is a must see as it captures our most current Americans and their trials. Attempt to answer the citizenship questions they are required to know.
Look for the follow sign and obtain a National Park brochure to ensure your visit complete.
Following are glimpses from the visit.
The Third Floor
Reconstruction of the tower – After immigration the Island was left to decay for several decades. Much disrepair from weather and vandals occurred during this period. In 1986 the restoration was completed.
Treasures From Home – items which immigrants brought from home along with their stories.
Sculptures depicting the immigrants reception and processing at Ellis Island.
The Second Floor – This was known as the Great Hall or Registry Room. In peak immigration years the initial questioning and medical inspections occurred in this area. Only 20% were held for additional examinations.
Should immigrants be held they were housed in dormitory rooms and later their cases heard for trial. Prior to coming to America on vessels the immigrants were heavily screened by the ship staff and if deported the shipping company they arrived with would have to return them to their homeland.
For those who passed testing great reunions occurred beyond the doors of this room, which came to be known as the Ellis Island Kissing Post.
On the first floor visit the Baggage Room, an amazing gift shop, and Ellis Island Cafe. Here you will find spectacular murals of the immigration era.
What a wonderful visit, and not completed yet as I took the fund raiser tour, Hard Hat Tour of Ellis Island for $50. This tour is a behind the scenes tour of the abandoned hospitals of Ellis Island. These hospitals treated treated immigrants, and later psychiatric patients.
If interested, purchase your ticket on the first floor of the main building across from the gift shop to the left of the entry doors. All proceeds go to hospital renovation projects, and if purchased from a travel service the fee is close to $70., wonder who is getting the profits on that?? So, as usual stay tuned..