The Sacramento Medical History Museum
Our Club was honored to welcome an old friend, Bob La Perriere, M.D., who came to talk to us about a fascinating local museum, The Sacramento Medical History Museum - of which Bob is curator. We got to learn about Sacramento's history of medicine from the Gold Rush days onward with a smattering of rare artifacts that are shown in the Museum. To learn more click on "Read More" below:
The Sacramento Medical History Museuum
I ( Phil Danz, ocularist ) was pleased to see that Bob started his talk with a picture of “glass eyes” which I had donated to the museum several years ago – those eyes were hand blown by my father, Gottlieb Danz from the 30’s or 40’s. Bob went on to give us an interesting and detailed slide show about medicine in the Gold Rush days – too detailed for our newsletter to present here.  Some points that I found interesting, are specified in this article, but for full value, I would recommend that you visit the museum.
It's important to realize how much the population of California grew and so quickly after the finding of gold in 1849. People just came with no thought as to what would be their medical needs – a real health tragedy not to be duplicated anywhere in the world. Disease was rampant and many who tried to care for them were not well trained doctors. Bob mentions the allopath Doctors (like our regular M.D.s) and those who practiced Chinese Medicine, and an eclectic group of hydropaths, homeopaths, and thompsonians. There was a Dr. Nixon that served the Railroad employees. There were some famous physicians there, John Morse in 1853 and Thomas Muldrip Logan.
Then there occurred the great cholera epidemic of 1850. Seventeen of the prominent physicians died in the epidemic which caused thousands of lives.
In 1863, the state medical society was formed and over time became the medical society that we have now in the Sacramento area. Abbreviated SSVMS is the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (serving Sacramento, El Dorado, and Yolo Counties ).
Bob said that the museum is open Tuesday and Thursday and an appointment can be made to give a tour.  Bob would be glad to take us on a tour which would take about one hour, but you could spend and extra hour or two, looking over the most interesting exhibits and artifacts – such as the iron lung they have on display there. 
I am recommending that a group from our Club ask Dr. La Perriere to lead us on a tour in the not too distant future! See below how you can get more information: