Upper Big Tracadie Health Care
Midwives in Upper Big Tracadie during the 1930’s include: Mrs. James (Annie) Borden, Sarah Day, Mrs. Susie Ash, Mrs. Maggie Borden, Mrs. Harry Jordan, Alice Elms, and Mrs. Stella Gero, Meg Borden, Mrs. John Ben Mattie (from Mattie Settlement) Susan Viola Lawrence (mid-late 40’s), Dorothy Gerro. They were paid for their services with household goods, vegetables and occasionally money.
In regards to health, Mrs. Pat Skinner recalls that she first saw a doctor at 5 years of age when the family travelled to Antigonish t receive vaccinations. Illness was dealt with at home and was warded off by a daily dose of cod liver oil followed by a wedge of orange to remove the aftertaste of the loathsome liquid. When a cold did strike, she was given a hot liniment to drink. Pink eye was treated with salt fish wrapped in a cloth and bound around the head overnight; in the morning the salt had pulled the infection out of the eye leaving pus on the cloth in its wake.
The common puffball fungus was used to stymie cuts as is further attested to in the following text, “Our Edible Toadstools and Mushrooms and How to Distinguish Them”, by W. Hamilton Gibson.
Our common dusty Puff-ball,… its spongy, dusty contents having been a time-honored remedy as a styptic, or for the arrest of hemorrhage from wounds.
According to Charles Ash, home remedies included boiled molasses and cut up onions, a vile mixture that when drank would cure a cold. Goose grease was commonly rubbed into the chest to ease congestion. Some doctors would come for house calls; the family travelling to the road to pick them up in a sleigh. And at least on one occasion, an ill lady was sent to Antigonish on the train from Monastery.
Public Health nurses from Guysborough County visited the school at Upper Big Tracadie on a regular basis. (see schools section)