Special Lazaretto Event: October 16, 2010


Join us to celebrate America's oldest quarantine station on Saturday October 16, 2010, 12-6 pm at the Lazaretto, 2d Street & Wanamaker Ave., Essington PA.


Each year during the Lazaretto's operation, the Philadelphia Board of Health made special visits to the station at the beginning and end of quarantine season to inspect the facilities, take inventory of supplies, and enjoy a ceremonial banquet. The quarantine season was officially opened (on or around June 1) when the yellow flag was raised at the water's edge, and closed when the flag was lowered (usually October 1). We will reenact the flag-lowering ceremony and celebrate the campaign to preserve and restore this priceless historic treasure.


12:00 The Tinicum Township Historical Society, Living Historians, The PAST will have information tables outside on the front porch of the Lazaretto. There will also be walking tours of the site, given by guides in historical garb, until 3 PM


3:00 Living History presentations, refreshments, discussion of preservation possibilities


4:00 Flag-lowering ceremony


4:30 "The Lazaretto, Forgotten Monument to a Hidden History": presentation with historical photos and documents by David Barnes (University of Pennsylvania), followed by discussion.


Directions to the Lazaretto can be found here.  More information about the Lazaretto, its history, and its preservation can be found here and here.


6:00 Special Evening Tour & Investigation:  Your contribution of $50 or more to the Lazaretto Preservation Association entitles you to a tour and investigation inside the Main Building of the Lazaretto on October 16, 2010 from 6 PM until 12 midnight. You will be led on the investigation by the members of The PAST.


Here is your chance to go through the halls of the oldest standing quarantine hospital in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth oldest still standing in the world.  Take advantage of this rare opportunity while supporting the preservation of this wonderful historic site!


Please make checks payable to: Lazaretto Preservation Association of Tinicum Township


Mail to;

Lazaretto Preservation Association of Tinicum Township

c/o David Schreiber

629 N. Governor Printz Blvd

Essington, PA 19029

“As a general thing the Board has two dinners there each year.  They have a dinner on June 1, when they take an account of the stores and go through the ceremony of running up the yellow flag.  They have another dinner about the 1st of October or later, when the quarantine season closes, and then they also take an account of stores and go through the ceremony of hauling down the yellow flag.  Inquiry among the Chester enemies of the station as to what was known of junkets at quarantine elicited but one bit of information.  This was that last summer when the Chester Board of Health was invited to visit the station of the Phila Board of Health, the members were regaled with oysters, chicken salad, and beer.  There does not seem to have been very much beer.”

Philadelphia Press, 1891

The End of Quarantine Season