Sharon Cures: Centuries of Medicine in One Small Town

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 1750’s, 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 1800’s 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 November 10 through April 28. The public is invited to an opening reception for the exhibit on Saturday, November 10 from 3-5 pm. The Sharon Historical Society & Museum, is located at 18 Main Street, Route 41, Sharon, CT.  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.