If you look closely at one of the exhibits, you will see typewritten menus of what was served to immigrants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One menu read beef stew-it was basically meat and potatoes type of meals. Women and children were also served milk and crackers. There was a beautiful picture of a man with a pail of milk, and the story was that he would go around and ring a bell. The children would come and gather around and he gave them warm milk, which made them so happy!
On the second floor is the registration room. At one time this room was filled with people waiting to pass through. They underwent physical and mental testing, as well. If there was something wrong, that person was marked with chalk and was not let through. Mistakes were made, though, as many immigrants did not speak English. This was interpreted as a mental ailment. The mental testing exhibit showed puzzles and other tests, such as questions. One person was asked "What is two plus two?" Another person, a girl, had been asked a different question: "How do you wash the stairs, from the top or from the bottom?" She answered, "I did not come to America to wash stairs."
Here is part of the wall, which lists the names of registered immigrants. Try to look up your family's name before you go, because there are a lot of names on the walls!! You may not be able to find it. I just got lucky, I think.
I was amazed by all the passports from all over the world. Some pics of entire families with tiny children. Here is one from Naples, 1922. It states that the woman was a housewife, who could read and write. Destinazione: New York!
Do not miss seeing the fragments of old plaster, which have graffiti. One piece I read was written in Italian and signed in script, basically said," I have arrived here, May 1901". This is one of the columns saved which is covered in graffiti.
Here, you can find expositions which will tell you about an important part of US history. You will see how imigrations procedures where. To me it felt like a very strict procedure mainly fixed on the health of people who wanted to work and live in the us.
Picture taken june 17, 1998
Like most national parks, there is a film which explains the park. Sometimes you need a ticket to see the film.
This exhibit places the Ellis Island immigration era into the context of 400 years of Noth American immigration history.
This exhibit documents the metamorphosis of the main building from an abandoned ruin to a new national museum.
depicts the period when Ellis Island was abandoned to the ravages of vandals and the elements of the New York Harbor.
In the Ellis Island Galleries you will find this exhibit which is a collection of approximately 1,000 artifacts and photographs brought by immigrants to America
If you spend a few hours at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - the last Ferry back to Manhattan leaves right about sunset and that's an excellent choice.
I was so amazed by all the pictures and the expressions of the people in the old photos. I had tears in my eyes through most of the exhibits!
You cannot miss all the old photos on display, which have been enlarged. They will leave such an impression, believe me, as this photo did. These faces seem to burn right into your soul!
I was so moved seeing these old shoes worn by children who came through Ellis Island. Did you know that 355 children were actually born on Ellis Island?