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The Potato Famine that strikes Ireland (1845-52) leads to the immigration of over 1 million Irish alone in the next decade.Concurrently, large numbers of Germans flee political and economic unrest.Island Two houses the hospital administration and contagious diseases ward, while Island Three holds the psychiatric ward.By 1906, Ellis Island has grown to more than 27 acres, from an original size of only three acres.
Approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of hours, but others could be detained for days or weeks.
Rapid settlement of the West begins with the passing of the Homestead Act in 1862.
Attracted by the opportunity to own land, more Europeans begin to immigrate.
The immigration station is relocated to the barge office in Manhattan’s Battery Park.
The new fireproof facility is officially opened in December, and 2,251 people pass through on opening day.
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Seven hundred immigrants passed through Ellis Island that day, and nearly 450,000 followed over the course of that first year.