Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Quarantine Station aka Lazaretto in Tinicum Twp and upcoming history events for September

An aerial view of the Lazaretto in Tincum from the air about 1920.

Note; From 1801 till 1895 when it closed the Lazaretto in Tinicum Twp, served Philadelphia and the area as a quarantine station.  The station stopped every ship going upriver to Philadelphia. The place was busy in it's day and it was not all fun and games. Ships were sometimes stopped and quarantined. The station at one time had a small cemetery which has long since been removed.  In 1895 the quarantine station was moved down river to Marcus Hook where it stayed till the 1940's. Shortly after it closed the Lazaretto was sold at auction in October of 1896 for $5000.00. There were only 3 bidders. Below is an article about how the Lazaretto was run.

CHESTER TIMES – August 8, 1887 


How the Officers Ward Off Disease and Pestilence

          One of the most familiar objects on the river is the tug Visitor, which flies the yellow flag ornamented with its big Q, which stands for quarantine.  Though the official messenger of the Lazaretto, yet comparatively few people of this city know how its officers go about their duties, or how affairs are managed at the quarantine station just outside our doors.  But the people of Chester have such faith in the efficiency with which all regulations are enforced at the Lazaretto that they are not alarmed when the most dangerous diseases are known to be there.

          The old line of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad used to run close to the quarantine station, but it cannot be seen from the present route, and few people ever think about its presence.  It can be reached from Moore’s station, but Chesterians prefer the river route.  A familiar figure is Robert Carns, the steward, whose hospitality is proverbial, and he courteously shows visitors all over the place, unless the presence of some disease makes it necessary to exclude callers.

          The Lazaretto looks like an old mansion of the Southern type and is quite picturesque in appearance.  The main building is the steward’s house, and from the cupola the flag is raised.  The right wing is used as the quarters for the crew of the Visitor, and to the west, facing Tinicum channel, is the residence of Dr. H. B. Brusstar, the present physician.  Robert M. New hard, the genial Fernwood druggist, lately made Quarantine Master, lives with his family in a dwelling on the east.

          The tug is commanded by Captain Andrew Duey, whose crew consists of N. B. Archambault, engineer; Joseph Brooke, fireman, and Jacob Anderson and James Wright, deck hands.  As soon as the officer in charge sees a foreign vessel approaching, he gives the signal and the physician and Quarantine Master board the little vessel and are borne toward the stranger.  The physician orders the captain to prepare the vessel for inspection and the Master goes below to inspect it.  The captain is asked a number of questions under oath, and if he misrepresents any sickness aboard, is liable to spend five years in jail reflecting on the falsehood.

          If the questions are satisfactorily answered the Quarantine Master’s inspection reveals nothing infectious, the vessel is permitted to proceed into port, otherwise she is detained at the Lazaretto and fumigated.  If there is any doubt about the nature of the disease of any sick passenger or sailor, the patient is taken to the hospital and the vessel detained until the case develops sufficiently for the physician to determine whether the case is of a contagious order.  Captains could steal up the river at night, but the risk in evading the quarantine examination is so great that no one ever cares to take it.  Pilots are well versed in the laws and know too much to pass the Lazaretto without first receiving the official sanction.         

DCHPN Monthly


September is Delaware County History Month and Underground Railroad Month!

Check out all these events happening this month.

Historic Sites are still open

Read the announcements below for important information.


September Events

 Please check the websites for updated information before attending and be safe!


* Indicates a free event. Some events require pre-registration and close when full. The list includes events in the surrounding areas as well. If you have an event you would like on this list on future         e-newsletters, please submit by the end of the month to

Preservation Alliance Architecture Walking Tours

May 29, 10:00 AM – Oct 31, 4:00 PM
Various locations- check website

Architecture Tours are back, from May through October. 10 am on Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays at various locations. Check the website for updated dates, times, and tours. $10 members, $15 non-members

Learn More

*Remembering 9/11: Twenty Years Later

Sep 04, 10:00 AM – Sep 30, 7:00 PM
Helen Kate Furness Library, 100 Providence Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Furness Free Library will be hosting an exhibition generously provided by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The library will also be providing a space for patrons to share their feelings and reflections. Hours/days of exhibit are during normal library open times.

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*Remembering 9/11: Twenty Years Later

Sep 07, 10:00 AM – Sep 11, 2:00 PM
J. Lewis Crozer Library, 620 Engle St, Chester, PA 19013

The Crozer Library is honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a poster exhibit.  Housed in the Community Room, the exhibit is comprised of 14 informative posters with images from the Museum’s collection.  These posters focus on the events of the day and its aftermath.  Open during regular hours.

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*September 11, 2001: 9/11 + 20 - History Presentation by Roger Arthur

Sep 09, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Roosevelt Community Center, 464 S Old Middletown Rd, Media, PA 19063

Local historian Roger Arthur will be sharing a PowerPoint presentation using photographs of the day and its aftermath. What happened at the World Trade Center’s twin Towers in New York City, at the Pentagon’s west front in Arlington, VA and the fate of United Fight 93.

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*Virtual Tour: Civil War & Reconstruction Exhibit @ the National Constitution Center

Sep 09, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Zoom- registration required

Learn how constitutional clashes over slavery set the stage for the Civil War, and how the nation transformed the Constitution after the war during the Reconstruction period, taking a particularly close look at the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

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Learning to See: Denise Scott Brown

Sep 09, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Tyler School of Art and Architecture, 2001 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

“Learning to See: Denise Scott Brown” is a unique exhibition that examines the renowned architect and planner Denise Scott Brown’s ideas about the built environment, as reflected in her photography. Free, but $20 donations accepted

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*Victorian Town Fair at Ridley Lake

Sep 11, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ridley Park Lake, Ridley Park Lake, Ridley Park, PA 19078

There will be food, vendors, games and much more for the whole family. Some tours of Ridley Park with limited capacity. Contact for tour info. Fair is free, tours $10.

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September 11th Battle at Chadds Ford

Sep 11, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Rd, Chadds Ford, PA 19317

CFHS will host a colonial-centric day and battle reenactment complete with a battlefield encampment, military drills, and mock skirmishes. Get a glimpse of what it was like to experience the largest single-day battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Brandywine. $5-10

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Wash Day at Colonial Plantation

Sep 11, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073

Come and join us on the farm as we learn what it takes to keep the house and its occupants healthy and clean! We will be making lye from wood ash, boiling soap, laundering clothes, making brooms and stuffing beds among other things. $6/10

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