When Ceekay came to visit, one of her dreams was to see The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Hubby and I were only too happy to help her realize that dream. We discovered that we could take a boat from Liberty State Park in New Jersey so we all decided to make the trip in one very long day.
We had a long walk to the ferry since the park is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I don't think anything gets repaired very quickly in this part of the country. We didn't have too long to wait to board the ferry though.
The ferries became a lot more crowded later in the day.
Ellis Island was the nation's main point of entry for millions of immigrants from 1892 to 1954.
If you were an immigrant with money you could avoid Ellis Island entirely. You could be examined in your stateroom on board your ship, then would be allowed to disembark directly into New York City.
If you were poor you had to go through Ellis Island and it's complex of buildings where you would be thoroughly examined by medical and psychiatric doctors before finally being sent on your way.
Sometimes immigrants had to spend weeks, or even months on the island, before they were cleared and processed. The second floor of this building contained just a few of the many dormitories.
It must have been quite terrifying to arrive here and not even speak English.
A lot of the exhibits were closed because of Hurricane Sandy but the American Family Immigration History Center, a computerized genealogy center, was still open.
It contains the records of immigrants processed here during the peak years.
We were thrilled to find these records of Hubby's grandparents.
After 1954, Ellis Island fell into disrepair until someone finally realized it's historical significance.
Today Ellis Island stands as a tribute to the millions of immigrants who landed on these shores in search of the American Dream.
We had one more island to visit so we boarded the ferry for Liberty Island.
The statue was presented to the United States by France and dedicated in 1886 in commemoration of the two countries' alliance during the American Revolution.
What a thrill the immigrants must have felt when they first saw Liberty. Since Hubby and I had climbed up the inside of the statue some years ago we just admired it from the outside this time. We were on a tight schedule!
Soon, it was time to board the ferry again for the trip back to our car in New Jersey. We had a long, but satisfying, day. I'm so glad I didn't have to go through Ellis Island! My family was already here!