Local News

Country Doctor Museum Reopens Under New Management

Posted April 22, 2004

— A Nash County museum that closed last year is open for visitors again. The

Country Doctor Museum

in the town of Bailey is under new management.

Tonics promised to calm the nerves and relieve something called "biliousness" and a "torpid liver," but syrup could never replace the bedside manner of a good country doctor.

Dr. Jo Newell loves to tell the story of rural health care going back to the 16th century, which is why she started the Country Doctor Museum.

"It's to remind us of all the country doctors who helped build this state," Newell said.

From its creation in 1967, the museum has been the personal passion of a few women, but they became concerned that their vision and the museum itself might not survive.

"You know we never thought we were going to get old. We thought we would take care of it forever, but age and disability have, pretty well, fixed our founders and our board of directors," Newell said.

As a result, the museum now belongs to East Carolina University.

"We see the museum as a way to help us train our health care professionals en route to their profession," said Dorothy Spencer, director of the ECU's Health Services Library.

The museum also fits East Carolina's mission to promote economic development in eastern North Carolina, drawing more tourists to the town of Bailey.

"You need to stop here, because this is a very special place," Spencer said.

The town of Bailey is off Highway 264 between Zebulon and Wilson. Brown tourism signs will lead visitors to the museum. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

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