Description: Places of Interest Upon the Delaware River and Bay.
Newspaper published in: Philadelphia
Source: U Penn collection
The Lazaretto, Americas Oldest Quarantine Station:
Hidden away along the riverfront banks of the Delaware River just a stone's throw from I-95 and west of the Philadelphia International Airport stands the oldest surviving quarantine facility, 1643 to 1893, in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth oldest in the world.
The Lazaretto Quarantine Station served as the gateway to Philadelphia in a crucial period of the Nations growth during 1801 to 1895. During the warm weather months, when the traffic was heaviest and imported epidemics threatened, all arriving ships, passengers and cargo were inspected there and quarantined if necessary. Vessels and cargo were disinfected and sick passengers and crew members were treated in the Lazaretto Hospital.
The name Lazaretto derives from St. Lazarus, Patron Saint of the Lepers. Maritime quarantine stations were known as lazaeetto's and were established in European port cities beginning in the late 14th centuries.
The Lazaretto site spans the area from the Delaware River to Second Street and consiste of an 18th century building and a historic burial grounds at the northeast corner. It has been called the "Ellis Island" or Philadelphia but from a historical standpoint it is much more precious and even rarer, being a century older, the origional 1799 Lazareyyo structure still stands as a silent monument to the first hundred years of our nations history of immigration and public health. In 1799 this station was established in response to the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, it included a large main building, several out buildings and a burial ground.
Before there was a quarantine station this site, also known as Point-no-point and Tinicum, was part of the 1643 Swedish settlement and before that known to have been the home of Lenni Lenape Native Americans.
The early part of the 20th Century, this location took om a new life as the first seaplane base in Pennsylvania, also one of the first in the United States, for an early chapter in aviation history.
Source: David Barnes, University of Pennsylvania