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Kesselgarden or Kesselgarten refers to the way "Castle Garden" was pronounced by Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews who settled in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[1][2] Castle Garden was a facility on the southern tip of Manhattan that received immigrants from 1855 through 1890. Thousands of Jews entered the U.S. through Castle Garden prior to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892. "Kesselgarden" later became generalized to mean any situation that was noisy, confusing and chaotic.[3]

The Klezmer duo Kesselgarden in Seattle, Washington, take their name from this usage.[4]


  1. ^ Susan Estabrook Kennedy (1979). If All We Did Was to Weep at Home – A History of White Working-class Women in America. Indiana University Press. p. 60. ISBN 9780253191540. 
  2. ^ Gardner, Sheldon (2004). "Going to America". The Converso Legacy. Devora Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 9781932687194. 
  3. ^ Patai, Raphael (2015). "Ellis Island". Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions. Routledge. ISBN 9781317471707. 
  4. ^ Kesselgarden homepage