Orchard Park, NY - Lately there has been plenty of talk about health care reform and nowadays many of our doctors are specialists in some field. But it seems the practice of medicine was very different back in the early 1900's.
You can see for yourself at the Orchard Park home of a real country doctor in this installment of Unique Places on Sunday Daybreak.
It proudly sits near the four corners in the village of Orchard Park.. It's the Dr. Jolls Home which is also home to the Orchard Park Historical Museum. That's fitting since Dr. Willard Burton Jolls was one of the leading citizens of community from the late 1890's when he and his wife Ida moved in to this home...through the late 1950's where he practiced medicine for decades until his death in the early 1960's.
The building has been preserved with its 1900's charm...and his office left much as he left it. He used his vast knowledge and wide variety of medical skills as explained by the museum curator Dennis Popielinski.
Popielinski says "Dr. Jolls delivered over 12-hundred babies in his career. Many times going by horse and buggy before there was a car. And actually spending the night with he woman after they delivered the baby. He would make sure the woman was fine and would stay till morning."
"He did dentistry. He did a bit of opthamology. He set the broken arms or the broken legs. If somebody was feeling ill he tried to use his herbs from his garden in the back or mix some compounds from his small pharmacy in the back. He pretty much did it all you know."
"He mixed his own medicines and what he learned at UB. We have a pretty extensive library of old medical books in the back that were his."
"There was no rescue squads back in that time he tried to do whatever he could without sending somebody way down in to Buffalo on the trolley."
"Dr. Jolls would barter for a lot of his fees. He would deliver a baby for a winter's supply of potatoes. Or you know coal for the furnace downstairs. Or feed for his horse. That's the way they did things back then and it truly made him a country doctor I guess."
The Jolls House is open Saturdays from April through October or by appointment. They will also have a special holiday decorated open house in December. For more information you can leave a message by calling 662 - 2185 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org