The Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley spotlights pre-1950s Sequim-Dungeness Valley health care in its latest exhibit, “Early Pioneer Medicine,” which opened Friday, March 25, at the MAC Exhibit Center, 175 W. Cedar St., Sequim.
Through the use of historical photographs, documents and artifacts, the exhibit chronicles the evolving medicinal resources and medical technologies available to the area’s early health practitioners, including doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives.
Also highlighted are local medical facilities and pharmaceutical dispensaries no longer in existence, including Brayton Pharmacy and the Seguin Pharmacy Company, both in Sequim.
Another item of unique local and historical significance featured in the exhibit is a 1900-1915 birth registry kept by Blyn-area midwife Mary Craig that contains many familiar pioneer family names.
Additional artifacts on display include numerous medical instruments and equipment, including an adjustable white enamel examination chair circa the 1930s and a mortician’s table dating back to the 1880s, as well as inspection devices and supplies ranging from metal syringes and probes to bleeding bowls.
“All of the medical instruments were horrifying. It’s a miracle people lived as long as they did,” said Lyn Fiveash, MAC history exhibits coordinator.
“It was the resilience and fortitude of the people to keep themselves healthy and resort to professional medical help in emergencies, unlike today when we go to the doctor for a head cold.”
The exhibit also features several never-before-displayed items that have been loaned to the MAC. These artifacts include a 1960s-era nurse’s cape and cap on loan from Priscilla Hudson and a fully supplied doctor’s bag with stethoscope from Bill Littlejohn that belonged to his father, Dr. Robert E. Littlejohn, a 1940s Sequim physician.
Through rotating local history exhibits, the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley continues its mission as steward of Sequim’s cultural heritage.
The MAC Exhibit Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call the center at 683-8110 or visit www.macsequim.org.