Tuesday, April 6, 2010


America's First Immigration Center
CastleGarden.org is an educational project of The Battery Conservancy. This free site offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period.

Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, is the major landmark within The Battery, the 25 acre waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan. From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America's first official immigration center, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City.
CastleGarden.org is an invaluable resource for educators, scholars, students, family historians, and the interested public. Currently the site hosts 11 million records, and support is needed to complete the complete digitization of the original ship manifests.

The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. Native Americans fished from its banks, and the first Dutch settlers built a low, stone wall with cannons, a battery, to protect the harbor and the fledgling city of New Amsterdam. The transformations of The Battery and the Castle tell the history of New York and, by association, the growth and development of our nation.