Skip to main content

Boston Almshouse and Hospital


Historical note

Long Island was taken by order of the City Council approved on 3 Jan 1885. A Home for the Poor was constructed on the island in 1887. Female paupers were initially housed in the new building in 1887 before they were transferred to Rainsford Island in 1888. It was determined that a larger amount of work could be obtained from the men on Long Island as opposed to Rainsford Island. The male paupers were moved from Rainsford Island to the new building on Long Island in 1888. The Hospital building was erected in 1893 and 1894. The Homes for male and female paupers were consolidated on Long Island in 1894. The Boston Almshouse and Hospital furnished full support to poor persons having a legal settlement in Boston and hospital care and treatment for those afflicted with chronic illness. The name “Boston Almshouse and Hospital” had been found to be a deterrent to the admission of many worthy people who felt stigmatized by the term “almshouse”. On 14 Dec 1924, with the approval of the Mayor, the name of the entire institution was changed to “Long Island Hospital”. On 1 Jun 1954, the Long Island Hospital was transferred from the Institutions Department and became the Long Island Division of the Hospital Department.