After having served as a place to execute criminals in the 18C, the island was bought by one Samuel Ellis, and eventually resold to the State of New York in 1808. When the immigration center of Castle Clinton closed in 1890, Ellis Island was chosen as the gateway to the New World. The site now houses the Immigration Museum, where you can experience every step and hurdle endured by the new arrivals before gaining admittance or being denied entry (most often due to health reasons) to the U.S.
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