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Quarantine Department at the Port of Boston - Gallops Island (1913)

100 Summer Street.
Telephone, Main 6084.
F. X. Mahoney, M.D.
P. H. Mullowney, M.D.V.
Location of quarantine, Gallops Island, reached by the quarantine boat, the steamer "Vigilant."
Hours of quarantine, sunrise to sunset
Port Physician,
Assistant Port Physician,

The Quarantine Department is under the control of the Health Department of the city of Boston. The Board of Health makes regulations governing quarantine which are enforced by the Port Physician. The Port Physician, Assistant Port Physician, and all other employees on Gallops Island and on the boats necessary to carry into effect the rules, orders and regulations of the Board of Health, are appointed by this department.

The instructions and orders of the national government regarding the quarantine are enforced by the Port Physician through this department. The latter has entire charge and supervision of the quarantine station at Gallops Island where he or his assistant is in attendance continually.

On Gallops Island are located a dwelling house, two hospitalst dining hall, two buildings for the reception and care of immigrants, disinfecting plant, electric light plant, store house, etc. The quarantine steamer "Vigilant," 73} tons burden, about 5 feet in length, 17 feet beams, 8 feet deep, was built in Boston in 1866 at a cost of $18,000; rebuilt in 1912 at a cost of $15,000. The steamer "Relief," which is an auxiliary quarantine boat was purchased in 1904, $3800.


Any vessel arriving at this port, which has on board at the time of her arrival, or has had during her passage to this port, any sickness of a contagious, infectious or doubtful character which may be dangerous to the public health, or which has come from or has been in any port or place which has been epidemically infected with any contagious or infectious disease within the six months next preceding such arrival, or has on board any merchandise which has come by transhipment from any such infected port or place within the six months next preceding, or has on board any immigrants (except from British America) shall be anchored at Quarantine.

Infected persons found on such vessels shall be removed to the hospital on Gallop's Island, and there detained until all power to infect others shall have ceased. Cargoes and personal baggage, which in the opinion of the Port Physician or the Board of Health may be infected, shall be removed to Gallop's Island and there disinfected, when such disinfection cannot be properly done on board the vessel or on lighters.
All immigrants on arrival at Quarantine, shall be subjected to examination, as regards their freedom from contagious or infectious disease and their protection from smallpox.

All persons under ten years of age who have not been successfully vacci- nated, and all persons over ten years of age who have not recently been suc- c ally vaccinated or revaccinated, shall be considered as unprotected from the effect of the contagion of smallpox, persons having had an attack of smallpox excepted.

All persons not so protected shall be vaccinated or subjected to a Quarantine of fifteen days' observation.

All old rap, paper stock, hair, feathers, hides, skins, wool and similar materials which are liable to convey disease germs must be accompanied by satisfactory certificates as to their place of collection and packing for shipment.

No article of clothing or bedding in use shall be thrown overboard from any vessel in Boston Harbor without the written consent of the Board of Health or the Quarantine Physician; nor shall any such article be removed from any vessel at her dock without such permission; all such articles which are to be destroyed shall be burned in the harbor under the supervision of the Quarantine Physician, in the furnaces of the steamers.

No vessel shall leave Quarantine, nor shall her cargo, or any part thereof, be discharged, nor any person be allowed to go on board or to leave her while in Quarantine, without the written permit of the Port Physician, who is hereby authorized and instructed to take such measures with regard to said vessel, cargo, and persons, as, in his judgment, the public health may require.

It is also hereby ordered, that during June, July, August, September, and October of each year, subject to such changes as circumstances may from time to time require, all vessels arriving in this harbor from the following ports shall be inspected at the Quarantine Station, viz.: All vessels from any port in Europe, from the Western Madeira, Canary, or Cape de Verde Islands; from the Mediterranean or Straits thereof, from the west coast of Africa, or around the Cape of Good Hope; from the West India, Bahama, or Bermuda Islands, from any American port south of Savannah, including Mexico? Central and South America; and vessels arriving from any place in the United States or British America, where they may have touched on their way from any foreign port or place above named.

No such vessel shall leave Quarantine or unload her cargo or any part thereof, nor shall any person go on board or leave the vessel while in Quarantine without the written permit of the Port Physician, who is hereby authorized and instructed to take any measures in regard to such vessels as in his judgment the public health may require.

The Port Physician is hereby authorized and instructed to demand and receive the Quarantine fees which are hereby made and established by this Board and which are as follows:

  • For examination of vessels, five dollars.
  • For disinfecting vessels, from ten to fifty dollars.
  • For baths and disinfecting personal clothing and baggage, one dollar for each person.
  • For vaccination, twenty-five cents for each person.
  • For board of patients in hospital ten dollars a week.
  • Such fees to be by the Port Physician paid to the City Collector.
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