Some time back I visited Historic Ellis Island. Never had any intention for anything outside of a nice day trip and research a little of my family history. Nearly 90 years ago, my Grandfather Mehdi Dilmaghani took a similar route with many, many more people and of course much more trecherous.
Ellis Island is a pretty incredible structure. Long corridors, small holding rooms, large spacious halls. So many had travelled through these buildings hard stone stairs show concave wear patterns from footsteps.
Although many buildings show clear signs of being in dire need for repair, the main buildings have since been renovated to their original state. Within, there is an abundance of interesting documentation on both individual immigrants, general procedures and information about the structure itself. A trip well worth the time and visit.
Here are a few photographs of original luggage, paperwork and general images I found to be particularly intriguing.
Above: Original luggage and baggage as once held by immigrants. Note the 2 kilim pillows resting atop the chests.
Above: Up and to the right, a saddlebag type hand made kilim. Note in the center is an old Hamadan type rug. There were interesting uses for carpets as we see in a few more photographs.
Above: A half soumac half kilim type pillow. Again, it's said that all items part of this setup in the main lobby were orginal bags and items as brought over by immigrants.
Above: This photograph I found particularly interesting. It had been taken around 1909, an image of luggage recently pulled from a boat. Note many of the bags are carefully strung, bulging from the contents inside. The one I found pretty cool is the one center at the bottom. It's an oriental rug, ends closed wrapped with rope to seal contents inside.
Above: A short story about a short lady from tabriz, Persia. ".... except that she walked with a drooping head. I joked about it and told her that it was no good to carry her head so low. She smiled and said she would do better."
Finally, a few snapshots from the Ellis Island Ferry on the way back to Manhattan.