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Ellis Island served as an immigration station for the Port of New York from January 1 1892 through November 19 1954 The stations peak years of immigration were from 1892 through 1924 In these years more than half of the United States immigrants came to this country via Ellis Island The history of Ellis Island begins with Samuel Ellis purchasing it in the 18th century and renaming it after his family In 1890 the House Committee of Immigration chose Ellis Island as the immigration station for the Port of New York Queensbury 1 It took only two years to get the Island up and running and it saw its first immigrants in 1892 Many buildings made up the immigration station with the main buildings four towers rising over 140 feet in the air The original main building consisted of just two floors the first of which housed the baggage check area and the railroad ticket office The second floor was the Registry Room The Registry Room was where the immigrants were inspected for physical or mental impairments Only two percent of immigrants excluded from entering America but during the peak years of immigration this equaled thousands of immigrants per month ARAMARK 2-4 During the night of June 14 1897 there was a massive fire which destroyed many of the buildings at Ellis Island Although there were over 200 people on the island at the time of the fire no one was killed The fire caused 600000 worth of damage Congress was quick to spend this money to regain the service of the Island With the restoration of the main building came a new floor The first two floors still housed the same activities as before but now a third floor was added and used as a dormitory This renovation also included fire-proof buildings to avoid this type of disaster again Queensbury 2 On
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