Governor’s Island is a part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, and it lies in New York Harbor only a 5-minute boat ride from the south ferry terminal at the southernmost tip of the main island.
Prior to European colonization of the area, the Lenape Indians called the island “Nut Island” for its profusion of nut trees. They used the island as warm-weather hunting grounds.
For most of its history, the island was used as a military installation by the Dutch, the British, and the United States. Most recently, the Coast Guard were stationed on Governor’s Island until 1996.
The island has been open as a public park since 2000.