The History of Medicine in Montgomery County: Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine

Pictured Above: Stephen Rockower, M.D., MCMS Past President poses with Dr. Stonestreet, portrayed by living historian Clarence Hickey inside the Stonestreet Museum, a timeline of Dr. Stonestreet’s life, a display of common 19th century apothecary medicines.
Visitors strolling along Rockville’s Montgomery Avenue have a new museum to visit, which celebrates the long history of medicine in Montgomery County. Dr. Edward Stonestreet, a founding member and later president of Montgomery County’s Medical Society, opened his one-room physician’s office in 1852, and it is now open once again to those interested in the history of 19th century medicine.
The Stonestreet Museum offers a vignette of the dramatic changes in knowledge and technology during Dr. Stonestreet’s fifty-one years in practice. Exhibits at the museum include collections of books, instruments and tools, pharmaceutical items, and more.
The following is an excerpt from the Clara Barton Museum’s article “The Life Of Dr. Edward Stonestreet – 19th Century Doctor.”

Dr. Edward Stonestreet practiced medicine from 1852 until his death in 1903, in Rockville, MD. He was educated at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Stonestreet served as an Examining Surgeon for Montgomery County, MD, during the Federal draft of 1862. It is estimated that he examined more than 800 men.

During 1862 – 1863, Dr. Stonestreet served with the U.S. Army as an Acting Assistant Surgeon (Contract Surgeon). During late 1862 and early 1863, he treated the living wounded after the Battle of Antietam in a temporary Army General Hospital, in Rockville, while they were enroute from Frederick, MD to long term care in new Army pavilion style, state-of-the-art, hospitals in Washington, DC, and in Alexandria, VA. During the first half of 1863, Dr. Stonestreet attended the ill soldiers of the 6th Michigan Cavalry Regiment prior to their involvement in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Dr. Stonestreet’s life, his medical training, practice, and Army service was recently paralleled by the fictitious Dr. Jed Foster of the PBS 2016 special Civil War series Mercy Street.

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