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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ellis Island to Be Destroyed

An important part of the "Ellis Island experience" is only visible at low tide. The ferry that shuttled millions of immigrants from the island to Manhattan between 1904 to 1954—the Ellis Island—sank at its moorings in 1968.

For nearly 40 years, the remains of the ship have wasted away just a few hundred feet from where boatloads of tourists hop on and off newer ferries to visit the museum and trace the paths of their ancestors. At low tide, the corroded hull of the Ellis Island can still be spotted poking through the surface.

In June, the park service intends to have divers slice the ferry into pieces that can be hoisted onto barges, park service officials said. “There’s not much there at all,” said David L. Conlin, an underwater archaeologist for the park service. But he added that there were “a couple of pieces we’re very interested in,” including the engine and propellers. [Link]
Millions of Americans have a personal connection to this vessel, including me. I assume that my great-grandparents were among her passengers, as neither was a strong swimmer. Now that I know she stills exists, it's a shame to see her go.

You can read more about the Ellis Island here, here, and especially here.

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