At Castle Garden

Perhaps the most famous immigrant processing center in the United States is Ellis Island which officially opened on 01 January 1892 after the US Federal Government assumed responsibility for processing immigrants.

Before that, Castle Garden, operated by the State of New York, was used for processing immigrants, a function it performed from 1855 to 1890.

Castle Garden was originally known as West Battery when it opened in 1811. In 1815, the fort was renamed Castle Clinton after the mayor of New York City, Dewitt Clinton. The facility was renamed again in 1824, at which time it assumed the name Castle Garden and was used first for entertainment and, later, for processing immigrants. Today, the structure is the departure site for trips to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and is once again known as Castle Clinton.

At Castle Garden

Lisa Alzo and Steve Danko at Castle Garden

SOURCE: Lisa Alzo and Steve Danko at Castle Garden (Manhattan, New York County, New York City, New York, USA). Photographed by Matthew Bielawa for Stephen J. Danko on 09 August 2009.

After the 2009 Seminar of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Lisa Alzo, Brian Lenius and his wife Marilyn, Jonathan Shea, Matthew Bielawa, and I visited Castle Garden and Ellis Island. Matthew snapped this shot of fellow genealogy blogger Lisa Alzo and me.

It seems that Lisa and I were channeling each other recently because each of us posted photos of three unknown men in uniform that we had found in the photo collections of our respective families. My post is entitled Three Men in Uniform and Lisa’s post is Family Mystery Photo. Perhaps we should just consider these photos the first installment of the Carnival of Mystery Men in Uniform.

Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko

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3 Responses to At Castle Garden

  1. Charlie Bell says:

    Please post these photos on as well. You can register for free and you can upload store and publish articles all at no cost. Check this site out. My sister and I published our fathers life story and we have had over 23,000 views. I look forward to seeing it there!

    Best Regards
    The History Man

  2. Ohhh for a trip to Castle Garden! Thanks for the information. Hey, I work for a company that, like you, is focused on teaching others about the techniques and technology available to help people trace their roots. Since you have such a following, I thought you might appreciate knowing about the 2009 California Family History Expo in Redding, Calif., Oct. 16 & 17. This expo is presented by Family History Expos,, a well-established Utah-based company.

  3. Brenda says:

    Steve, congratulations on the New Look! (I’m behind the times, visiting family much of the summer.) What a great trip you had in August. Keep up the excellent posts!

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