I stumbled across an interesting article the other day—about a place that should be familiar considering the amount of research I’ve conducted on New York City—but wasn’t. It’s a 20 acre strip of land called North Brother Island. The island, and its twin South Brother Island, is situated in New York City’s East river, between the Bronx and Rikers Island.
North Brother Island was uninhabited until 1885, when Riverside Hospital moved there. The hospital was founded in the 1850’s to treat and isolate victims of smallpox. It later expanded to other diseases requiring quarantine.
Mary spent nearly three decades of her life on the island. In 1884, she immigrated to America from Ireland, where she worked as a cook from 1900 to 1907. At that point, she was identified as a possible carrier of the typhoid virus by a man named George Soper.
Dr. Soper was an engineer in the US Arm Sanitary Corps known
|Mary Mallon aka "Typhoid Mary"|
After the second World War, the hospital on North Brother Island served veterans and heroin addicts. The building eventually closed for good in 1963.
North Brother Island is currently uninhabited and has been designated as a bird sanctuary.
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