Quarantine Station in 1875


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In 1875, a detailed account of the station was included in the Annual Report to Parliament,51 presented by the station Superintendent, James Walker, and the majority of its contents is reproduced here. The building numbers refer to the map which accompanied the report.

Plan of Station 1875

Plan of Station 1875 (Click to enlarge in new tab)

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are two-storied detached buildings, used as hospitals or reception houses for immigrants. They are built of sandstone, roughcast, and roofed with slates, and each consisting of four large wards, each 60ft. by 20ft. and 14ft. high from floor to ceiling, and four small rooms, each 12ft. by 12ft. and 14ft. high. Each building has a verandah, balcony, and upper and lower lavatories. Each ward and small room has a fireplace in it, and the wards are excellently well-lighted and ventilated.

One of the wards in each building is fitted up for the reception of women and children. The others are open wards, and contain twenty-five bedsteads in each. Each of the buildings will house 100 persons comfortably. Each of three buildings has attached to it a force-pump connected with a well for supplying water to the lavatories; one forcepump connected with a tank supplies the other two buildings.

Four stone-built tanks, capable of storing 40,000 gallons of water, furnish these five buildings with the water required for drinking and cooking purposes. Each building is furnished with a detached earth-closet of four compartments, and a detached stone privy of two compartments; these latter, since thee introduction of the earth-closets, have been chiefly used as urinals.

Nos. 6 and 7 are cookhouses, detached, built of sandstone, rough-cast, and roofed with slates, and each consisting of three rooms, fitted with boilers, shelves, and cupboards.

No. 8 is also a cookhouse, detached, built of sandstone, and roofed with slates, and consisting of two rooms, fitted with shelves, boilers, and cupboards.

No. 9 is a bath and washhouse, built of sandstone and roofed with shingles…The washhouse is fitted with four copper boilers, eight large washing troughs, and twenty five galvanized iron washing tubs, and two washing machines. There is also a room for the reception of infected clothing, and another for the distribution of clean clothing…

No. 10 is also a washhouse, built of sandstone, rough-cast, and roofed with slates, fitted with two large copper boilers….

No. 11 is a brick building, fitted with a chamber and appliances for disinfecting clothing by means of heated air; also used as a drying house.

No. 12 is the main store, a detached building, 60ft. by 20ft., built of sandstone and roofed with zinc.52

No. 13 is the clothing and bedding store, a detached wooden building 60ft. by 20 ft. roofed with galvanised iron tiles.53

Nos. 14 and 15 are the paint store and workshops.

No. 16 is the surgery.

No. 17 is the doctor’s quarters when people are in quarantine.

No. 18 is the storekeeper’s quarters.

Nos. 19, 20, and 21 are the laborers’ quarters.

No. 22 is the jetty.

There is besides about three miles of post and rail fencing on the station. The large buildings having been erected at a considerable distance apart from each other, in order to classify individuals and diseases, occupy a frontage to the bay of 700 yards.

All the buildings enumerated, together with their fittings and appliances, are kept in an efficient condition by a skilled laborer and an assistant laborer. The wife of one of the laborers is occasionally hired to assist in keeping the hospital clean, and to wash and mend the station clothing and bedding. The salary of the skilled laborer is £80 per annum, and the other laborer gets £50 per annum. Both have quarters provided for them, and are furnished besides with all the fuel and water they require, and receive a single rations of dry stores each, worth about £12.10 per annum. The woman gets 5s. per day when she is employed.

All the firewood required for the use of the entire establishment is got on the station reserve; and the forage for the use of the station cart horse is grown on the station. The stack of bedding belonging to the establishment consists of 900 beds and 1,880 blankets, rugs, sheets, and counterpanes, all of which are in good order. The stock of men’s and women’s clothing on hand is sufficient to clothe 800 people.

The station to in direct telegraphic communication with Sorrento, and is furnished with two Wheatstone’s Alphabetical Dial Instruments, each consisting of communicator indicator, and bell.

Wheatstone Dial 1858

Wheatstone Dial c1858

The buildings and appliances of the station are in good order.54

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