Guilford’s ‘Pock Lot’ Tour March 23

A scourge that made its mark in this area nearly 250 years ago will be discussed during a Smallpox Cemetery Tour on Saturday, March 23.

Led by Guilford Town Historian Joel Helander, the Smallpox Cemetery Tour is sponsored by the Madison Historical Society (MHS). Today, the historic "pock lot" is under the protection of MHS, which has also invited French and Indian War historian Lyle Cubberly on the March 23 tour to discuss town heroes of the campaign.

Saturday's walking tour includes a guided hike to Guilford's smallpox burial ground and exterior visit to the "pest house" where smallpox victims were quarantined. The still-standing "pest house," now privately owned, was built by the Town of Guilford circa 1765, said Helander.

"The Smallpox Cemetery, so-called, is in Guilford on the west bank of East River and was formerly an early Guilford institution of public health," Helander noted.

The public is invited to join the MHS Smallpox Cemetery Tour. Check in at I-95 exit 59 commuter lot on Goose Lane, Guilford, before 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. The tour will depart in individual participant's cars, promptly at 9 a.m. Fee: $5 per person; free for MHS members and children under 12. : Sturdy, weather-appropriate shoes, bug spray, and a walking stick (if needed) are recommended. Rain date is Saturday, March 30.


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