Friends of the 1799 Lazaretto Interpretive Museum
Friends of the 1799 Lazaretto Interpretive Museum

The 5th. Annual History and Mystery Weekend Event at the 1799 Lazaretto October 4th 2014 in Essington PA

The Friends of the 1799 Lazaretto Interpretive Museum , and the Tinicum Township Historical Society we lowered  the International Quarantine Flag over the property on this October, to re-create an annual ritual that took place every October 1st, when the Philadelphia Department of Public Health would go to the Lazaretto to lower the quarantine flag, and hold a banquet complete with brandy and cigars to celebrate the end of the quarantine season.

The Lazaretto was built in 1799 along the banks of the Delaware River in Essington, Pennsylvania. It was the official quarantine station for the city of Philadelphia. For most of the next century, all passenger and cargo vessels bound for the port of Philadelphia were required to dock at the Lazaretto for inspection. Passengers suspected of contagion were quarantined in the hospital, and all suspect cargo was stored in the public warehouse. The Board of Health of the City of Philadelphia operated the facility until 1893.


After it was closed as a hospital, it was used as a summer resort for the Philadelphia Athletics “The Orchard”, a temperance revival center, a civilian seaplane aviation base, in WW 1 by US Army Signal Corp Aviation as Chandler Field, and to the present day as a civilian seaplane aviation base.


Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, the Lazaretto is the oldest intact quarantine facility in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth oldest in the world.


Although presently vacant and closed to the public, the building is in excellent condition with much of its original fabric intact. The Friends of the 1799 Lazaretto, is now working to ensure the preservation, interpretation and adaptive re-use of this little known but important historical site.

The Lazaretto is located at 99 Wanamaker Avenue (at 2nd Street), Essington, Pennsylvania.


Event was on Saturday September from 10 AM -4 PM with an evening program starting at 7 PM


Confirmed, Programs, Guests and Presenters


Tours of the Grounds only . The buildings remain closed to the public


 Philadelphia Airport Quarantine Station


Jennifer Torres is the Assistant Officer in Charge at the Philadelphia Quarantine Station, was on hand to talk about a 21st. century quarantine station.. She brings 24 years of public health experience with 12 at CDC. Jennifer began working for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine in March 2007, assigned to the Honolulu Quarantine Station as a Quarantine public Health Officer and later promoted to the Assistant Officer in Charge. In July 2009 she took that long trip with her family back across the water to work in Philadelphia.


Time Travelers: 19th century dolls 

Duana Gummo and Sheila Walter presented a program on 19th century dolls. They are both members of the Union Patriotic League and preform living history demonstrations form various eras.



Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania


Founded in 1892 as a non-profit organization, the Genealogical Society of
Pennsylvania (GSP) was among the first in the United States to recognize
the value of collecting and preserving the vital and personal records of
those ancestors whose lives now comprise our American history. Our mission is to provide leadership and support in promoting genealogy through education, preservation, and access to Pennsylvania-related genealogical information.  Learn more about our programs and collections at


Arlington Cemetery Drexel Hill PA


Megan Harris, Archivist at Arlington Cemetery Company in Drexel Hill, presented her research on the search for the Lazaretto Burial Ground removal to Arlington Cemetery. In April of 1900 the burial ground was removed from the Lazaretto grounds and re-interred at Arlington Cemetery in Drexel Hill. Recently discovered records of the removal have shed new light on the removal, where in the cemetery the burials are, and uncovered the names of 41 previously unknown individuals that were interred at the Lazaretto


Swedish Genealogical Society PA



Saving Hallowed Ground a Pennsylvania organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of monuments and markers, commemorating veterans and patriots where ever they may be found. Come out both days to see how they can facilitate their programs in your community.


Saving Hallowed Ground accomplishes this through two steps.

  1. Performing conservation and preservation services to the monuments themselves.
  2. Engaging school students and communities in researching and learning about the history of their monuments and about the stories behind the names inscribed on these Living History Memorials.



Dogs Of War Viet Nam Living History Society



Legion XXIV  Roman Reenactment Legion


Legion XXIV was established as a reenactment unit to display Roman and other ancient military dress, battle tactics and history, Roman daily life and culture at faires, schools, museums, and other public functions. 

The dress, weapons, and other equipment of the Vexillation as part of Legion XXIV are as authentic and historically accurate as reasonably possible and have been assembled and/or obtained at our members’ own expense.


John William Lynn, is Member of 7th NJ Inf Civil war reenactors, member of Francine camp Sons of Union Veterans. An avid history buff and family genealogist. His family served in both the 90th Pennsylvania and the 178th Pennsylvania during the Civil war. He will speak about his experiences researching his ancestor, Captain Nathan Raymond, who fought and was wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run.


Paul Michael Kane, the award winning photographer who published the portfolio of his images from inside the 1799 Lazaretto Quarantine Facility, will be out to speak about his art. Be sure to ask Paul about his “unique haunted experience” in the basement of the 1799 Lazaretto. In addition to the 1799 Lazaretto portfolio has published editions of Eastern State Penitentiary and Fort Mifflin. Paul, a historic preservation and cancer awareness advocate, is married and he lives with his wife and two daughters in Northern New Jersey.


Kim Day, co-owner of Red Rope Farm, was out to demonstrate spinning using wool gathered from sheep raised on the farm.


The popular “Haunted History Candlelight Walk” wa back . Saturday night only.

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© Anthony Selletti