Castle Garden and Ellis Island

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by The NYC Expert on August 13, 2000

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Step back in time to relive the experiences of your parents and grandparents. More than half of America's immigrants passed through Castle Clinton and Ellis Island in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Castle Garden is set in Battery Park, one of New York City's oldest parks. It offers a magnificent view of New York Harbor and of the Statue of Liberty. Castle Garden was originally an Indian village on an islet off Manhattan just before the coming of the Dutch. A fort was hastily built in 1811 to protect New York Harbor. It was redesigned to become a place of culture in 1823. Jenny Lind, America's first superstar singer, made her solo debut there, thanks to P. T. Barnum. From 1855 to 1890, the 'Castle' served as America's principal immigation station.

From 1894 to 1954, Ellis Island served as immigrant station. After 1924, thanks to restrictions on immigration, immigrants were processed abroad instead of when they arrived in America. After 1954, the island fell into ruins until partially restored by the Statue of Liberty Bicenntenial. Its future is still very much open to debate.

Find out how your ancestors came to America and how immigrants made our country great.
Battery Park
Battery Place
New York, New York, 10004
(212) 809-5508

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