Media Advisory - Hungerford smallpox epidemic of 1884 to be commemorated with
provincial plaque

TWEED, ON, Oct. 19 /CNW/ -

    Date:        Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 2 p.m.
    Location:    Lions Hungerford Hall 65 Victoria Street North, Tweed
    Directions:  From Highway 401, take Exit 544 for Highway 37 at
                 Belleville. Proceed north on Highway 37 for approximately 35
                 km. Highway 37 turns into Victoria Street. The Lions
                 Hungerford Hall is on the southeast corner of Victoria
                 Street North and Jamieson Street East at the first set of
                 traffic lights.
    opportunity: Unveiling of a provincial plaque
    Contact:     Catrina Colme
                 Marketing and Communications Coordinator
                 Ontario Heritage Trust
                 Telephone: 416-325-5074

Join us on Thursday, October 22, at the Lions Hungerford Hall as the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Tweed & Area Historical Society unveil a provincial plaque commemorating the Hungerford smallpox epidemic of 1884.

Smallpox was a common affliction in late 19th-century Ontario. With uneven practices in vaccination and rudimentary isolation facilities, outbreaks of smallpox were inevitable and unpredictable. In the late 1880s, a series of smallpox epidemics - in Windsor, Ayr, Peterborough, Prince Arthur's Landing and Hungerford Township - had a profound effect on the development of public health measures and services in the province. These epidemics challenged Ontario's new Provincial Board of Health, a central advisory group of medical professionals appointed by the government in 1882. Over the next three years, the Board's aggressive actions in response to smallpox transformed Ontario's public health network and challenged traditional attitudes. In particular, the Hungerford epidemic in the autumn of 1884 was the catalyst for the provision of direct health services by the provincial government.

The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

                         Aussi disponible en français

SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust

For further information: For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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