The Gateway to the New World

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In this lesson, we’re going to look at the history of Ellis Island, which is an island in Upper New York bay. There’s going to be lots of listening and reading in this lesson, all centred around Ellis Island. Let’s start off with a bit of general information about the place.


Ellis Island

Europeans Arriving at Ellis Island, 1915
Europeans Arriving at Ellis Island, 1915
Location Upper New York Bay
Area 11.1 ha
Elevation 2.1m
Built 1900
Architectural style Renaissance revival

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. as the United States’ busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954. Ellis Island was opened January 1, 1892.

The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and has hosted a museum of immigration from 1990 to 1995.

It was long considered part of New York, but a 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey.

From Wikipedia