|Hart Island, sometimes referred to as Hart's Island, is a small island in New York City at the western end of Long Island Sound. It is approximately a mile long and one quarter of a mile wide and is located to the northeast of City Island in the Pelham Islands group.|
Description of Hart IslandEdit
Hart Island is home to the largest cemetery in the world. Though it is loosely guarded by the Department of Corrections, it has been rumored to be a meeting place for those who prefer not to be seen.
History of Hart IslandEdit
(Source: Wikipedia) In the middle of the 19th century, the island was called Lesser Minneford Island. The island was part of the (0.2 sq miles) property purchased by Thomas Pell from the local Native Americans in 1654. In February 1869, New York City purchased the island from Edward Hunter of the Bronx for $75,000.
There are several versions of the origin of the island's name. In one, British cartographers named it "Heart Island" in 1775, due to its organ-like shape, but the middle letter was dropped shortly thereafter.
Others sources indicate that "hart" refers to the Middle English word for "stag." One version of this theory is that the island was given the name when it was used as a game preserve. Another version holds that it was named in reference to deer that migrated from the mainland during periods when ice covered that part of Long Island Sound. A passage in William Styron's novel Lie Down in Darknes describes the island as occupied by a lone deer shot by a hunter with a row boat. Styron provides a vivid description of the public burials following World War II including the handling of remains from re-excavated graves.
At various times during its history, Hart Island has had a workhouse, a hospital, prisons, a Civil War internment camp, a reformatory and a Nike missile base. The island's area is 0.531 km² (0.205 sq mi, or 131.22 acres) and had no permanent population as of the 2000 census. Currently it serves as the city's potter's field and is run by the New York City Department of Correction.