125 years ago on June 15th, 1897
A fire sweeps through Ellis Island's wood buildings
It completely destroyed the original structures and most of the immigration records that were kept there, which dated back to 1855. During reconstruction, immigrants are processed at the Barge Office along the eastern edge of the Battery in Manhattan, near Castle Clinton. A reconstructed processing center would reopen on Ellis Island on December 17, 1900, which are the red brick and limestone buildings seen there today.