Tinicum Township is the proud home to the Lazaretto Quarantine station – the oldest standing quarantine station in the United States and the 6th oldest station in the world. From 1801 through 1895, all immigrants and cargo coming through the ports of Philadelphia would stop at the station for health evaluations and inspections to prevent the spread of imported diseases and epidemics. Vessels and cargo were disinfected, and sick passengers and crew members were treated in the Lazaretto hospital.
In the early 20th Century, The Lazaretto became The Orchard Club – a Philadelphia Recreation and Sports Club. During WWI, The Lazaretto was renamed Chambers Field and became the first seaplane base in Pennsylvania. (In fact, it is still listed as an active seaplane port) In its later life, the Lazaretto was a seaplane base and boat marina and repair shop.
Recently, the township took possession of the building and the grounds and plans are in the works for repurposing and restoration.
The original complex included the main building, a dutch hospital, several outbuildings, and a burial site. Today, the complex includes the main building, a large lawn area, a garage, carriage house and boatman’s house. The Doctor’s Quarters has become the main building for the local yacht club next door. Much of the complex now houses the Tinicum Township Fire Station.
The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.