Saturday, May 18, 2024


From 1855 to 1890, immigration to the United states was controlled by the individual states. About 8 million people passed through a station at the lower tip of Manhattan, likely including my grandparents, coming from Ireland and Poland.  Ellis Island in New York harbor was the point of arrival for most immigrants to the United States from 1892 until 1954. 12 million people would enter the U.S. through it.

Our photography group went to Ellis Island but did not visit the main museum. You can go on a tour with a guide of the old, abandoned hospital. It is in various states of decay and restoration, mostly the former. A French artist who goes by simply JR has created haunting photo-montages on the walls and windows, drawn from images of the arriving, hopeful people. Back then, this country wanted immigrants to populate our vast spaces. Clearly, that is no longer the case.