The American immigration story and the important role Staten Island played
Staten Island was home to the Marine Hospital quarantine station that operated from 1799-1858. It was located approximately where the Staten Island Ferry Terminal is today, up the hill past Borough Hall and across from the St. George Theatre. In the 1840-1850s, there was a complex of “pest” tents and hospital structures. Patients were segregated by disease, and men, women and children were mostly housed separately. Staten Island, Manhattan and Bayonne and Elizabeth, N.J., residents who were infected with diseases could be sent to the Marine Hospital.
Once in America, some immigrants were fortunate to be able to stay with family or townspeople, but many were not so lucky. Makeshift Irish shantytowns developed along the North Shore, where the immigrants waited, hoped and prayed. Many patients perished and were buried in one of two cemeteries operated by the facility. Immediately upon death, they were unceremoniously buried in mass graves.
When the family visited or made an inquiry, they were informed that their loved one had died and was already buried. No death certificates were issued, no cemetery burial log kept. Some families had the doctor sign a notarized letter attesting to the death and burial. Countless people simply vanished.
On Sunday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m., Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island (FACSI), in conjunction with the American Irish Legislators Society of New York State, will conduct a memorial reinterment service for the permanent entombment in the recreated cemetery located on the grounds of the St. George courthouse.
This event is free and open to the public. FACSI is producing a commemorative booklet and encourages all residents to memorialize their immigrant ancestors and to tell their American immigration story.
Advertisements cost $35 for Ð page, $70 for ½ page and $140 a full page. Ads should be sent via email (pictures should be in pdf form) or via regular mail to:
Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries, 158 Myrtle Ave., Staten Island, N.Y., 10310 or [email protected] FACSI has restored and currently maintains 11 Staten Island cemeteries on the Island.
To read this full article click here
To learn more about the reinterment click here
For more information contact Lynn Rogers, the executive director of Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries. [email protected] or 917-545-3309 or visit FACSI on Facebook.