1893-1902 On June 15, 1897, with 200 immigrants on the island, a fire breaks out in one of the towers in the main building and the roof collapses.
Though no one is killed, all Ellis Island records dating back to 1840 and the Castle Garden era are destroyed.
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Seven hundred immigrants passed through Ellis Island that day, and nearly 450,000 followed over the course of that first year.
Over the next five decades, more than 12 million people will pass through the island on their way into the United States.
The immigration station is relocated to the barge office in Manhattan’s Battery Park.
The new fireproof facility is officially opened in December, and 2,251 people pass through on opening day.
Island Two houses the hospital administration and contagious diseases ward, while Island Three holds the psychiatric ward.