I love digitizing WWI panoramic photos and the photo found above is a great example of an interesting panoramic with some good New England history behind it. The image was shot in front of Burrage Hospital on Bumpkin Island, one of the Boston Harbor islands. The camp was used by the U.S. Navy as a training camp.
The Burrage Hospital originally comprised a main hospital building measuring 175’ x 160’, two large covered open-air play houses, a bathing pavilion and a dock. The hospital is near the center of the island, about 80’ above the low water mark and faces south. Its general plan is that of a widened letter “H,” with an extension from the middle of the building back and contained three stories and a basement.
According to David J. Russo:
On the north side of the building, the basement was above ground because of the grading of the island. The south side contained two solariums on both the first and second floors (one set each for boys and girls) and the administrative offices. The two wings of the building contained the hospital wards and measured 25’ x 105.’
Along the front of the building and partly around the sides, ran a porch ten feet wide.
On the interior was a series of ramps between floors to make it easier for those who could not climb stairs, either due to disability or because confinement to wheelchair. This is likely one of the first uses of such ramps in a hospital setting.
The first floor contained an entry vestibule, reception room, matron’s room, matron’s bedroom, nurses room, pharmacy, doctors’ office, doctors’ bedrooms, four large wards, two small wards, two lavatories, four ward bathrooms, clothes storage room, two sewing rooms, linen closet, dining room, administration room, scullery and storage room.
The second floor was divided into four principal large wards, seven small wards, library, suite of three rooms, students’ room, three lavatories, four bathrooms, six bedrooms for hospital staff, operating room, sterilizing room, surgeons’ room, bandage room, etherizing room, and recovery room.
The attic held five dormitories, six closets and bathrooms. In the basement were two mens’ rooms, four lavatories, two furnace rooms, store rooms, play rooms, coal room, laundry room, drying room, cold storage room and ice room.
The exterior was composed of yellow brick, terra cotta, Indiana limestone trim and a green slate roof. Overall, the building took on the form of a seaside cottage, complete with symmetrical gables and ample porches.
During WWI, the island was taken over for use as a U.S. Naval Training camp, with the hospital serving as the Administration Building. The camp was dismantled after the war. The hospital reopened briefly in about 1940 for polio patients but closed during WWII, and burned in 1946.
One thought on “WWI Panoramic Photo – Bumpkin Island Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Navy Training Center 1917 (LARGE PHOTO – BEWARE)”
What a fantastic mass portrait this is! You can see every face so clearly. It’s like there are 100 personalities to explore. Well done!