Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 5th 2011
Ellis Island was the debarkation point of over 12 million immigrants between the years of 1892 to 1954. It is estimated that nearly half of the American population can lay claim to having had at least one ancestor enter America through what is aptly described as the "Gateway to America". Ellis Island is located off the southern tip of Manhattan Island.
How to get there
You can get to Ellis Island by riding the ferry. To get to the ferry, which is located at Battery Park, you can use one of three transportation methods:
Train: 1 or 9 train to the South Ferry station; 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green station; N or R train to Whitehall Street station.
Bus: M15 (East Side) marked "South Ferry"; M6 (West Side) from 57th Street.
Car: East Side Drive (FDR Drive) south to Battery Park and State Street or West Side Highway/West Street/Route 9A south to Battery Place. You can find parking in privately operated lots along West Street and South Street (beneath FDR Drive), but you have to arrive early to get a space.
What to see
The beautiful grounds around the Ellis Island Museum. Once you've finished strolling through them, you can then go into the Museum. There you'll visit various sections, each depicting a different part of the immigration experience that so many people went through. In one section, you'll see what it was like to travel as a passenger (first class or steerage) or a crew member. Another section will tell you about the history of Ellis Island itself.
If you're like most people, though, you'll want to visit the sections where the photo albums and family histories are kept. Here you'll see how Ellis Island looked at the height of the immigration movement as well as how it looks today. You'll also see pictures of the Ellis Island dining room, how immigration processing took place, and even photographs of the clothing that was worn by immigrants as they arrived in America.
In the family histories section, you'll talk to someone who has a story about searching for an Ellis Island ancestor. You'll find a common thread in those stories, as well as receive tips on how to search for your own Ellis Island ancestor.
What it costs
You can go tohttp://www.ny.com/museums/ellis.island.museum.html for the latest round-trip fare prices. You can also call Circle Line Ferry at 212-269-5755 or visit www.statueoflibertyferry.com for more information. These prices include admission to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There is no admission price to the Museum.