You might not expect to see salt and pepper shakers in a medical museum, but there’s a good reason for these treasures to be in the Arkansas Country Doctor Museum!
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the time period our museum covers, doctors lived and worked in the same place. They saw patients in their homes, or they lived at the hospital, depending how you like to look at it.
Dr. and Mrs. Boyer lived in the building that houses the Arkansas Country Doctor Museum, and Mrs. Boyer’s salt and pepper shaker collection shows how much Dr. Boyer’s patients valued him.
These colorful trinkets were collected from all over the world by grateful patients who brought or sent them to Mrs. Boyer.
Some were mementos of the Boyers’ travels, but many were a kind gesture from a patient who appreciated the care received from Dr. Boyer and the kindness of Mrs. Boyer.
When you visit the Arkansas Country Doctor Museum, you’ll find these cabinets of salt and pepper shakers in the living area of the home. Many of these items were made specifically to serve as souvenirs of various places. Look for the Statue of Liberty, a Venetian gondola, and shakers in the form of traditional Japanese dolls.
You’ll also see many in the shapes of fruit, flowers, and birds.
The Arkansas Country Doctor Museum provides a look at the way ordinary people lived in the past, as well as a wealth of information about the history of health care.
When you visit the museum, you can enjoy looking not only at medical equipment and information, but also at the furniture, clothing, and everyday belongings of people who lived in Lincoln, Arkansas, a long time ago.
The museum is housed in a building which was the workplace and the home of three different doctors during its long history as a clinic in Lincoln, Arkansas. We have it furnished just as it was during the early 20th century tenure Dr. Boyer and his wife, Ruth. You will see the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom, and the parlor as well as the doctor’s office and examining room, the hospital wing, the nursery and maternity areas, and many other medical exhibits.
There are also outdoor areas where you can see the summer kitchen and the vehicles the Lincoln doctors used to make their housecalls — both the horse-drawn carriage and the new-fangled horseless carriage of the 1920s.
Some of our visitors find that the well-preserved rooms of Doctor Boyer’s home bring back happy memories of their own lives. You are welcome to stay as long as you like, enjoying reminiscences of your own life in the 20th century. It’s a wonderful way to share memories with your children and grandchildren, as the homely objects remind you of stories you’ve never told them.
Others are amazed to see these objects from a place and time they’ve never had an opportunity to learn about before.
It’s one thing to read in history books about the lives of people in the past, but a visit to the past like this one can make a much stronger impression. The Arkansas Country Doctor Museum makes a wonderful field trip for students and for home educators.
We are located just a short drive west of Prairie Grove’s Battlefield Park, so you can learn about the Civil War there and then see not only the medical equipment used on that battlefield, but also the way the descendents of the soldiers lived just a few generations later.
The Arkansas Country Doctor Museum brings history to life.