In the 17th century, the Algonquin Native Indians discovered several islands in the New York Bay that were not entirely submerged in water. Only three islands were given the name of ‘Oyster Island,’ due to the amounts of shellfish, bass and oysters found within the bay area. The three islands now known as Ellis, Liberty and Black Tom were given the name by New Netherland settlers. The island remained a source for food supply for the next three centuries.