Native Americans begin to inhabit the land that is now Liberty Island. This island is one of the three "Oyster Islands" in New York Harbor, for the numerous shell beds in this location and a major source of food.
Henry Hudson lands in New York Harbor and the Hudson River estuary. Europeans begin to colonize the area which includes the Oyster Islands. Occupation, war, and disease during colonization force the Native Americans to move both north and west.
Isaac Bedloe, a Dutch colonist, obtains a colonial land grant for this Oyster Island.
Colonial Governor Francis Lovelace confirms Bedloe's ownership of the island on the condition that it is renamed Love Island.
Bedloe dies, Governor Lovelace is overthrown by the Dutch navy, and Love Island is renamed Bedloe's Island.
The English take over Bedloe's Island.
Mary Bedloe Smith (Isaac's widow) sells Bedloe's Island to Adolph Philipse and Henry Lane, New York merchants, to get out of bankruptcy.
New York City takes possession of the island, using it as a quarantine station, inspecting incoming ships for contamination and disease.
Archibald Kennedy (later 11th Earl of Cassiles) purchases the island and establishes a summer residence.
Bedloe's Island is reestablished as a quarantine station due to the outbreak of smallpox.
Ownership of Bedloe's Island is again granted to New York City.
A hospital is constructed on Bedloe's Island.
During the American Revolution, the island is used as an asylum for Tory sympathizers (American colonists loyal to Great Britain during the war).
Colonial insurgents lay siege Bedloe's Island and burn its buildings.
The New York state legislature passes an act once again making the island a quarantine station.
The French (allies of the Patriots during the war) use Bedloe's Island as an isolation station.
After the events of the American Revolution, and the rising tensions between the United States, England, and France, federal dollars are appropriated to construct fortifications on Bedloe's Island.
The United States Army administers Bedloe's Island as a military post until 1937.
Construction on the "Works on Bedloe's Island," later known as Fort Wood, begins. The 11-point star fort aids in the protection of the New York Harbor. It is garrisoned with artillery and infantry until the outbreak of the Civil War.
The "Works on Bedloe's Island" is completed.
The "Works on Bedloe's Island," is renamed Fort Wood by New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins in the memory of Eleazer D. Wood, an army hero killed in action at Fort Erie.
An interstate agreement between New York and New Jersey places Bedloe's Island (the land above low level water mark) within New York while New Jersey retains riparian rights to waters and all submerged land surrounding the island.
The United States Civil War begins and Fort Wood serves as a recruiting station and ordinance depot. A small garrison is maintained at the fort.
The garrison at Fort Wood is disbanded. However, the United States Army continues to supervise an ordnance post (and remains active) on Bedloe's Island until 1937.
Bedloe's Island is designated as the site for the Statue of Liberty.