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A World Before Ellis Island

Discover the History Before Ellis Island

With every building there is a past. Prior to the re-establishment of Ellis Island the island was once occupied by Native American tribes known as the Algonquin Tribe which was located in the northeast region of North America. It was said that the Native American tribe flocked to the island because the island was home for fresh oysters, shellfish, fin fish and striped bass all a source of food supply. The island was later given the name by the Dutch, ‘Oyster Island.’ Archeology sourced in 1985 when the restoration occurred on Ellis Island that duck bones, turtle bones and deer bones were found giving researchers a clearer idea of the diet found between Liberty and Ellis Island.  


In 1624, The Dutch created a fur trading station. In 1664, the English came along and renamed the once ‘New Netherlands’ to ‘New York.’ Within the next one hundred years, the island would go through  a number of names and in 1774 the island was purchased by Samuel Ellis. After Samuel Ellis death, New York State purchased the island making it officially government owned.

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