• Irish Immigrants

    Irish Immigrants

    As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, we are reminded that the Irish American story spans hundreds of years of immigration. The first cause of Irish influx to America was the Industrial Revolution. From the 1760s farmers and laborers lost their livelihoods and Europe became more industrialized. The period of the Great Hunger in Ireland from 1845 to 1850 is the most well-known period of mass immigration from Ireland when more than a million fled to the United States. Immigration continued through the 1900s with the Irish in search of a better life during periods of hardship. It’s of little surprise that today 39.6 million Americans claim Irish ancestry.

  • Touring Ellis Island’s Abandoned Hospitals

    Touring Ellis Island’s Abandoned Hospitals

    We received this glowing testimonial from Georgina Degano from Azul City, Argentina.

  • Christmas on Ellis Island

    Christmas on Ellis Island

    The holidays were very important on Ellis Island, perhaps the most celebrated was Christmas. It was observed each year at Ellis Island through religious services, festivities, and gift giving. The Roman Catholic Church and the various Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Churches and denominations offered separate religious services in accordance with their respective traditions.

  • Thanksgiving


    Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday (it has long been celebrated in Canada as well as the United States.) Historic newspaper accounts report of the efforts of individuals and organizations to bring Thanksgiving to those deemed less fortunate in the greater New York City metropolitan area. For homeless newsboys to inmates at Riker’s Island, there was turkey on Thanksgiving. According to a 1907 New York Times article, “If any one [sic] in New York missed turkey yesterday on account of hard times it was because he had hidden himself so well that a Sherlock Holmes could not have found him…”

  • In Loving Memory of Our Friend and Mentor, Judy McAlpin

    In Loving Memory of Our Friend and Mentor, Judy McAlpin

    Judith Rohrbacher McAlpin, 72, known to friends as Judy, of Charleston, South Carolina and Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania, wife of Malcolm McAlpin, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

  • Author Virtual Event Series

    Author Virtual Event Series

    These past few months have been a challenging time for everyone. Like most other historic and cultural sites and institutions, our on-site programs have stopped and our buildings are empty. However, at Save Ellis Island we know that our story is more important now than ever. A groundbreaking hospital designed and built to keep infectious and contagious disease spreading to our country may have once seemed abstract, even to those who toured the halls of our Hospital Complex. Now everyone has a greater understanding and appreciation for the tremendous accomplishment that happened on this small island. No epidemic or pandemic has ever been traced back to Ellis Island.