Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Pesthouse and Cemetery / Pestilences
1866 / “Prior to 20th Century”
Following an outbreak of the dreaded plague, smallpox (Variola), at Florence during the winter of 1865-66, the Board of Alderman adopted a resolution on January 2, 1866, that a Pesthouse be “erected at the vineyard as soon as possible.” According to tradition, this Pesthouse, believed to have been a simple two-room log structure, was located in this area where people with infectious diseases could be isolated from the community. Also located nearby is a small cemetery where victims of these diseases were sometimes buried in unmarked graves.
Prior to 20th Century During its early history, this area was faced with periods of infectious epidemics. One of the most feared was the small pox plague. It became a serious threat at the end of the Civil War, believed to have resulted from the frequent movements of troops here during the war. Yellow fever, a rare plague in the northern hemisphere, appeared here in the fall of 1878, resulting in 42 deaths in Florence. Four nurses from the Howard Association, a New Orleans charity organization, were sent here to assist with the sick and the dying.
Erected by Florence Historical Board Florence Alabama.
Location. 34° 48.322′ N, 87° Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Florence AL 35630, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Capture of John A.Murrell (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Greater Mount Moriah (approx. 0.6 miles away); The University of North Alabama (approx. 0.9 miles away); Ante-Bellum Cotton Mills 1840 (approx. 0.9 miles away); William Christopher Handy (approx. one mile away); Simpson House~Irvine Place~Coby Hall (approx. one mile away); College Place Historic District (approx. one mile away); W. C. Handy Birthplace (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Also see . . .
1. Yellow Fever. Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family. (Submitted on March 10, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.)
2. Pest house. In the past, a pest house or pesthouse was a hospital or hostel used for persons afflicted with communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, or smallpox. Often used for forcible quarantine, many towns and cities had one or more pesthouses accompanied by a cemetery or a waste pond nearby for disposal of the dead. (Submitted on March 10, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.)
3. Pestilence. A pestilence is any virulent and highly infectious disease that can cause an epidemic or even a pandemic. The word can also be used about parasites causing large scale sickness and death, such as Guinea worm. (Submitted on March 10, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Science & Medicine •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 10, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 1,488 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on June 3, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 10, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.