|Dr. Charles W. 'Charlie' Stratton I|
The Sepia Saturday theme this week is pretty girls, horses, polo, Queensland, magazines, the stratosphere, sea stories or Jean Harlow. Picking up on the theme of horses, I introduce you to the horse-and-buggy doctors of Lee, Massachusetts. Drs. Charles W. Stratton I, II and III all served as the town doctor of Lee, Massachusetts beginning in 1868 with Charles W. Stratton and ending with Charles W. Stratton III in 1996.
Lee, Massachusetts is one of those quaint New England towns nestled in the Berkshire Hills that are often seen as the backdrop of beautiful fall foliage. Unlike the more famous resort towns nearby, Lee has only recently become a tourist destination having long been a working man's town. The Berkshire horse-and-buggy doctor might be called upon to treat a millionaire in Stockbridge one day and someone injured in the paper mills or quarries near Lee the next.
The first photo is of Charles W. 'Charlie' Stratton I (1832-1886) making his rounds in his horse-and-buggy; house calls were the norm. Had it not been for his wife, Lucy (Baker) Stratton, the long legacy of Lee 'horse-and-buggy' doctors might never have begun. In a letter written to Lucy while attending Albany Medical School, Charlie wrote, "I hardly think Uncle Fred will succeed in inducing me to settle in Lee. But you see I am in earnest about finding a location where I can fund a home of my own." Where Uncle Fred failed, Lucy evidently succeeded!
|Charles W. Stratton II|
Dr. Charles W. 'Jim' Stratton III (1918-1996) looked forward to practicing medicine alongside his father. Sadly, his father passed away before the dream became reality. After World War II, Jim picked up the reins of his father's thriving practice alone. The horse-and-buggy days were over but clearly the young doctor recalled making rounds with his father. When Jim first began his practice, he carried a fishing pole behind the front seat should the opportunity arise to do some fishing while making his rounds. It never did. Medicine had changed; but the country doctor tradition had not. Jim continued to make house calls whenever the situation warranted remarking that his patients were his friends and family - all held very dear.
|Dr. Charles W. Stratton III, On Parade|
Most Sepia Saturday themes leave me frantically scrambling through the jumble that is my digital collection. (Slowly but surely, the images are being organized!) With this theme it was difficult to make a choice - horse-and-buggy doctors, ceramic horses, harness-horse trainers, so many possibilities! The choices others made can be found at Sepia Saturday 94.
"Four Generations of the Stratton Family." Albany Medical College Alumni Bulletin. 32 (November 1969): 18.
Bossidy, J.W. (Lee, Massachusetts). Receipt for horse shoeing services performed 9 August-14 December, 1899. 1 January 1900. Original. Privately held by List Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.
Consolati, Florence. See all the People or Life in Lee. Lee: Self-published, 1978.
Stratton, Charles W. 'Charlie', I (Lee). Tintype. ca 1867-1877. Digital image. Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2003.
Stratton, Charles W., II (Lee). Card photograph (9 3/4" x 7 3/8"). ca 1901. Original. Privately held by List Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.
Stratton, Charles W., II. "Diary." MS. Lee, Massachusetts, 1901. Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.
Stratton, Charles W., III (Lee). Photograph. ca 1980s-1990s. Digital image. Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2003.
Stratton, Charlie (Albany, New York) to "My Darling Pet" [Lucy Ophelia (Baker) Stratton], letter, 24 November 1867; Stratton Family Papers 1861-, privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.