Medical Office (Sladky building)

This one and a half story frame building was constructed in the 1920s as a honey bee house or bee house at Shoto, Wisconsin. The building was donated by the Bill and Dorothy Wester family and moved to Pinecrest Historical Village in July of 1988. The building belonged to Frank and Julia Sladky, the great uncle and aunt of Dorothy Wester. “Sladky Honey” was sold in the area for many years.

The $2000 cost of moving the building and installing a concrete slab for it to be placed on was paid for by the Master Builders Association of Manitowoc County. Members of the trade organization also built and installed a wrap-around porch with a cedar shingle roof. Society volunteers repaired and repainted the exterior siding and labored over a two-year period to renovate the building for use as a changing exhibit gallery. These renovations were made possible by gifts to the Hugo and Eleanor Vetting Memorial Fund.

It was opened to the public in July of 1990. The first exhibit was “The Civil War Remembered: Manitowoc County Helps Preserve the Union, 1861-1865” on display from July of 1990 through December 1991. Since that time the building has housed the exhibit about beekeeping entitled “Bees and Honey: Beekeepingin Manitowoc County.”  Both of these exhibits were funded, in part, by grants from the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The building now represents a Medical Office. 

An old account journal from Doctor Hess, who practiced in the Mishicot Area around 1900, indicates the barter system was frequently usedas a method of payment for medical services. Some patients would provide oats for a doctor’s horse or food for his family; others would provide a service such as repairing shoes, shoeing a horse or other skills in exchange for credit toward medical services. Typical charges at that time were one dollar for an office call or three dollars for a house call.

Since most villages did not have a drug store, the doctor also served as a pharmacist. Prescriptions prepared by the doctor cost from 5 to 75 cents. The doctor was said to carry in his medical bag “every known drug of the time.”

Some of the doctors also performed the services of a dentist by pulling teeth for a charge of 50 cents per tooth. Drilling of teeth was done with a foot operated drill. The drilling or pulling of teeth, often done without anesthetic, and was not a pleasant experience. Many times a trip to the dentist would not provide relief for hours or even days.

The X-ray machine on display is one of the first manufactured by General Electric.  Equipment, instruments and furnishings for the Dentist’s office were donated and arranged by the Manitowoc County Dental Association Auxiliary. The Doctor’s Office equipment and supplies are from the offices of Dr. Theodore Teitgen, Dr. Joseph W. Stechbauer, Dr. Thomas H. Rees and Dr. William A. Rauch. The Manitowoc County Medical Society Auxiliary sponsored the medical exhibit.