Ellis Island — Island of Hope, Island of Tears

posted by Sharon May 15, 2017 40 Comments
Ellis Island

Ellis Island in New York served as an arrival station for immigrants to the U.S. for more than 60 years. About 12 million people came through its halls and inspection stations.  The station opened in 1892 and processed arriving folks until 1954. We recently toured the nearby Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Here are highlights of this fascinating place.

We boarded our ferry, Miss New York, at the tip of New York City on a foggy day. At first, the fog hung heavy and we were doubtful we would enjoy a view. Ellis Island

Ellis IslandJust as the boat pulled out of the harbor, the fog lifted. And there she was, Miss Liberty. Statue of Liberty

She is massive. Tickets to go to the crown weren’t being sold, but it was inspiring to walk around her and take in all the angles. So, so many folks have been greeted by her as their first glimpse of America. Statue of Liberty

Statue of LibertyStatue of LibertyStatue of LibertyStatue of LibertyAfter learning why she is green (she is made of copper, which turns green in weather) and marveling at her strength and determination, we boarded the ferry and made our way to nearby Ellis Island. Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island

Ellis IslandEllis IslandThis building appears much as it did during its heyday. The Registry Room or “Great Hall” is a massive place with domed windows. Fresh off the boat, travelers came here to register. Imagine the noise and confusion of this room as it filled with hundreds of tired, frightened passengers speaking different languages and not knowing what would happen next. Ellis Island is referred to now as “Island of hope, island of tears.” Ellis Island

Ellis IslandPeople made their way through the different rooms off the Great Hall, filling out forms and submitting to medical exams.The hallways are sterile and not at all welcoming. Ellis Island

Eye infections were common and often the reason people were put in holding in different buildings, separated from their families. The “button hook” was used to examine eyes. Sounds fun. Ellis Island

Today, you can make your way from room to room, just as if you were arriving off the boat. Displays in each room have an audio explanation. The audio program is free to all visitors. Photographs transport you back to the days when hope and fear resided here. Ellis IslandEllis IslandEllis Island

Ellis IslandThe main building has a café with an extensive menu, and you can eat at picnic tables outside, with a stellar view of New York City. Ellis Island

Ellis IslandOn the ferry back to New York, the buildings are on full display. I live in a large city, but still the buildings of New York fascinate me, with their varied architecture and colors. Ellis Island

Ellis IslandEllis IslandSoon we arrived back in Battery Park. Ellis Island

Ellis IslandEllis Island is run by the National Park Service. A ticket on Statue Tours that includes both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is $18.50 for adults and $9 for children up to age 12.

Linking up with Image-in-ingLittle Things ThursdayWednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Travel Photo Thursday, City Tripping, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, The Weekly Postcard, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

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40 Comments

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jesh StG May 15, 2017 at 1:19 am

Am glad that the fog disappeared later in the day and could capture these magnificent city views! Were only the eyes of the immigrants checked? Can imagine the fear and confusion when not understanding English! You said fears and tears. Were some people refused access? Love your first side view of Liberty -stunning! Many thanks for sharing your trip with All Seasons and wishing yo a great week. Hope you had a special day on Mothers Day!

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin May 15, 2017 at 9:06 am

That fog is amazing!! I haven’t been to the Islands in years! Gorgeous shots.

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Mersad May 15, 2017 at 11:05 am

A truly fascinating look at the present and past. I visited NYC back in October 2016 and didn’t have the time to go to Ellis Island, so this was a welcome closer look. Thank you for sharing with “Through My Lens”

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

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Jackie May 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

I’ve been to NYC many times but have yet to go to Ellis Island, but it is on my list. Thanks for this visit.

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Carol May 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Great post – in my trips to NYC, I never made it to Ellis Island to my regret.

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Patrick Weseman May 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Very beautiful photos. I have never been to New York. I would love to visit Ellis Island.

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artmusedog and carol May 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm

magnificent photography ~ particularly of Lady Liberty ~ so symbolic of the USA ~ wonderful post and photos about Ellis Island ~ thanks,

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

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Holly May 15, 2017 at 9:57 pm

One of the best little trips in New York! Love the pictures!

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Fun60 May 16, 2017 at 5:55 am

Your photographs are stunning. I like the close ups of the Statue of Liberty. It is good to be able to visit Ellis Island and see for yourself how immigrants must have felt.

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Lady Fi May 16, 2017 at 11:03 am

Fascinating, beautiful and also a little sad in the light of politics today.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linky May 16, 2017 at 11:03 am

Fascinating! Great images, and great information in this post. So glad I stopped by.
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-dead-sea-aptly-named-im-afraid.html

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April Berry May 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

How intriguing! The historical information was fascinating, and the photographs are lovely. I’ve never been out to NYC but I hope to someday, and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty is tops on my lists of sights to see there. #citytripping

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Photo Cache May 16, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Incredible documentation. This is in my bucket list.

Worth a Thousand Words

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Marie-OR May 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Wonderful post! We didn’t go in the processing building when we were there, but did go up in the Statue to the crown. It is a slow, slow rise up that spiral stairway as people stop at the crown, look out the openings and reach out and touch her head, then move on. Beautiful views of New York! We were there in 1987, when she was re-opened to the public after being refurbished. It was a HUGE event with the Parade of Sails, fireworks and all sorts of events. It was a really cool time to be there.

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Lolo May 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Would love to go back to NY and explore more. We visited Lady Liberty but didn’t go to Ellis Island, but it would be interesting as our family migrated from England to the US in the 1920s. #CityTripping

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Molly May 16, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Amazing history. I would love to visit one day

Mollyx

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kayni May 17, 2017 at 3:47 am

We enjoyed our trip there two years ago. It is interesting to learn about the immigration process back then.

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handmade by amalia May 17, 2017 at 5:34 am

If ever there was a place filled with history… great photos.
Amalia
xo

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Mandy May 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Beautiful images of the statue and inside the main building at Ellis Island!

With Love,
Mandy

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Cathy (Mummytravels) May 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm

What fabulous photos – I found Ellis Island fascinating when we visited although I’m sure we didn’t take in half the details. It’s astonishing to think of the numbers who came through, all the stories the building must have seen. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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bettyl - NZ May 18, 2017 at 3:40 am

Great shots of a wonderful city! It would be awesome to see Lady Liberty up close.

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Ruth Daly May 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm

This is a place I’ve always wanted to visit – maybe one day. Your photos are stunning, and you really captured the feelings of hope and fear well. Great post – really enjoyed the read!

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Jo May 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

We loved our trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The story of immigration to the USA is so poignantly told and is so fascinating. I remember the first immigrant was a teenage girl not much older than my own children. Your picture of the two children on the bench tells a story all by itself. Great pictures. We love NYC! #FarawayFiles

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budget jan May 19, 2017 at 1:58 am

I haven’t seen the statue up close but it looks amazing. Great photos of both the statue and the immigration centre.

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Katy Clarke May 19, 2017 at 4:57 am

Loved revisiting Ellis Island with you Sharon. It’s such an interesting part of US and World history. All those people arrived in the country with so much hope and ambition, much as they do today but by different methods #FarawayFiles

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Sabrina May 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

Sounds like such an interesting trip! Seeing the lines of people waiting in the immigration hall kind of reminds me of the mess at airports when you arrive in US airports even today. I’m pretty sure many people have similar anxieties and fears arriving today as they did back then.

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Amanda May 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Beautiful photos! I’m sad to say I haven’t been to Ellis Island, though it’s high on my list of places to visit when I move back to the states. My grandfather came through when he immigrated to the US, and I’d really like to look him up. #farawayfiles

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Upeksha May 19, 2017 at 10:07 pm

I visited Ellis Island several years ago, and your post brought back many memories. You have captured the “feel” of Ellis Island really well!. #theweeklypostcard

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Anda May 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm

I’ve been to Ellis Island many years ago and as an immigrant, I was very impressed by it. Your post is so descriptive, I’m glad you reminded me of this iconic place. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Anisa May 20, 2017 at 1:07 am

I went to Ellis Island a few years ago and really found it fascinating and I learned so much. And you are right the views of the city are amazing. I live in NYC now and the view never gets old. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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Edith & Juan May 20, 2017 at 5:14 am

Your pictures of Lady Liberty came out so perfect! When I visited Ellis Island, I really enjoyed my time there. I especially enjoyed the views of the skyline on our way to Liberty Island.

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kelleyn rothaermel May 20, 2017 at 5:45 am

Goregeous photos! Thanks for sharing!

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Allison May 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

We weren’t able to go to Ellis Island when we were visiting New York. I’ll have to make a trip back just for that because that is one place in New York that I really want to go. #weekendwanderlust

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Liana Moore May 21, 2017 at 1:55 am

What a fun piece of history! I’ve been to NY a few times but never to Ellis Island. Thanks for sharing! #WeekendWanderlust

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Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) May 22, 2017 at 4:22 am

Such an emotional place, even today. We’re a family of immigrants, from Europe, from Asia, from Mexico. To us, places like Ellis Island mean a lot, as does Lady Liberty herself. Very moving. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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Leigh | Campfires & Concierges May 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

This makes me want to go back to New York one more time to see all of this – I only go there for work and usually manage to squeeze in a bit of free time, but haven’t made it to Ellis Island yet.
#TheWeeklyPostcard

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Laryssa May 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

I was amazed the first time I went to Ellis Island it has an air about it that makes you think about everyone that came through there. Thanks for sharing and bringing those memories back. #theweeklypostcard

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Gattina May 23, 2017 at 4:29 pm

We have visited New York in 1989 and took also a boat to the Statue. At that time you could walk around and climb up the steps and look out of the crown. For some reason Ellis Island was closed and we only went by with the boat. My aunt who had married an American was lucky, it had just closed down and she could right join my uncle who waited for her in New York_! That must have been in 1954.

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Erin Gustafson May 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Fabulous photos Sharon! We tried to see Lady Liberty this summer on our flight back from Oregon to Copenhagen. Our 12-hour layover got cut short by delayed flights and we didn’t think we’d have time for the whole tour – we did a wave from the Staten Island Ferry and walk about Battery Park before returning to Newark and flight home! Must see up close with kids! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

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Bryna | Dotted Line Travels May 24, 2017 at 2:02 am

I went to Ellis Island once a couple of years ago, and I got more out of the visit than I thought I would. I really just wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty, not knowing the history behind the island. It was really very poignant, considering my parents are immigrants as well (although not to America). You got some really great photos!

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