Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quarantine Station

Point Nepean Quarantine Station, circa 1890.
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See also: Point Nepean
"Point Nepean Quarantine Station (established 1852) is the second oldest intact quarantine station in Australia. It contains the oldest buildings erected for quarantine purposes in Australia, four of the main hospital buildings (established in 1857), pre-dating the oldest intact quarantine-related structures at North Head, Sydney, by sixteen years.

... [The Australian State of] Victoria established its first, although temporary, quarantine camp at Point Ormond [near Melbourne] ... the site ... was deemed unsuitable as many of the infected, yet able bodied ... who were quarantined ... often absconded under the cover of darkness, eager to pursue their new life in the colony ...

Point Nepean, with its natural isolation, fresh water and rich soil, had already been identified as the preferred site. The arrival of the ship Ticonderoga, in November 1852, with its yellow flag aloft, would catapult Point Nepean into the history books.

The ship had sailed from Liverpool in early August with over 700 passengers on board. The captain reported at the time that approximately 100 people had died during the 3 month passage and a further 300 were sick with 'scarletina'. The ship and its passengers were quarantined at Point Nepean in temporary tents where another 70 souls died, all of whom were buried in the beach cemetery.

During that time the Victorian Government had already commenced the building facilities, with further building to continue over the next 100 years. By 1854, several buildings had been constructed and were in full use, including a timber doctor's home, a hospital, the original stone Sullivan's cottage, a number of prefabricated iron cottages and a pier."

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