Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.
Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, parts of the historic Main Building and museum remain closed at this time. The museum's artifacts remain in off-site storage. More »
Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"
Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"(Transcript)
Interviewee: Armen Jermakian
Jermakian (Armenian Music and Foreigner):
My mother used to love to play the music. It was Armenian and Turkish music that they played. And in the summertime the windows would be opened. And my playmates now were both Armenian and non Armenian. And they'd hear that music coming out, you know, they'd call us "foreigners" and things like that because of that music. And I used to go home and tell my mother, "Shut it off," or "Stop that music. Everybody thinks we're..." and that I distinctly remember because we didn't want to, and I love that music now myself but at that time, you know, they always think you're, they always looked upon you as being not native, you know. They looked down on you, they did. At the beginning they did look down on you.
Did You Know?
On July 30, 1916, a major explosion at the railway terminals on the Black Tom Wharf in Jersey City did considerable damage to the Ellis Island buildings. The walls, ceilings, roofs and foundations of the hospital buildings were weakened, and many windows, casings and doors were blown out. The repairs to the facilities took about a year at a cost of nearly $400,000.00(about $8,333,333.33 in 2012).