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.
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.
This 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.”
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 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.