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Quarantine Station



Diamond Point Quarantine Station:  Diamond Point was once the site of an Indian Village.  In the late 1800’s it was developed as a quarantine station for Puget Sound.  The station was active until 1934.  It was then developed by Jensen, Richards & Olhava, Inc. of Poulsbo into a camp or home site development.  From that it grew into what we know it as of today.  Aren’t we fortunate to have such a paradise to call our home?  ---Barbara Money

Barbara Money found this article by Marian Taylor:
    In 1852 there was a Clallam Indian Village complete with stockade on Diamond Point which at that time was called Clallam Point.  Undoubtedly, this is one of the villages sighted and possibly fired upon by the Cadboro in the 1828 expedition against the Clallam Indians.

    In 1866 the site, together with two others, Protection Island and Cape George, was made a military reservation, but in 1870 all three were discontinued.

    Matt Fleming, a Civil War veteran and Indian fighter, acquired 640 acres, part by purchase and part by homestead.  He remained 14 years before he sold the property.

    In 1892 the government again purchased the land, this time from Mrs. Cassie Pugh, for the express purpose of erecting a Quarantine Station.  The Marine Hospital at Port Townsend no longer could house all of those held in quarantine.  Most of the station was completed in 1893, but the disinfecting plant was not completed until 1894.  A separate building was constructed to be used as a leprosaria.

    A small graveyard near the station bore several names; Antonio Volcano, Philip Kaufman, Elmer L. Franklin, William John Bohning.  One grave, unnamed, indicated that the body of a seaman from the Burnside was buried there.

    While most of those confined at the Quarantine Station had various kinds of contagious diseases, by far the most awesome was leprosy.  Little was known of the disease in those days except that it was contagious and had terrifying mutilating effects.  

    An item in the Sequim Press in 1911 read, “Antonio Volcano, the leper recently brought from Spokane to the Diamond Point quarantine station, spends most of his time weeping.  He frequently makes inquiry as to the time he will be permitted to see his family.”  Poor Antonio was one of those buried in the little graveyard.

    Another item in the same paper in 1914 reads “John R. Early, the leper patient who escaped the Diamond Point quarantine station on May 18th, turned up in a fashionable hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the home of Vice--president Marshall and others prominent in national affairs.”  The item continues  indicating that Mr. Early was recaptured but it does not say whether he was returned to the station.  It noted however that “Guests were thrown into a state of confusion.”

    Fred Dean of Blyn worked for years at the Quarantine Station.

    Some distance west of Diamond Point is Dead Man’s Spit.  Here is the grave of Captain Thompson.  The grave is surrounded by an iron rail and the inscription reads “In memory of Captain Thompson, died 1860.  It still is a subject of much speculation.  Marion Vincent wrote many letters to different government and maritime agencies with no success in establishing actual identity.

    Robert Burrowes, in 1951, told me that Captain Thompson was master of the bark Glimpse  He said that this was the legendary “smallpox ship”.   Most old Clallams remembered the story but it never has been acknowledged officially.

    The story that Bob Burrowes told me was that a passenger was boarded the Glimpse in San Francisco developed smallpox.  Of all the crew Captain Thompson was the only one who caught the disease.  He died and the passenger recovered.

    All of the infected clothing and bedding was thrown overboard and salvaged by the local Indians who died by the dozens.  While it is true that no official recognition is given the “smallpox ship” there are accounts by settlers and hunters who have come upon concentrations of bodies or skeletons.

    The later history of Diamond Point is more prosaic but happier.  A new station was completed at Point Hudson in 1935 and the Diamond Point station was declared surplus by the Public Health Service in 1936.  The property was sold and had several owners before 1956 when it was purchased from James C. Huckins by three Seattle businessmen; Lloyd Longmire, John Pearce and Jack Corrack.

    The property has been subdivided and much has been done to make this beautiful spot a model community.