Wednesday, October 14, 2009


First day in New York.... and we are heading for Ellis Island. We are taking the train and then the subway.... boy, can that be intimidating... at least for John and me. Fortunately, we did met several people who were nice enough to help us find our way.

We made it to Ellis Island.....and it gave us some empathy for the new immigrants entering the USA. This island was the processing station for roughly 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954. We were anxious to look up John's grandmothers information. And we found a "Elsbeth Tomes entering Ellis Island on November 15, 1905 at the age of 17". We need to do more research but that sound like this was her.

This is the first room the immigrants enter and here they were asked to leave all their belongings. Next they were asked to walk up a 30 step staircase into a big room call the Registration Room. If it was difficult for them to walk up the stairs they were put through extra health tests. All received a eye and hearing test. If they were detain here on the island because of health problems ..... the boat line that brought them over paid the bill. That was nice but still this must have been extremely nerve-racking to all involved.

Fiorello La Guardia, who later became one of America's foremost public servant, was a interpreter (he spoke 3 languages) on Ellis Island from 1907-1910. In 1916, he ran for Congress and from 1934-1946 he served as mayor of New York City. He was well loved and respected by the immigrants as well as his fellow workers.

This is the final staircase that the immigrants took when leaving Ellis Island as United States Citizens. These are the stair that Grandma Galik Knox took in November of 1905. It was wonderful to be here.

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