A Trip to the Oldest City

After the girls read the Mystery of the Missing Candlestick, Sir Husband and I took two of the girls to St. Augustine.  We wanted to visit the same places as the girls in the book did.

On the way there, I asked what were some of the places mentioned in the book.  Guess what the excited girls said?  “We don’t remember.”   I guess I should have read the book myself!

So, we visited the Visitor Center and got a map.

Then we set off to have a look around.  We decided to visit a lot of places that we have not visited before.

Since we visited many places, I have decided to only blog about my favorite place.

The Spanish Military Hospital

This building is a reconstruction of a hospital during the Second Spanish Colonial Period, 1784-1821.

We arrived just in time to join the tour in the Surgeon Room.  This room is my favorite.  I like all the old, old tools.  When we visit reenactments, the first place I like to visit is the medical tent.  I like to hear what all the tools are and how they  were used. I make my kids listen too.  I’m great that way.

Look at all those surgeon tools!  Aren’t they cool?  This lady went through and explained most of them.  One of them was used to drill a hole in the skull to relieve any pressure.   Once the swelling was back down a poor man would have the hole plugged with cotton.  A rich man would have a silver dollar placed in the hole.  Both would have the skin pulled over and sewn.  Guess which man would most likely survive?

In the photo below the tour guide showed us how a finger was removed.  Place that thing she is holding over the finger.  Then BAM, hit it with that wooden mallet.  As soon as that was done, the wound would be cauterized with the flat tool, just below her bracelet.  All of this was done in less than 2 minutes.

Now is the time to be thankful for modern medical technology.

Rebekah had a little trouble in this room.  lol   Poor thing.  I bet she is thankful she is living today and not back then.

Next up was the Ward.  I was surprised at this room.  I thought it would be unclean, with unclean practices.   I didn’t know that Government of Spain gave strict regulations on how the hospital was to be run.

The doctor washed his hands before and after visiting each patient.

The first bed you see is for a patient with Cholera.  A curtain would have been hung around the bed for the patient’s privacy.

I don’t remember what she said the second bed was for.  I think it was for everyone else who needed care.

The third bed was for patients that were being discharged.  When a patient was moved from the bed.  The sheets were removed, boiled cleaned, and placed back on the same bed.  The stuffing was also replaced by horsehair.  Which isn’t horsehair but Spanish Moss that had been boiled down to the inner fiber.  Very soft.

The Spanish hospital had about a 75% success rate.  Pretty good odds back then!

We moved on to the Apothecary.  This employee was the only one who could give out medicine.

They had some odd practices back then.  One was ground up crab eyes to get rid of headaches.  It has been discovered that is a myth.

The Apothecary grew many of his own medicines, since it took three years for a ship to arrive from Spain carrying medical supplies.

It was a great day to visit St. Augustine.  The weather was wonderful.  There were lots of people, but not too bad.  After our walk around the town, we visited the ice cream store.  It is usually our last stop on the way out of town.

I’d like to read The Mystery of the Missing Candlestick myself and then take the kids back to visit all the places mentioned in the book.  I’ll even make extra work for them to do.  That’s what they get when they can’t answer a simple question.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do in the spring. 🙂

9 responses to “A Trip to the Oldest City

  1. Great post! Just finished reading the Apothecary’s Daughter, free book on kindle! Now I need a visit to St. Augustine…Looks like a great “field trip”. Oh, by the way…I’ve given you The Stylish Blogger Award! You can check it out on this post: http://jlsgrant.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/stylish-blogger-award/
    Have a great week! Get those worms ready!

  2. I love visiting places like that too. It is amazing what they used to do in the name of medicine! Oh my word, I am glad to be living in today’s time period. Praise the Lord for anesthesia and pain killers!

  3. Wow, I totally should have braced myself a little before coming over here….feeling a little quesy about the skull-drilling and finger-lopping. I thought those were wood working tools when I first scrolled down!

    Grateful for Modern Medicine

    • They did all of that without any anesthetics or alcohol. Alchohol would make the patient fight back when hurt (like when the figure was lopped off). The only thing they could hope for was to pass-out.

  4. 75%, that’s pretty good. I don’t know who would survive Spanish Brain Surgery. Metal is still used to repair broken bones & joints, but I don’t know about pure silver. It would be too soft and possibly toxic. And the cotton would be like a graft that we use in tissue repair, like for hernias. So, as I said, I don’t know….I have overthunk this question.

    Would love to have some of that old apothecary knowledge.

    Beautiful, sunny pictures…I miss Florida.

  5. Neat! I’d like to see the Apothecary.

    Eww, cotton to plug the hole. =p

  6. I miss St. Augustine!! It looks like a beautiful, sunny day. I am going to ask DH to move me someplace sunny. In all my visits there, I don’t think we ever visited the hospital. The finger thing made my stomach turn.

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