Isolation Hospital


Black and white photograph of the isolation hospital in 1912. Courtesy of:


Black and white photograph of Dr. Keating, Nurse Ryan, and Frank Brook, the cook. The staff of the isolation hospital during the summer of 1912. Sourced from:


Pleasant Street

What was it?

  As the word suggests, an isolation hospital was for patients who needed to be isolated or quarantined from the rest of the population because they contracted an infectious disease. Willimantic had an isolation hospital of its own located on Pleasant Street south of the Willimantic River. The opening of this isolation hospital was discussed over a period of time after which it was opened. The hospital was very important in the summer of 1912 when like the rest of the world, Willimantic was hit by a smallpox epidemic. To eliminate any "morbid curiosity", the town purchased a covered carriage for the transport of patients. Dr. Keating, Willimantic's health official at the time, volunteered at the hospital. Thanks to Dr. Keating and other staff's efforts, there were no deaths due to smallpox in the city. The other two people who helped Dr. Keating at the isolation hospital were Nurse Ryan who had previous experience with smallpox, and Frank Crooke who had served in the British Army and took care of patients with smallpox in Turkey. The isolation hospital closed on July 31st, 1912.