Immigration to America Lesson 85

Ellis island was a 3 acres island in the New York harbor, near Liberty island (below Ellis island), and Governor island(to the right of Ellis island).  Ellis island is now over 27.5 acres, all of this came from the subway system in New York City.  Ellis island was bought by a man known as Mr.Ellis.  When he died, the family sold the island back to America.  On the island after the war of 1812, they built a fort.

The fort was only there for 80 years before the Immigration station was built.  The main building, after five years of service, unsuspectingly went up in flames.  The entire building burned to the ground, destroying all of the papers of the first immigrants who came through the station.  Over 1.5 million immigrants  went through the first building.  The first building was a 3 story building, which on its first day in operation, had 700 immigrants pass through it.

Some of the immigrants stayed in New York, and the rest went all over the country out west.

The second building was built and opened in 1900.  The first day it was opened, it could barely withstand the amount of immigrants that were passing through.  At its peak, the station took in about 1 million immigrants per year.  But the most it had taken in one year was 1,004,756 immigrants.  By the time the Immigration station closed, over 12 million immigrants had gone through the station.

In October 2012, the island was closed to the public.  Hurricane sandy was on its way.  After the hurricane, Ellis island reopened to the public in 2014.

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