Photographs from Spinner People and Culture in Southeastern Massachusetts Volume III chapter “The Exiles of Penikese Island: Politics, Prejudice and the Public Health.” Read the story here.
The southeastern tip of Penikese Island, a state-protected, wildlife sanctuary for birds, shows the weeded terrain and a fresh water pond. On the horizon, Nashawena Island can be seen. Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
The foundations and remains of former hospital buildings cut lifelessly through the island terrain, home for thousands of nesting gulls.Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
All that remains of the patients’ village is this bombed-out shell of a building which is said to have been the laundry. Photograph by Joseph D. Thomas
In 1922, the island was the site of a hospital for victims of Hansen’s disease. The patients’ cottages faced north where the mainland town of Dartmouth and the city of New Bedford were barely visible. Photo courtesy of the Penikese School.
This farm occupies the area where the hospital’s administration building was located. Operated by the Penikese School, an institution involved with teenage rehabilitation, the land and the animals serve to teach the youngsters lessons in survival and self-sufficiency.
The hospital cemetery. Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
Plant life and flowers still flourish amidst reminders of the past.Photo by Joseph D. Thomas.
To the south, a view of Cuttyhunk Island. Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
The Administration building and the beachhead along the leeward (southern) side of the island is shown in this photo taken around 1920. Photo courtesy of the Penikese School.
Monument to the victims of Hansen’s disease buried on Penikese. Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
A grave marker. Photo by Joseph D. Thomas
All that remains of the patients’ village is this bombed-out shell of a building which is said to have been the laundry.Photo by Joseph D. Thomas