Sitting off the northwest coast of Martha's Vineyard in Buzzard's Bay is a small island that was possibly visited by Vikings as early as 1003. Throughout the years explorers in the area made a stop there, Giovanni da Verzzano in 1524, Jehan Alfonce in 1542 and Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602.
Located between the Bronx and Riker's Island, situated in the middle of New York City's East River in an area known as Hell's Gate is North Brother Island. In 1885 if you were sick and contagious, you would be brought to this 20-acre island along with other patients from the five boroughs. In most cases the patients did not come here voluntarily but were forced to do so. It was far enough to stop disease from spreading, leaving those living and dying there feeling isolated. But in a city that was overcrowded and pestilence-stricken it was the best option to keep the populace safe.
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