The Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island have both left
their marks of history during the years of immigration by millions of people
from the old world to the new world in the United States.
|Statue of Liberty, New York, USA |
One of the greatest sights to see when visiting New York is
the Statue of Liberty greeting all visitors in the harbour. The many photos taken does it no justice as
it does when we take a ferry ride to get up close to the Statue and seeing it
|Castle Clinton in Battery Park, NY|
One might choose to take a tour boat that will bypass both
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but give a view of both, and we did take
that first as part of a tour package. We
chose another day to take the tour with the Statue Cruises for a close up look,
as did hundreds of others that same day.
The tickets are available in the old fort.
|Line-up for Statue of Liberty tours|
As with many popular tours, there are line-ups, especially
on a beautiful sunny day in October. We stood
in different lines throughout the day that may have added up to at least three
hours. The security is similar to the
airport when taking the Statue Tours. The trip was well worth it but one must factor
the line-ups into their time when visiting these sights.
|Visitors to Liberty Island, NY|
The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from France,
a symbol of freedom and democracy, dedicated Oct. 28, 1886. The French paid for this sculpture by
donation from the people of France from the private sector. Then when the necessary funds ran out before
the base was constructed, Joseph Pulizer, the publisher of a New York paper,
appealed to the people of America to donate money to pay for the pedestal and
dollar by dollar, they raised the necessary funds.
|Statue of Liberty, NY|
Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, a French artist and sculpture
designed the Statue of Liberty. The
story says that this beautiful face was that of his mother. There was a time that one could go right to
the top for the view but that has changed.
You can get crown tours if you book far enough in advance. These tickets also give you priority on the
Boarding Queue for getting on the ferry, which might make the extra expense well
|The Tablet and the Flame of the Statue of Liberty, NY|
The tablet in the hands of the Statue has July IV, MDCCLXXVI
inscribed on it, which is July 4, 1776, the date that the Declaration of
Independence was signed. The tablet is
over 23 feet long and 2 feet thick. The upkeep of the Statue is taken care of
by the National Park Services. The torch
is copper covered with 24K gold leaf and is lit up at night by
floodlights. There was access to the
torch when it first opened but that was closed in 1916. That would have offered
quite a view.
|Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour|
Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was the French architect who
designed the 92’ tall pylon to be the primary support structure of the Statue’s
interior. The elasticity of the design
allows the Statue to sustain all weather conditions. The total height from foundation to the tip
of the flame is 93 metres (305’) and weighs a total of 450,000 pounds. The thickness of copper that covers the
structure is only the thickness of two pennies, making a total of 60,000 pounds
of copper used.
|Queue up for the ferry ride|
We once again braved the line-ups to wait for the ferry to
pick us up and take us over to Ellis Island where we would see the immigration
history. One can come and go on any of the ferries of the day; there is a
passenger limit and we are counted as we enter, so one may have to wait for a
second ferry, which did happen to us leaving Ellis Island. The crew are very efficient and keep everyone
|Ellis Island, New York Harbour|
Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants
entering the USA causing this to be the busiest immigration station from
1892-1954. The first day, January 1, 1892, there were 3 large ships with 700
people and by the end of the first year there had been 450,000 people pass
through this immigration center. By the
time the Immigration Station closed in 1954, there had been 12 million
|Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital|
The south side of Ellis Island is home to the Ellis Island
Immigrant Hospital. Immigrants with visible health problems were detained and
put into the hospital on Ellis Island.
More than 3000 people died while being held in this hospital. Tours for Ellis Island are also available but
tickets need to be purchased ahead of time.
They offer tours of the Ellis Island Hospital including the mortuary and
the autopsy room so the tour isn’t for anyone under 13 years of age or in my
opinion, faint of heart. There is
ongoing restoration being done to the Hospital and outbuildings so that there
will be more to see on these tours in time.
|Ellis Island Immigrant Museum, NY|
The building is now home to the Museum of Immigration and
has been since 1990. We walked through
and read a lot of the stories that brought these immigrants to the USA. There is a very colourful and interesting history
that makes it what we know today.
|Wall of Honor on Ellis Island, NY|
Around behind the museum is the Wall of Honour, where names
of many of those who arrived here are written but we understand it is only a
partial list. The Wall went on forever
but 12 million names would go on for miles.
We found some of our family names, although we do not believe them to be
direct ancestors, it was interesting to see how many of them with our same surnames
arrived here. Today there are over 100
million Americans who can trace their ancestry to those who first arrived in
America at Ellis Island.
|View of New York from Ellis Island|
Ellis Island had once been one of Fort Gibson that was built
to defend New York City from enemy ships that was approaching the Harbour. They were part of the triangle which included
Liberty Island and Governor’s Island for 100 years before Ellis Island became
the Immigration Station. The view of Manhattan
Island of New York, the subject of Fort Gibson’s protection lies beyond.
Our adventures today definitely gave us a history lesson
that showed what many people had to go through to survive then make that long
voyage to America. One cannot leave here
without some appreciation for those sacrifices and the opportunity to learn and
visit where it all began. It was a great day, even with the line-ups.
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