"ELLIS ISLAND" Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Tip by icunme
Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island, New York City: 7 reviews and 13 photos
Note: Major work in progress - more to come.........
If your family set foot in America on the doorstep of Ellis Island, this is a sacred pilgrimage for you. They came through New York Harbor and entered this building to be processed.
OK - a little Ellis Island history - the immigrants that passed through this portal certainly deserve that we know some of the facts:
* Ellis Island was designated an immigration station on April 11, 1890
* More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island from 1892 until 1954.
* Immigrants from Italy head the list as they numbered 2,502,310 from January 1892 to June 1897 and from 1901 to 1931.
* All immigrants who were processed at Ellis Island made their voyage in steerage - 1st and 2nd class passengers were processed on board their ships.
* The usual cost of steerage tickets was $30 and was enormously profitable for steamship companies. Larger ships held from 1,500 to 2,000 immigrants with a profit of $45,000 to $60,000 for a single voyage.
* Suffice it to say that steerage conditions were deplorable - located in the worst part of the ship, subject to the most violent motion, odors from the hold and galleys and unattended vomit of the seasick, reek of undesirable food, stench of nearby inadequate toilets. All this further aggravated by the cramming of as many bodies as possible in the space. It ws a marvel that human beings could endure the journey and still maintain faith in the future.
* The journey could take anywhere from ten days to a month - most from Italy took three weeks.
At one time the mortality rate was 10% per voyage. I do know that my grandmother lost her 3 year old daughter, Maria, on the voyage to American from Verona. She bundled the child so she would not be thrown overboard and Maria was taken from her when she disembarked at Ellis Island. My family spent many years just trying to find out where Maria had been buried.
The first glimpse of their new country was the majestic Statue of Liberty.
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