Inspired by Dr. Greenleaf Wilbur's medical box at the Skowhegan History House, this exhibit highlights some Mainers in the medical field of the past and the stories they had.
John Y. Merrill of Leeds (1823-1898) made terse entries in diaries he kept for 11 years. His few words still provide a glimpse into the life of a mid 18th century farmer, who also made shoes, quarried stone, moved barns, made healing salves -- and was active in civic affairs.
Throughout Maine’s history, individuals have worked to improve and expand medical care, not only for the health of those living in Maine, but for many around the world who need care and help.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to read and analyze letters, literature, and other primary documents and articles of material culture from the MHS collections relating to how people in Maine have given and received healthcare throughout history. Students will discuss the giving and receiving of medicines and treatments from the 18th-21st centuries, the evolving role of hospitals since the 19th century, and how the nursing profession has changed since the Civil War. Students will also look at how people and healthcare facilities in Maine have addressed epidemics in the past, such as influenza and tuberculosis, and what we can learn today from studying the history of healthcare and medicine.