Special master rules in favor of Ellis Island, 'New Jersey'
April 1, 1997
From Correspondent Gary Tuchman
NEW YORK (CNN) -- For more than a century and a half it has been officially known as Ellis Island, New York. But on Tuesday, a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed "special master" recommended that most of Ellis Island be given to the state of New Jersey.
The two states signed an 1834 agreement when Ellis Island was only 3 acres. New York was given those 3 acres, and New Jersey was given all the underwater land to the west. Since 1834, more than 24 acres of landfill have been added to Ellis Island. New Jersey has contended the 24 acres should be part of the Garden State. New York has said no way.
But Special Master Paul Verkuil has ruled in favor of New Jersey. His recommendation is that 22 and a half acres of the famous immigration island become part of Hudson County, New Jersey. In interest of practicality, he says 5 acres should be part of New York because it as an area that includes the entire main immigration building and the land immediately surrounding it. New Jersey has never claimed it owns the part of the island where the main building sits.
The Supreme Court will make the final decision on the special master's recommendation during its next term. In essence, the special master's decision is the same as a lower court decision.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.