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Title [Ruins at the Quarantine]
Object Name Stereoview
Photographer Hoyer, H.
Date ca. 1859
Collection Staten Island Geographic Collection
Description Original B&W print on yellow cardboard mount; half of a stereoview. Distant view of the ruins of a building, with three columns still standing; there is dirt and shrubbery in the foreground. Printed inscription along left edge of mount: "American Views." Handwritten inscription in pencil on reverse: "Ruins at the Quarantine / after the burning of the / buildings by the citizens / in Sept 1858 / Taken by H. Hoyer - 1859". Stamped inscription on reverse: "WM. T. DAVIS / 146 STUYVESANT PLACE / STATEN IS., N.Y."
(Keywords: New York)
Print size 3 x 2.875
Acquisition Gift of William T. Davis
Ownership and History This view shows the aftermath of a famous event that took place in Tompkinsville, Staten Island. For many years, residents had protested the establishment of a quarantine hospital for arriving immigrants, citing the spread of contagious diseases such as cholera and smallpox. Frustrated by the lack of government action, a group of local residents stormed the quarantine on the night of September 1, 1858, and, after evacuating the patients, set several of the buildings on fire. The group returned the next night and burned the remaining buildings. Several of the arsonists were arrested and two men went to trial, but the judge ruled in favor of the defendants, declaring that they had acted only to defend their life and property.

Little is known about the photographer, H. Hoyer, the earliest documented commercial photographer on Staten Island. His business was based in a studio in the former Planters Hotel in Stapleton. He advertised his photography in an 1859 Staten Island newspaper, stating that in addition to his "large collection of stereoscopic pictures of the most prominent Views of Staten Island," he was "prepared to take stereoscopic views of private residences, gardens, groups, etc., at short notice, and on reasonable terms."

This stereoview was donated to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1936 by William T. Davis, who served as the Society's first president from 1922 to 1936. Before donating his collection of H. Hoyer stereoviews, he cut them in half so that he could donate one part to the Historical Society and the other part to the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences (now Staten Island Museum).
Earliest Date 1858
Latest Date 1860
Subjects Landscape photographs
Quarantines
Ruins
Stereographs
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number 36.016.0010
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, October 2015.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.