• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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  • 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, including most of the exhibits and both elevators, remain closed at this time. More »

Ellis Island's Use by Other Government Agencies and the Military

Hat from U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve c. 1946-1947

A Coast Guard hat of the Women's Reserve (SPARs) c. 1946-1947

National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM

Ellis Island was always viewed as federal government property and there was always the presence of other federal agencies using the buildings and hospitals. The federal agencies most represented on Ellis Island were the military, predominately the United States Coast Guard, and, during the two World Wars, the United States Army. Items belonging to the employees, the hat and uniform worn by a member of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve (SPARs), and photographs of the medical personnel serving the military in the island's hospitals are evidence of this use and a significant component of the museum collection.

 
WWI soldiers posed in front of hospital complex c. 1918
World War I soldiers posed in front of the hospital complex c. 1918
National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM
 

Did You Know?

Old Elliscropped

When Ellis Island was opened in 1892, the facility bore little resemblance to the Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts structure that people have come to know today. Made out of Georgia pine, the complex caught fire on June 15, 1897 and burned to the ground in about 6 hours. The current building was opened on December 17, 1900.