In the early 1800s West Chester billed itself as an elegant and healthful place, but the reality was very different. Words like cholera, diphtheria, rabies, and smallpox struck fear into the heart of every West Cestrian, especially those with small children. Treatments were almost worse than the diseases–bloodletting, blistering, and mercury were all part of the early medicinal arsenal. This tour will explore how diseases impacted families, how they changed burial practices, and how the borough’s medical and scientific minds worked to overcome the King of All Fears–Death.
This walking tour will last approximately 90 minutes and covers 1.5 miles. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before scheduled start time to check in. Though we will be staying predominantly on sidewalks, the terrain may be uneven in places. Subject matter may not be appropriate for younger audiences; use parental discretion.
Ticket fees benefit the mission of the Chester County History Center and are nonrefundable. Event is rain or shine. Group sizes are small, and tour times are likely to sell out.