Just 350 yards east of the Bronx, an uninhabited island known as North Brother Island lies in the East River, sealed off from the world. Before it became off-limits to the public in 1963, the city-owned island served many purposes since the 1880s. Some are more unsettling, such as quarantining victims of diseases and treating drug-addicts, and some more practical, like housing returning second world-war veterans.
It was here in 1907 that the notorious Typhoid Mary was confined. Mary didn’t exhibit symptoms and refused to admit she was a carrier, leading to her exile after outbreaks in the places she worked. After two decades of quarantine, she died on the island in 1938, followed by the hospital’s closure shortly after in 1942.