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Medical Care

Dr. G.W. Jones was a C.P.R. physician who provided medical care when needed. He came fromWebbwood on a speeder, which is a small trolley powered by a gasoline engine, used onrailway tracks by maintenance crews and others. Dr. Jones would time his travels betweentrains. If he was unable to arrive on time such as in the case of a woman ready to deliver ababy, the women in the town would assist.


Some of our older residents say they remember midwives helping with childbirth and even up tothe 1940s local women with any medical training often helped deliver new citizens. Mrs. Noble,who was a nurse, performed this task when necessary.


According to a page from the December 1926 council meeting Nairn Centre paid for theservices of a Doctor Russel Jones. Residents remember a Doctor H. Harvey and Dr. Armstrongwho was a dentist in Espanola in the 1940s and 50s.




1. For pneumonia, turpentine and goose oil were rubbed on the chest and covered withflannel or brown paper. It was also used to remedy chest colds and was applied morningand night.


2 . For coughs, a big Spanish onion was used. It was cut in two and covered with brownsugar. When it turned to syrup it was fed to the patient.


3. Sulphur (or molasses) and brown sugar were used for sore throats. A funnel madefrom a brown paper bag was inserted into the mouth and dust of sulphur blown in.Goodbye sore throat! Or should it be goodbye throat?


4 . An old home remedy for coughs was to boil onions, strain it and add sugar to thewater.


5 . Two other remedies mentioned for curing a sore throat were:1. 1) A syrupy mixture of oil and brown sugar.2. 2) Tie a dirty woolen sock around your neck.


6 . Turpentine and egg shells made a useful liniment.


7 . Mutton tallow was used to soothe chapped hands.


8 . Some women made their own painkillers from turpentine, grease and camphorointment.


9 . To stop bleeding, the red balls were taken off the sumach and steeped in boilingwater. A cloth was dipped in this and placed over the wound.


10 . Some of the settlers made Balm of Gilead Salve. They simmered black poplar budsuntil they became syrup. When it cooled it was an amber colour. This salve wasused for almost everything.


11 . Electric Oil was the main medicine. Mecca salve was used also and poplar bark wasboiled for worms. In the spring, dandelion wine was used as a tonic. Herbs werealso boiled for many uses.


12 . A cloth soaked in camphor oil and tied around the neck for coughs and colds.


13 . Mustard plaster for the flu.


14 . Linseed plants for coughs and colds.


15 . Spruce gum for cuts and wounds.


16 . A tea made from willow bark for headaches.