While it’s exciting to visit the Statue of Liberty, the landmark that so many held dear as they came to America, a stop at Ellis Island tells much more of the immigrants’ story.
At Ellis Island, you can learn about the places people came from, and what kinds of jobs they held in the old country and in the United States. Where did they go when they got to America? What things did they bring with them? What did they leave behind? The medical exams that were part of the immigrant process are detailed in displays, as are so many other pieces of the Ellis Island immigrant story.
The building is beautiful, but you can see the disrepair that it was in before restoration. Walk through the large registry room, empty in my photograph, and imagine it being crowded with thousands of hopeful new citizens. Think what it must have felt like to be starting over in a new land with new opportunities. Learn about immigrants from times past, as well as immigration today.
A visit to Ellis Island is included with the ferry ticket to the Statue of Liberty; both are parts of the Statue of Liberty National Monument with rangers on duty to answer your questions. Children at Ellis Island will learn from the Junior Ranger program, which helps make the experience more interesting for them.
Ferries leave from both Battery Park in New York and from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Details about visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can be found at the National Park Service website.
Photo credits: minnemom on flickr