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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Staten Island in Richmond County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Quarantine Boarding Station

Rosebank, Staten Island, New York

 
 
Quarantine Boarding Station Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, April 29, 2017
1. Quarantine Boarding Station Marker
Inscription.  
Preventing Infectious Disease
For many years, this boarding station helped to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the United States. From 1783 to 1971, officers working at this station boarded and inspected thousands of ships coming into New York Harbor each year. In the mid-late 1880’s, the majority of immigrants arriving to the United States entered through New York Harbor and were subject to inspection. Using a tugboat, a team of medical officers travelled into the harbor to inspect incoming vessels and their passengers. If the ships passed inspection, they were given a clean bill of health and could continue. If deadly and contagious diseases were present, the vessels were fumigated and the passengers quarantined until it was safe for them to land in New York. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Yellow fever, cholera, typhus, small pox, diphtheria, and measles were among the diseases requiring quarantine.

Quarantine!
The first quarantine law for New York Harbor was passed by the Colonial Legislature in 1758. It quarantined vessels at Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty island). In 1801, a quarantine

Quarantine Boarding Station location image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, April 29, 2017
2. Quarantine Boarding Station location
Since 1973, the facility has been in the hands of the USCG. Although it fronts on Bay Street, the official address is "10 Search Lane", one of the base's interior roads. The marker is in the driveway, out of frame to the right.
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station at Tomkinsville (sic), Staten Island, was established as the location for quarantine facilities. It was destroyed by arson in 1858. Earlier quarantine facilities failed because nobody wanted to live near hospitals full of highly contagious immigrants. For this reason, between 1870 and 1873, the State of New York built two islands for quarantine purposes: Hoffman Island for healthy passengers on quarantined ships, and Dix (Swinburn) Island for the sick passengers. The facilities on the island included dormitories, kitchens, dining rooms, a laundry, disinfecting and drying chambers, hospital wards, a crematory and a mortuary.

Rosebank
The Rosebank Boarding Station included building used as residences for the medical officers, a laundry, carpenter shop, boathouse, telegraph office and observation tower, laboratory, storerooms and a barn. The facility housed medical officers who would be available on short notice to examine passengers and inspect and fumigate vessels. Rosebank laboratory staff continuously tested rats collected from vessels to monitor for plague infestation. The State of New York sold the property to the United States in 1921, and the Public Health Service continued operations and improved efficiency by constructing new buildings and dormitories. The facility later became part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and it was closed

Quarantine Boarding Station Marker Insert image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, April 29, 2017
3. Quarantine Boarding Station Marker Insert
The observation tower and telegraph office referred to in the text.
in 1971 along with the majority of the nation’s Quarantine stations as the result of a federal quarantine change that reduced disease inspection in favor of other forms of intervention.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Science & Medicine. A significant historical year for this entry is 1783.
 
Location. 40° 36.617′ N, 74° 3.789′ W. Marker is in Staten Island, New York, in Richmond County. Marker is on Bay Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 Search Lane, Staten Island NY 10305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Arthur Von Briesen Park (approx. ¼ mile away); September 11, 2001 Living Memorial Grove (approx. 0.3 miles away); Staten Island War Dog Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Father Capodanno Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Saint Mary’s Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Mary’s Church War Memorials (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battery Catlin (approx. half a mile away); Torpedo Wharf (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Staten Island.
 
Also see . . .  “Quarantined!”. Nine minute YouTube video.
Quarantine Boarding Station Marker Insert image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, April 29, 2017
4. Quarantine Boarding Station Marker Insert
New York Harbor in 1900 with immigration-related sites. "Tompkinsville", misspelled in the main text, is spelled correctly here.
Excerpt from the narration:
From 1783 to 1971, officers working at the Staten Island station boarded and inspected thousands of ships coming into New York Harbor each year to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. When deadly and contagious diseases were present, the vessels were fumigated and the passengers quarantined until it was safe for them to land in New York.

The word “Quarantine” comes from an old Italian phase – quaranta giorni- meaning forty days. The practice of quarantine began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing.
(Submitted on June 19, 2020.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 419 times since then and 39 times this year. Last updated on May 28, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 30, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 29, 2022