Bailey, North Carolina: Country Doctor Museum

Collection of historic medical vehicles, artifacts and implements, including the Civil War era surgical tools of a doctor who assisted in the amputation of Stonewall Jackson's arm.
Address:
6642 Peele Rd., Bailey, NC
Directions:
From Raleigh take I-64 east to I-264, exit at Bailey, turn right on Hwy 581 - Oak Ave, then right on Deans St/Alt 264, at next block turn left on Peele Rd.
Hours:
Tu-Sa 10 am - 3 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
252-235-4165
Admission:
Tour $5.
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Country Doctor Museum

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Iron lung. Country Doctor Museum

Great little museum in a lovely setting! The museum is housed in several old homes, one of which belonged to a country doctor (includes his office, which was attached to his home). Visited with a 10 year old, and it held his interest. Tours are guided, but we had all the time we needed to look and ask questions. The museum includes a complete country doctor's office and pharmacy (real--not recreation), a great deal of medical equipment (our favorite: an iron lung), several antique buggies and cars, and even, yes, a jar full of live leeches!

Can see everything in about an hour, I'd say. Plenty of outdoor, shaded areas, plus a small garden. Small admission charged -- forgot how much -- but well worth it.

[curious traveler, 04/19/2011]
Country Doctor Museum

We visited the Country Doctor Museum(CDM) on the way to the Outer Banks this April. I am a family physician, and I loved this stop on our tour, and my wife Jennifer, who is not a physician, equally loved the antiquity of the whole experience.

The museum had been closed for 2 years and re-opened on April 14th, 2004. We went there several days ahead. Problem? No way. The new museum curator set up a private tour. There is a man who is very familiar to this museum -- Tim Smith. Tim was the very best tour guide that we had, ever, in any museum or exhibit, hands down. Tim has southern hospitality refined to its best.

Highlights: The civil war exhibits... there are two civil war field operating tables. These are priceless antiques, in great condition. They have a unique pharmaceutical collection -- many exhibits tie into Bristol, TN/VA. They have the instruments used to amputate Stonewall Jackson's arm. The collection of bleeders, eye equipment, cars, dental equipment, saddlebags, nursing uniforms, old hospital equipment, desks of country doctors, the famous painting of "Christ the Apothecary," an herb garden of common plants-to-medicine herbs and trees, etc. They have probably the biggest collection of "invalid feeders" out there.

For a physician, it is a "must see," and for anyone else traveling down I-40, it is one of those collections so unique it would be appreciated by anyone. Where most museums put their exhibits behind glass and allow you to "appreciate" from a distance, the Country Doctor Museum allows the viewer to get up close and personal, and has a small-town feel, as if the viewer was truly stepping back in time.

[Brett Bilbrey, 04/23/2004]
Christ the Apothecary.    Country Doctor Museum

I investigated the Country Doctor Museum today and it's worth a visit! It's a private collection, not a state run museum, so the $3 price didn't seem steep. The full tour took about an hour and was given by a volunteer retired registered nurse. The Country Doctor Museum opened in 1967 and expanded again in 1994. The instruments used in Stonewall Jackson's arm amputation were in the collection and on display, but there were other equally (or more) interesting items on exibit.

One of the items I found interesting was a genuine iron lung used to treat polio patients in the 1950s. There was also a genuine 1700s fake leg complete with knee joint. There were many early dentist instruments (looked more like torture instruments to me), a complete history of amputation instruments from steel blade and wooden handle through complete stainless steel and silver sets.

There was a portable surgery table from the Civil War. There was also a complete, original (and still running) model T once owned by a country doctor in the area.

Here's the real kicker.. they have one of the three surviving paintings (painted by a follower of Martin Luther) called "Christ, the Apothecary of the Soul" from the early 17th century. (from the back of the card I purchased about the painting) -- Early 17th Century painting depicting Christ in an allegorical pharmacy weighing the sins of mankind and dispensing Christian virtues from labeled drug containers (Righteous, Belief, Patience, Virtue, Joyful, Charitable, etc.).

If you exit the museum and go down Vance Street AWAY from Peele road and you take your first left onto 581 you'll see a "See Rock City" bird house in front of the car dealer.

[Greg Brown, 09/07/2000]

The amputation tools for Stonewall Jackson complete the tour started in "A Hello to Arms."

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