Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco

#25 of 49 in Historic Sites in San Francisco
Government Building · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Angel Island Immigration Station was an immigration station located in San Francisco Bay which operated from January 21, 1910 to November 5, 1940, where immigrants entering the United States were detained and interrogated. Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay. It is currently a State Park administered by California State Parks and a California Historical Landmark. The island was originally a fishing and hunting site for Coastal Miwok Indians, then it was a haven for Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala. Later, it was developed as a cattle ranch, then, starting with the Civil War, the island served as a U.S. Army post.

During the island's Immigration Station period, the island held hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China, Japan, India, Mexico and the Philippines. The detention facility was considered ideal because of its isolated location, making it very easy to control immigrants, contain outbreaks of disease, and enforce the new immigration laws. The station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the title Angel Island, U.S. Immigration Station, and is a National Historic Landmark. The station is open to the public as a museum – "a place for reflection and discovery of our shared history as a nation of immigrants".
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43 reviews
  • I'd read "Shanghai Girls" so wanted to visit the place so vividly depicted in the novel. Plus, I'd recently been to Ellis Island, where my family landed so long ago. The tour is sobering as it...  more »
  • Get a docent to lead your tour as you find out fascinating stories and an honest appraisal of what happened here. Take the tram from the ferry if you don’t want to walk uphill—$8 is worth it. Very...  more »

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