Camp Quaranup was established as a Quarantine Station in 1875. It was built after representatives of the State Government complained about being quarantined on Rabbit Island with the most basic of living conditions.
Thank you to Amanda Jolly Photography for these stunning photo’s
Several incidents of sickness on board ships arriving in Albany led to demands for a proper quarantine station. These incidents included sickness aboard the Bombay in 1865, a suspected smallpox victim from the Rangatira in 1872 and a sick passenger from the Baroda in 1873. Tenders were called and a station built in 1875. The additions at this time consisted of no more than a caretaker’s cottage and jetty costing 530 pounds. In 1897, additions included the doctor’s and servant’s quarters, isolation ward, mortuary, laundry, wash house, general store, dining room and the first class passengers quarters. A fumigation bath house and a jetty were built in 1903. Of particular interest is the powder magazine built on Geake island. This windowless stone building with an iron door was used to store ammunition for Albany’s defence. It was completed in 1878 and it has been suggested it was built by Charles Donat Keyser an Albany builder (1829 ?1900). The magazine was located on the island for security reasons and the causeway to the mainland was built at a later stage. Geake Island therefore became Geake Point. It was named in honour of Digory Sargeant Geake an early settler in Albany Fremantle’s build up as the states leading port, widespread vaccinations overseas and stricter quarantine measures led to fewer contagious diseases. The last epidemic the station coped with was influenza in 1930. From then until 1942 the station was virtually closed until the Americans were billeted there in World War II during R&R. The American soldiers came from the South Pacific region but also joined other servicemen responsible for Fort security. In 1956 the quarantine station was leased out to Mr and Mrs Wheeler who called the holiday resort they set up, Quaranup. They operated the holiday camp until 1970. In 1970 the site became vested in the Shire of Albany who subsequently leased the camp to the Albany Youth Committee in 1971. Since that date over 10,000 people have stayed at the camp. Quaranup is now operated by the Department of Sport & Recreation.
Thank you to the State Heritage Board for the history lesson
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