Ellis Island Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Most Recent Things to Do in Ellis Island

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    Ellis Island - The Island of Tears and Hopes

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 14, 2013

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    This has been another dream of mine to be able to visit a place where many got there start as Americans. We have to be so thankful for those who crossed those dangerous waters in God knows what conditions to get here. I guess I am probably very sensitive, but I could sense the sorrow in these buildings right away. Many did not pass these walls onto to fresh US soil, but many were sent back home for health and other various reasons. Many times they crossed beyond to a golden gate.

    Yet, this place represents "Hope". Hope for a better life. There is nothing better than hope even if it is through many tears.

    The island was a city upon itself. 12 million passed through these gates since January 1, 1892. Over the years they had to constantly expand the facility to accommodate new arrivals by the thousands every month. It had a hospital for the contagious diseases, performed many surgeries and delivered approx. 350 babies. It had a dinning hall and tried to serve the foods according to custom and religion. Tried very hard to provide interpreters for the various languages that pasted onto the shores. Some may think we should have done more, but for the times we did the best we could with what we had. They were hard times for all.

    The hall and all the exhibits on three floors are impressive. They provide at cost a self audio tour, plus schedule tours, so check in at the information park ranger desk. There is a gift shop, plus cafeteria too. Outside is a wonderful view of New York sky line and New Jersey too. They provide many park benches and tables too.

    Open daily except Christmas Dec 25. Price is included with the Statue Of Liberty.

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    Flag of Faces

    by Yaqui Written Jun 8, 2009

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    Just one of those neat exhibits they have with the main building. As you shift your position then you can see the many different wonderful faces. So make sure you wonder around to catch all the great things to see.

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    Take advantage of the free tours!

    by Yaqui Written Jan 18, 2009

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    FREE Ranger-Guided Tours by the National Park Service Ranger. These tours are approximately 45 minutes and are accessible for handicapped visitors. You will see the inforamtion center desk in the main hall. If we had more time, I would had certainly taken advantage of this. Make time if you can. We were limited due to our bus departure time. Next time, we will make the time.

    National Park Service
    Statue of Liberty National Monument
    Liberty Island, NY, NY 10004

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    Free Genealogy Workshops

    by Yaqui Written Jan 18, 2009

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    Second Boos generation!
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    The National Park Service and the National Archives provides a workshop for visitors who are researching their family immigration history. The workshop is offered on a monthly basis (March - October) and provides instruction about how to gather, interpret and use historical data to trace family histories. The workshop is free to all visitors of the museum. Free.....you cannot ask for more. Believe me if you can find a service like this, take advantage of it!

    My hubbies family passed through these gates, so this is truly a special place for both families!

    National Park Service
    Statue of Liberty National Monument
    Liberty Island, NY, NY 10004.

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    American Family Immigration History Center

    by grandmaR Written Sep 15, 2008
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    under construction

    If you get a ticket you can use the computers here to look your family up.

    We found Exact Matches (2) for my grandson's great grandmother's on his mom's father's side.

    Name of Passenger Residence Arrived Age on Arrival
    1. Alois Zirngibl ... 1908 24
    2. Georg Zirngibl Kareth, Germany 1912 23

    and we printed one of them (I think Alois) out. One was free - you paid for others after that We did not have much success with Eiter or Corcoran until this morning, when I went back to the site and researched, I got 254 Corcoran's. A lot of them were James, Michael, Patrick and William (the family names)

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    Island of Hope/Island of Tears

    by icunme Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    This is a half-hour film, produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. Immigrants tell stories of pulling up roots and coming to America. The Film is shown in two separate theaters with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The museum also houses a reference library and an oral history studio containing a collection of taped reminiscences of Ellis Island immigrants and former immigration employees.

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    Peak Immigration Years

    by icunme Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    An extraordinary 10-room exhibit that tells the larger story of immigrants, regardless of their port of entry. Displays explore the immigrant experience: leaving their homelands, journeying to America, traveling across the new country, establishing communities, working, adapting to American life, becoming American citizens, and raising American children.

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    Ellis Island Chronicles

    by icunme Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    Best friend's daughter -Ellis Island in background

    This exhibit in the Ellis Island Galleries portrays the story of the island from its earliers days as a fishing site to the 1950s. Highlights show the incremental growth from the original 3.3-acre island to the final 27.5-acre site that was created with landfill.

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    The ferry ride is a melting pot of America

    by icunme Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    Every color - every creed

    It is interesting to note the passengers on the ferry boat. We were accompanied by people representing many different culturals. You will see in the first photo a woman wearing the Muslim burka, feeding her infant.
    Seems to me there is more that unites than divides this human race.

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    Trace the immigrant journey

    by icunme Updated Mar 27, 2007

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    Display of immigrant luggage at entrance

    "Through America's Gate" is an exhibit in the main building that replicates the immigrant journey through the Ellis Island station. A step-by-step view of immigrant processing is revealed through historic photographs, artifacts and personal papers. Restored to the 1918-1924 period, this 14 room exhibit area features audio recordings of immigrants' reminiscences.

    This photo is typical of the emotion experienced when we first face the display of immigrant's luggage - the first sight you see upon entering the mail building where they were processed.

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    Inscribe your family name on the Wall

    by icunme Updated Mar 27, 2007

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    My family names on the wall - Giacomo Adami
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    It is possible to honor your ancestors who made this journey so that you could have a better life and a very fitting tribute is to have their names inscribed on the Ellis Island Wall of Honor. When the opportunity first presented itself, I entered the names of my family and have added the names of my uncles through the years. The Wall of Honor is in a perfect location - behind the main building, facing the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.

    You can do this on-line from your home or if you visit Ellis Island, you can complete the application form right there. The are currently accepting new names for another section of the wall that will be added.

    The fee for adding each name is $150 and gift certificates are available also.

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    Research the arrival of your ancestors

    by icunme Updated Mar 27, 2007

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    This is easy to do from your home computer - On the Ellis Island site, I keyed in my grandmother's name and up popped the information with the name of the boat, date of arrival at Ellis Island, where exactly she came from in Verona, her health, color of hair and eyes, her U.S. destination and that my grandfather was waiting for her. Her children were listed separately on the ships manifest. Actual photos of the ships are sometimes available but none for my Grandmother.
    If you use the on-site research facility - the American Family Immigration History Center, it hold records of 22 million immigrants, passengers and crewmembers who entered the Port of NY and Ellis Island from 1892-1924. 41 Computer terminals are available for your use containg documents that cover 11 fields: Immigrant's Given Name - Immigrant's Surname - Ethnicity - Last Residence (Town and Country) - Date of Arrival - Age Upon Arrival - Gender - Marital Status - Ship of Travel - Port of Departure - Line Number on Ship's Manifest.
    It is very helpful if you have the correct spelling of the names. However, if you are there at Ellis Island and using the computer research room right there, the very knowledgable attendants can help you if names are misspelled. Consider also that if your family, for example, came from Serbia - the map was different at that time and they would have been under the auspices of the Austrian-Hungarian empire - most like documented as having come from Austria instead of Serbia.

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    Registry room

    by Allikatac Written Mar 21, 2006

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    registry room

    This was the room where the immigrants were first placed and where their future would be decided. It was here that they were asked who they came with and how much money they brought with them. After determining their destination they were sent down the stairs of separation.

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    Stairs of Separation

    by Allikatac Written Mar 21, 2006

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    the staircase

    The stairs of separation gave me goosebumps. These are the stairs that millions of immigrants walked down and often were the place that separated them from their families, sometimes for the last time.

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    Ellis Island museum..

    by Allikatac Written Mar 21, 2006
    entrance to the museum

    There is one main building on Ellis Island that is open for touring. They have an audio tour that is available for $6 a person. Many people did do this tour, but I skipped out on this considering I knew a lot about the place prior to visiting. There are also guided tours that are available. If you are like me and would like to explore the museum on your own I suggest viewing the map at the entrance and touring the museum by their "number" system that the museum is divided into.

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