Deer Island Irish Graveyard

Boston Harbor

The Rest Haven Cemetery at Deer Island contains the graves of several hundred Irish immigrants who died at the quarantine station after fleeing the Irish Famine in the late 1840s and trying to reach America. Irish ships had to stop here and each passenger was examined by the port physician before coming ashore. Most quarantined Irish suffered from typhus fever or cholera as well as physical ailments induced by hunger and trauma.

Today the island is a wastewater treatment plan run by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. On May 25, 2019, a permanent memorial was unveiled on Deer Island overlooking the Boston skyline.

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