The Public Health Museum is a non-profit educational and cultural museum dedicated to preserving artifacts and records of our nation’s history in public health. The Museum also serves as a resource to the community educating and promoting public health initiatives that address current health issues.
The Public Health Museum, located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is housed in the Old Administration Building of Tewksbury Hospital. Tewksbury Hospital was established in 1852 as a state almshouse to care for the poor, which included a growing number of immigrants. In 1900, its name was changed to Tewksbury State Hospital; Massachusetts State Infirmary in 1908; and, Tewksbury State Hospital and Infirmary in 1938. It is now known as Tewksbury Hospital.
The City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are rich in history, but few know the integral role they played in the development of public health in the United States. As early as the 1700’s, Boston, serving as the first line of defense against smallpox, held ships quarantined in the harbor to protect the general population. In 1796, Boston established the first Board of Health in the nation, whose first sitting President was Paul Revere.
The Public Health Museum is a unique resource for Massachusetts and for everyone with an appreciation of the history of public health. The Museum is a much too hidden treasure that can enrich students of public health, medicine and history and help inform the public about what public health is and does.
–Dr. Al DeMaria, Jr., Secretary,Museum Board of Directors