The statue stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, but the location of the Statue of Liberty has not always been so clear. Originally, the island was known as Bedloe Island and was officially renamed in 1956. Before Lady Liberty inhabited the island, it was home to Fort Wood. The fort was built in the shape of an eleven-point star, upon which the statue and pedestal now sit.
The island itself has had quite a history: it was a quarantine station for smallpox victims in the 18th century, a summer home for the Earl of Cassils, a rental property, a place for Tory refugees, a lighthouse, and finally, a defensive fort.
The Statue of Liberty is closer to New Jersey than New York and, in fact, resides in New Jersey’s waters. However, it has been established as part of the 8th Congressional District of New York according to the U.S. Geological Survey. New Jersey has never claimed rights to the island.