Program brings 1777 medicine to life

ORWELL — Few people know that the largest hospital built by Americans during the Revolutionary War was at Mount Independence in Orwell. The Mount Independence State Historic Site cranks up the time machine on Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m. to explore the story of health and medicine during the revolution on Mount Independence with the program, “An Investigation Into the Revolutionary Mind: What Were You Thinking, Dr. Jonathan Potts?”
Modern-day historian and site interpreter Paul Andriscin summons personages from the past to an interview, so he and the audience can learn “firsthand” about the conditions soldiers faced while serving on the Mount, the most common illnesses, and how they were treated.
Andriscin will interview Dr. Jonathan Potts, portrayed by Steve Whalen, and one of the women on the Mount who cared for sick soldiers, portrayed by Mount Independence site interpreter Tobrina Calvin. Potts was the director general of the hospitals of the northern and middle army departments during the Revolution. Audience members are welcome to ask their questions at the end.
This series of annual programs has explored the decision-making of Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair and the American withdrawal from the Mount in 1777, the lives of the common soldiers, engineer Col. Jeduthan Baldwin, and Col. John Brown and his role in the September 1777 American raid to take back the Mount from the British.
The event is included in the regular admission fee of $5 for adults and free for children younger than 15. While there you can visit the museum and walk any or all of the six miles of trails on the over 300-acre site. Call 802-948-2000 for more information.
The Mount Independence State Historic Site is one of the best-preserved Revolutionary War sites in America. It is located near the end of Mount Independence Road, six miles west of the intersections of Vermont Routes 22A and 73 near Orwell village; carefully follow the signs. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 14.
For more information about the Vermont State Historic Sites, visitwww.historicsites.vermont.gov.

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