Doctor's House

Black Creek Pioneer Village Doctor's House
Doctor's House On A Cloudy Day

Black Creek Pioneer Village Doctor's House
The Doctor's Picket Fence

Black Creek Pioneer Village Doctor's House
View From The Garden 

Black Creek Pioneer Village  Doctor's House
The Doctor's Parlour

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Parlour Lamps

Dining At The Doctor's House

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Morning Light

Drying Herbs

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Drying Shelf

Black Creek Pioneer Village
The Doctor's Desk
The Doctor's Mortar And Pestal

Doctor's Office

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Chatting in the Doctor's Kitchen

Golden Glow

Cranberry Glass Goblet

Tea Awaits

How did Canadians care for their health in the latter half of the 19th century? In those days, medical science was making great strides in diagnostic techniques and disease classification. But curative medicine was evolving more slowly and remained limited in scope. With many Canadians facing precarious living and sanitary conditions, the demand for therapeutic products was high.

Doctors and druggists were struggling to secure a greater share of the health care market. Hospital dispensaries were generally run by pharmacists and apothecary nuns, who prepared the physician-prescribed medicines.

In the home, self-prescribed medication was still the norm for treating common illnesses. Quacks and opportunistic entrepreneurs capitalized on this situation, flooding the market with a host of low-cost "miracle" cures. As of the mid-1800s, ads for these patent remedies, or nostrums, crowded the pages of Canadian newspapers and magazines.

Cures and Quackery: The Rise of Patent Medicines


We have experienced one of the most changeable seasons this summer that was possible. The spring was warm and pleasant, but from the latter part of May till the middle of harvest we had heavy rains, cloudy skies, with moist hot days, and frequent tempests of thunder and lightning, most awfully grand, but seemingly less destructive than such storms are at home. 

Possibly the tall forest-trees divert the danger from the low dwellings, which are sufficiently sheltered from the effect of the lightning. The autumn has also proved wet and cold. I must say at present I do not think very favourably of the climate; however, it is not right to judge by so short an acquaintance with it, as every one says this summer has been unlike any of its predecessors.
Catharine Parr Traill


Doctors were not obliged to hold diplomas in the early days in order to be allowed to practice medicine, the law requiring registration not coming into force till many years afterwards. There were, to be sure, a few educated medical men, but there was a larger number of quacks and herb-doctors, some of whom had -the reputation of being quite skilful. 

Many of the old -women made excellent midwives, their services being 'often called into requisition in the absence of a qualified doctor or a trained nurse, either of winch it was 'sometimes impossible to obtain. There were also "witch- doctors" and persons who had "charms," people sometimes going miles to visit such persons. An old gentleman told the father of the writer that, when a young man, he was sent on horseback over to Pennsylvania by one of the old settlers to consult a certain witch-doctor.

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