Healing Hands Exhibit opens at the Transylvania Heritage Museum

          A new exhibit, sponsored by Transylvania Regional Hospital on behalf of the many doctors, nurses and caregivers who have provided medical care to the people of Transylvania County, opens Saturday, May 24, at 10 am at the Transylvania Heritage Museum, 189 West Main Street, Brevard. The exhibit is titled, “HEALING HANDS: From Folk Traditions to Modern Medicine” and covers the history of medicine in this area, from the American Indians' knowledge of various local herbs and plants used in healing to the modern Transylvania Regional Hospital.

Also on Saturday at the Museum:    White Squirrel Cruise-In from 11:00 until 3:00  “On the Hunt of the White Squirrel” Walking Tours, at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm.  The tour lasts about an hour and cost $15 per person. Reservations are appreciated.

          Founded in 1933 by Dr. Charles Newland and Dr. C.D. Cunningham, Transylvania Regional Hospital today promotes wellness and provides access to quality health services for the people in our region, but the road to this modern medicine has been long and hard.

          Before Doctors Newland and Cunningham, several other doctors served the community including Dr. Edward English, Dr. George Lynch, Dr. Joe and Nurse Edith Osborne,  and Dr. Whitfield Brooks. Dr. A. J. Lyday, one of the area’s first physicians, establishing a legacy of Lyday doctors, and the first hospital in the county was named in his honor. 

         Doctors were overworked and underpaid but highly appreciated.  “The fact that I give medicine to a poor fellow that maybe cures him of his ailment is, for me, payment enough,” wrote Dr. Gaine Cannon who established a clinic in Balsam Grove.

          One patient who was treated by Dr. Osborne years ago said there was a rash of "Edith Joes" in this area, including a couple of her friends, who were named after the Osbornes.    

          Because doctors were few and far between, and they traveled long distances to attend the needs of their patients, the mother of the family or local “granny women” used inherited knowledge to treat common diseases and kept a supply of medicines which were thought to be remedies.  Others who helped provide medical care and education through the years included Miss Sadie North, called Transylvania's “First Aid Lady,” and even blacksmiths who provided a service called “Tooth Jumping”. 

          Learn more about these individuals and organizations, treatments and remedies (both helpful and quackery) by visiting this exhibit which will be on display through November 8.

          Thank you to those who loaned items for display and to the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room at Transylvania County Library for sharing photos and oral interviews.

The Transylvania Heritage Museum is located at 189 West Main Street, just 2 driveways past the Brevard Post Office. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the website at www.transylvaniaheritage.org or call 884-2347 to learn more or participate in programs; if you would like to receive updates and reminders of calendar items, email heritage@comporium.net.

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