5.05.2009

First Polio Case Reported in Monroe County Region

With the advancement in technology, librarians are receiving requests for specific information from all parts of the world. Last week I received a very specific request from a person living in upstate New York.

Request
I am trying to find out about Little Flower Camp for Girls, which used to be near Tobyhanna in the 1940's. I attended that camp in the summer of 1949. It was supposed to be for 2 weeks but we were quarantined for an extra week because of the death from polio of a fellow camper. I know it was a long time ago but it was traumatic for a 7 year-old, her first time away from home. I have always wondered about the story behind that event.

In 1949 there were 38,153 cases of polio reported in the United States, so my chances of finding
this particular story seemed fairly good. I found an article in The Daily Record for Monroe County 8/11/1949 explaining about what had happened at the camp. What I found interesting was that the story was not on the front page of the newspaper but on page five. How the way that we report the news has changed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my. I was at Little Flower then and I remember that Sunday night was talent night and one of the older girls was a talented singer. I think her last name was Harrigan but I'm not sure of her first name, perhaps Peggy or Kate. She collapsed on stage and fell down. Everyone was scooted out of the auditorium and in the morning there was a special mass for her. We were quarantined and my mother back in the Bronx was frantic. A friend who's daughter was also at camp drove all the way up and begged and pleaded to get us out. The State troopers said no way and wouldn't even permit her to see us. We all thought it was sad but for the most part the counselors kept us busy and most of us younger campers were not aware of the severity of what happened.