Rainsford Island State Almshouse

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Rainsford Island State Almshouse
Closed 1866
Location Boston, MA
Alternate Names


St 1852, c 275 authorized the construction of three state almshouse for the care of unsettled dependents as well as a state hospital on Rainsford island for the treatment of dependents suffering infectious disease, especially those newly arriving by boat in Boston. Initially the hospital was overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Alien Commissioners, which was superseded in 1863 by the Board of State Charities, which immediately began to question to usefulness and expense of an island hospital like Rainsford. That same year, a large number of inmates well enough to be transferred else where were removed from the island. St. 1865, c 162 prevented cities and towns in the Commonwealth from sending sicking and contagious dependents to the hospital. The hospital was closed by order of the Governor in December of 1866. The island and its buildings were sold 1871 to the city of Boston for $40,000.