‘Sharon Cures’ ex­plores town’s role

Medicine from the Colo­nial era to the 20th cen­tury

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - NEWS - Con­trib­uted story SHARON HIS­TOR­I­CAL SO­CI­ETY

SHARON — The Sharon His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and Mu­seum’s up­com­ing ex­hibit “Sharon Cures: Cen­turies of Medicine in One Small Town,” ex­plores how Sharon was at the cut­ting edge of medicine from the Colo­nial era to the 20th cen­tury.

Through first­hand ac­counts, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and antique med­i­cal in­stru­ments and medicines, the ex­hibit brings to life how the peo­ple of Sharon con­fronted dis­ease and in­jury in a time when mod­ern medicine was just be­gin­ning to be es­tab­lished. Sharon’s early physi­cians em­bod­ied a med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­al­ism that was sorely lack­ing in a time of quack elixirs and du­bi­ous pro­ce­dures such as blood­let­ting. Un­der the lead­er­ship of Dr. Simeon Smith, who be­gan con­tro­ver­sial small­pox in­oc­u­la­tions here in the 1750s, the first med­i­cal so­ci­ety in Amer­ica was formed in Sharon.

Over the sub­se­quent cen­turies, the town was a hub for ad­vance­ment in ar­eas such as vac­ci­na­tion, im­munother­apy, com­mu­nity clin­ics, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion hospi­tals and physi­cian gen­der equal­ity. One lo­cal physi­cian, Dr. William Co­ley, was a pi­o­neer in can­cer treat­ment in the late 1800s and is known as the “Father of Im­munother­apy.”

The story of medicine in Sharon would not be com­plete with­out look­ing at the evo­lu­tion of Sharon Hos­pi­tal from its found­ing in 1909 to to­day as well as the rec­ol­lec­tions by res­i­dents of beloved doc­tors and nurses who treated them and their fam­i­lies.

The ex­hibit runs from Nov. 10 through April 28. The pub­lic is in­vited to an open­ing re­cep­tion for the ex­hibit on Satur­day. 3-5 p.m.

The Sharon His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety & Mu­seum is lo­cated at 18 Main Street, Route 41, Sharon. The mu­seum is open Wed­nes­day through Fri­day from 12-4, Satur­day from 10-2 and by ap­point­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion and direc­tions email direc­tor@sharon­hist.org, call 860-364-5688 or visit www.sharon­hist.org.

Con­trib­uted photo

One of the pho­tos that can be found in the ex­hibit “Sharon Cures: Cen­turies of Medicine in One Small Town.”

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