In 1887 when the 'dreaded disease' of smallpox struck Launceston, the ten people who died between September 24 and November 6 were buried near the temporary isolation hospital at the Mowbray racecourse.
Seventeen years later in 1903, Launceston experienced another deadly outbreak, this time diagnosed as scarlet fever.
Francis Duggan died in the isolation wards of the Launceston General Hospital on June 5, 1903.
Then on June 20 Nurse Louisa Cash died.
The house doctor, another nurse, a laundress who washed Duggan's bedding and the two porters who took him to the morgue all fell ill.
By now authorities were seriously alarmed and the hospital announced that the isolation wards would "be closed for several weeks for thorough cleansing and disinfection".
It was not until several doctors examined the porter Johnstone that they decided all of these cases were smallpox, not scarlet fever.
Outside the hospital, brothers Vernon and Herbert Cox and their brother-in-law Norman Ready, all residing at 34 Margaret Street, Mrs Tilley who lived opposite and Albert Thompson of 256 Brisbane Street developed rashes.
It took three weeks for doctors to confirm that they all had smallpox and report them to the Board of Health.
The following day, June 23, the newspapers announced the smallpox outbreak in the city.
"At first it was only supposed that it was a wild rumour set afloat by some individual who desired to create a scare; but unfortunately, the rumour in this instance proved to be only too true."
It was suspected that the carrier of the disease was vaudeville comedian Jim Marion, who had arrived on the Gracchus from Calcutta and Melbourne.
He performed to packed audiences at the Empire Theatre for five weeks from May 9 until June 13. Doctors monitored him, but he showed no symptoms.
Francis Duggan and Vernon Cox both attended the Empire Theatre on May 16, where they most likely caught the disease.
Visitors were not allowed at the hospitals.
Affected houses were isolated, fumigated, guarded by constables and their contents were burnt.
All state schools closed, and the Government health officer Dr Holmes was kept busy vaccinating children, but supplies of lymph soon ran out.
The quarantine hospital at Verulam received new cases and their contacts were isolated at Glen Dhu House.
All passengers arriving by sea, rail or road underwent an examination, and newspapers and mail were fumigated.
There were 60 cases and 20 deaths in Launceston during the 15 weeks of the epidemic.
Eighteen victims were buried in the new cemetery adjoining the quarantine station, the first being Thomas Westbrook on July 14, and the last, John Hubert Clarke on September 13, 1903.
The first two people to die were not buried there as the cause of their deaths was not at first attributed to the dreaded disease.
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