A visit to Angel Island April 4, 2009, via the Tiburon Ferry
This isn't your usual travel destination, but the Immigration Station Detention Center tours have already been filled for all weekdays until September.
Intro-page to my
When the Chinese Exclusionary Act was put into place in 1882 and revised several times, the Immigration Station was designed (the national park authorities say) to keep Chinese from coming into the U.S. to stay. The immigration station was active from 1910-1940.
The site was restored (at a cost of $16 million) to serve as living history and, after many years, reopened on Feb. 16, with full access to the detention barracks given for the first time, with recreations of some of the rooms and furnishings and its unhappy history.
The place is most known for the discovery (at the time of planned demolition) of writings and carvings on the wall by frustrated and often depressed immigrants who were kept there for weeks or months and up to two years while being threatened with deportation.
The carvings were filled with putty and painted over 6 or 7 times, by staff. Walls that talk. Or, perhaps, the U.S.'s first message boards.
The opening was mid-Feb and the full public tours began April 1, 2009. It's received so much interest from young people that the guided tours are fully booked from April until September on weekdays. There are available slots on the weekends though,
as of today.
The full gallery is at Angel Island detention center
Continue on to the full Angel Island photo-report