Vermont News Guide | Page 9


18th Century Rural Vermont Healers
As towns like Cavendish started to be settled in the 18th century , physicians were generally not among the first inhabitants . In Cavendish , it was approximately 26 years after the town was chartered before a doctor arrived . Who then was responsible for the health care needs of the newly forming communities and how did they practice ?
While women served as doctor , nurse , midwife , pharmacist , and therapist , ministers were also crossed trained and referred to as “ minster / physician .” The medicinal and kitchen gardens were one and the same , that women maintained and used in the care of their families , following “ recipes ” handed down within families and among friends . The Cavendish Historical Society ( CHS ) will be hosting a talk-18th Century Rural Vermont Healers- on July 21 ( Sunday ) 2pm at the CHS Museum , off route 131 in Cavendish Village . The talk will include the history of 18th Century healers , treatments , as well as how plants and herbs were used then and now . A brief medicinal plant walk around the Museum will conclude the program . This event is free and open to the public .
One of the speakers will be Dr . Charis Boke , a member of the Dartmouth College faculty in anthropology . She is currently writing Poison , Power , and Possibility : Building Relations with Medicinal , which will explore the poetics , politics , and practices of contemporary herbalists in North America , leaning on ethnographic research , botanical histories , and lived experience to examine what it takes to remedy what ails us . Dr . Boke was involved in helping with the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Garden at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia . For more information , please call 802-226-7807 or e-mail margocaulfield @ icloud . com


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July 15 , 2024 Vermont News Guide 9