“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Carville in Iberville Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

Triumph At Carville: A Tale of Leprosy in America

The Story of the Triumph over Leprosy; Mankind's most Historically Feared Disease

Triumph At Carville: A Tale of Leprosy in America Marker image. Click for full size.
September 23, 2016
1. Triumph At Carville: A Tale of Leprosy in America Marker
In 1894, The Louisiana Leper Home was established at an abandoned plantation south of Baton Rouge, near a town eventually known as Carville. That November, the first seven patients, transferred from a "pest house" in New Orleans, arrived on a coal barge towed up the Mississippi River. The laws of the day forbade passengers with quarantinable diseases use of public transportation.

The old plantation would eventually become a refuge for leprosy patients from all over the world. The National Leprosy Act of 1917 required patients diagnosed with leprosy in the U.S. to be quarantined at Carville. In its early years, Carville was more prison than hospital. Families, sometimes horrified by the stigma of leprosy, left their infected relatives at the front gate. Patients routinely changed their names to hide their identities. In 1921, when the U.S.Public Health Service took over the hospital from the state of Louisiana, "Carville" became known as U.S. Marine Hospital #66, The National Leprosarium.

As the decades passed, greater understanding about leprosy emerged from studies at Carville. Researchers partnered with Daughters of Charity and patients to develop a therapy which, years later, became Carville's gift to the world: the multi-drug regimen many call a cure for leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease.

As Carville
Triumph At Carville: A Tale of Leprosy in America Marker image. Click for full size.
September 23, 2016
2. Triumph At Carville: A Tale of Leprosy in America Marker
evolved from leprosarium to hospital - and eventually became a home for patients who lived out the balance of their lives on the grounds - the plantation fostered an incredible sense of community. This exhibit, and the recent PBS documentary of the same name, highlights a few of the amazing stories and characters that vividly tell the story of this unique place.
Erected by National Hansen's Disease Museum.
Location. 30° 11.79′ N, 91° 7.578′ W. Marker is in Carville, Louisiana, in Iberville Parish. Marker is on Point Clair Road (State Highway 141) one mile north of Martin Luther King Parkway (State Highway 75), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Hansen's Disease Museum, on the grounds of the Louisiana National Guard Carville site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5445 Point Clair Road., Bldg. 12, Carville LA 70721, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Daughters of Charity (here, next to this marker); The STAR (a few steps from this marker); Cage Door of Harry T. Chimpanzee (a few steps from this marker); Staff Housing, U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Carville (within shouting distance of this marker); Administration Building, U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Carville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Indian Camp Plantation (about 300 feet away); Belle Grove Plantation (approx. 0.8 miles away); A Civil War Soldier (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carville.
More about this marker. Marker is located inside the National Guard Site, but is part of the Museum's self driving tour. No photography is permitted except markers and site cemetery. This is currently an active Military base so check before visiting, and for other regulations which may apply.
Also see . . .  National Hansen's Disease Museum. (Submitted on June 10, 2017.)
Categories. Science & Medicine
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 81 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 10, 2017.
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