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The Leprosy of Tracadie
Musée Historique de Tracadie Inc.
Tracadie-Sheila , New Brunswick

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   When leprosy appeared in
the northeastern region of
New Brunswick at the
beginning of the nineteenth
century, the province of New
Brunswick built a hospital on
Sheldrake Island, near
Chatham to prevent the spread
of the disease. Between 1844
and 1949, everyone affected

by leprosy was sent to this
lazaretto. In 1849, the
lazaretto was moved to
Tracadie.
   The Religious
Hospitallers of Saint Joseph
of Montreal arrived in
Tracadie in 1868 to care for
the lepers. When jurisdiction
over the lazaretto was

transferred from the province
to the federal government in
1880, the sisters assumed
responsibility for the entire
administration of the
hospital.
   One year after the last
leper at the lazaretto died
in 1964, the institution
closed its doors

indefinitely. During its 121
years, the lazaretto treated
327 patients with Hansen’s
disease from different
provinces and various
countries. While some lepers
were cured and released, most
died and are buried in four
cemeteries, one of which was
reserved for lepers.

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