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Federal Ownership of the Island

Learn about the Federal

Everyone is familiar with the famous Statue of Liberty, but not too many are familiar with the island and history that hosts the world iconic American wonder.

The island has received a variety of ownerships and names to go with it including, ‘Oyster Island,’ ‘Love Island,’ ‘Bedlow Island,’ and ‘Kennedy Island.’

The history of the island goes backs hundreds of years starting in 1664 to 1876, with the name of the island given, ‘Oyster Island.’ The island was home to Native Americans and gave it the name due to the number of sea crustaceans specifically oysters found along the shores of the rocks that surrounded the island. The island was later in procession of New Netherland from the Dutch and shortly renaming it New York. In 1667, Issac Bedloe, a merchant and colonist took ownership of the island. When colonel Francis Lovelace took ownership of the island he made a condition that island be named Love Island. When the English won control of New York the island was renamed, ‘Bedloe Island’. In recent history books you will find the spelling of his name spelt three different ways. The island was later sold after his widow faced bankruptcy and sold it to Adolphe Phillipse and Henry Lane. The city of New York later took control using the island to house patients with diseases.

 In 1759, the corporation of the City of New York purchased the island and used it for rentals for the next few years. In 1876, the island was later sold to Archibald Kennedy and used the island for a summer home. During this time, the state of New York ordered that the island be in use to watch for enemies in possible approach to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Kennedy was ordered to use the island as a station to welcome those who feared they carried small pox.

Liberty Island has been owned by the Government since 1801. Many often ask if the Statue of Liberty is located in New York or in New Jersey on the Hudson River and the upper New York Bay. The Statue of Liberty is both a symbol in New York and New Jersey.

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