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Angel Island

Angel Island, San Francisco Bay

Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that has been called “The Ellis Island of the West.” From 1910 to 1940, approximately 175,000 Asian immigrants to the United States were processed at Angel Island. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 contained tough restrictions on entry, so many people waited on the island until they exhausted their appeals. Angel Island has spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline (as does Alcatraz Island). The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park. The highest point on the island is Mount Livermore at 788 feet (240 m). Access to the island is by private boat or public ferry from San FranciscoTiburon, or Vallejo. On weekdays during the winter, the only ferries are from San Francisco and Tiburon. Bicycles can be brought to the island for use. Bicycles and Segways can be rented on the island. Dogs, roller skatesroller blades (inline skates), and skateboards are prohibited.

Angel Island used to be a hunting ground for Coast Miwok Native Americans. In 1775, the Spanish naval vessel San Carlos, under the command of Juan de Ayala, became the first European vessel to enter San Francisco Bay. Juan de Ayala anchored off Angel Island at a place now known as Ayala Cove, and gave the island its modern name of Isla de los Angeles. In 1863, during the American Civil War, the U.S. Army established Camp Reynolds (or the West Garrison) on the island. In the latter 1800’s, the army designated the whole island as Camp McDowell. The island served as a transit station for troops during the Spanish American WarWorld War I, and World War II. Japanese and German POWs were also held on the island during the second World War. The army abandoned Angel Island in 1946, but returned in 1950 to construct a Nike missile base, which was decommisioned in 1962. The path for Angel Island to become a state park started with a 37-acre purchase in 1954 and was completed when the Department of Defense turned over the entire island to be a state park in 1962. In the 1970s, the Chinese American community lobbied the State of California to designate the immigration station as a state landmark. Today, the Angel Island Immigration Station is a National Historic Landmark undergoing renovation and scheduled for reopening in May of 2008.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.  Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide!

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