My January 2021 visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp inspired me to have a look at old photos on Facebook. There I found photos of my 2010 (!) visit to New York and Washington DC with Thijs and Mario. That trip included the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Ellis Island is a federally owned island in New York Harbor that was the United States‘ busiest immigrant inspection station. From 1892 to 1924, approximately 12 million immigrants arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey were processed there under federal law.
Today, it is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, accessible to the public only by ferry. The north side of the island is the site of the main building, now the National Immigration Museum. The south side of the island, including the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, is only open to the public through guided tours.
In the 19th century, Ellis Island was the site of Fort Gibson and later became a naval magazine. The first inspection station opened in 1892 and was destroyed by fire in 1897. The second station opened in 1900 and housed facilities for medical quarantines as well as processing immigrants.
After 1924, Ellis Island was used primarily as a detention center for migrants. During both World War I and World War II its facilities were also used by the United States military to detain prisoners of war. Following the immigration station’s closure, the buildings languished for several years until they partially reopened in 1976. The main building and adjacent structures were completely renovated in 1990.