Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Medicine Man’

Queen’s Parade Brings a Delightful Regal Touch to Dickens Victorian Village


The Queen's Parade

The Queen’s Parade

Everyone loves a parade, and the Queen’s Parade brings a touch of life from times gone by. People line the streets of downtown Cambridge for the Dickens Victorian Village’s second annual Queen’s Parade on Nov. 8. The parade, in honor of elegant Queen Victoria, will head down Wheeling Avenue at 1:00, as a touch of royalty enters the streets of Cambridge. The Queen will be accompanied by Gerald Dickens, great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.

Cambridge Social Dance Club performance

Cambridge Social Dance Club performance

Step back to a time before motorized vehicles, as many entertaining groups, too numerous to list, either walk, ride horseback, or are driven in carriages.  Among those walking are members of the Cambridge Social Dance Club, who have been a part of the annual celebrations for several years. See them dance their way down the street as well as perform at the Victorian Street Fair on E. 8th Street. They’re just getting warmed up for Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball next weekend.

Local dance studio students parade down Wheeling Avenue as street sweepers, who were needed in the time of Charles Dickens. The newly formed band at East Guernsey Schools will be making an appearance and perhaps a portion of the ever popular Cambridge City Band will perform for this occasion as an old-fashioned Clown Band.

Funeral Hearse followed by mourners

Funeral Hearse followed by mourners

A procession of mourners follow the horse-drawn hearse as they head to the “Victorian Funeral Experience”, which will be held the following day, Sunday, Nov. 8th at 1:00 at the Gross Mansion.

The Medicine Man, Dr.Thelonious Balthazar, rides in a carriage at the parade. The Medicine Man will actually have two shows on Saturday at the Victorian Street Fair. The first show is at 11:00 before the parade, while the second performance will be at 4:00 in the afternoon. You won’t want to miss his words of medical advice!

Participants in “Whiskers Wars” also walk in the parade. Come out and encourage these manly men, as they have been grooming their beards all summer long. Several categories exist for beard entries and judging will be held at the Dickens Street Fair on the steps of the bank. Most entrants dress in costumes of the Dickens era, so show your Victorian spirit and cheer for your favorite contestant.

Bagpipers escort the Queen

Bagpipers escort the Queen

The sounds of the Akron Bagpipe Band announce the arrival of Queen Victoria’s elegant, horse-drawn carriage. Then the Queen heads to the Victorian Street Fair where she oversees activities for the remainder of the afternoon.

However, the parade is just a small portion of the excitement for “Queen Victoria Weekend”, the second themed weekend of the Dickens Victorian Village season. If you would like to learn about additional activities, visit their website at or call 1-800-933-5480.

Dickens Victorian Village takes place from November through mid-January each year when Historic Downtown Cambridge comes to life with 92 scenes of 166 life-like figures representing classic scenes from Victorian society. To add to the festive atmosphere, each evening from 5:30-9:00, the magnificent 1881 Guernsey County Courthouse Music & Light Show pulsates to holiday music with synchronized lights.

See you at the parade!

Dickens Victorian Village is located in Downtown Cambridge, Ohio near the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. Take any Cambridge exit and you are sure to find yourself on Route 40, which heads straight through Downtown Cambridge.



Dr Balthasar – Medicine Man Miracle Medicine for Man or Beast

Dr. Balthasar, Medicine Man

Dr. Balthasar, Medicine Man

“Try a bottle of Elexir!”

Dr. Balthasar, Medicine Man, campaigned for everyone’s good health as he presented his wares from town to town. The sign he displayed proclaimed: Miracle Medicine for Man or Beast formulated from an ancient Tibetan recipe. Quite frequently he was referred to as  “a snake-oil salesman”, proclaiming this miracle tonic would cure a great variety of ailments.

The character of Dr. Thelonious Balthasar was created by Mike Follin, an education interpreter with the Ohio Historical Society. He thought this would be a good way to educate folks about life and medical treatment during the 19th century. Before each performance, Mike tells the audience a little about life on the frontier, where the visit of a traveling salesman was great entertainment. Then he transforms into frontier Dr. Balthasar, Medicine Man.

Most people appeared at his shows for two reasons: medication and entertainment. Word would spread from house to house when the doctor’s wagon was seen.This slippery snake oil salesman provided gossip and national news, as well as entertainment that cheered the crowd. As he traveled the countryside selling his famous Elexir, one of Dr. Balthasar’s favorite places to stop and tell his tales was in Michigan. There he said the folks were the most gullible and sales were high.

Remains of victim who exploded after refusing treatment

Remains of victim who exploded after refusing treatment

The good doctor, in his rapid fire patter, demonstrated what happened to those who refused his services. A young man who was very ill  boldly told the doctor, “I don’t need your medicine.”  Six months later that same man came back to another Medicine Show and said that perhaps he should have taken the tonic as the pain became worse and worse. Before the doctor could give him the Elexir, the man exploded. Parts of his body went everywhere and had to be scraped up so the Medicine Man could save them in jars, thus demonstrating the importance of taking his tonic. Perhaps it would keep someone else from having the same fate. You can even see an eyeball peeking through one of the jars.

Skeleton, who did not heed the doctor's warning

Skeleton, who did not heed the doctor’s warning

This skeleton was all that was left of another of his patients who had faded away to nothing because they refused to take his medical advice. “If he had purchased this Elixir for only $2, that man might have been cured of his consumption and still be here today.”

” Some of you see men who have had their hair fall out, just like the stars fall from the sky. Why does a man’s hair on the top of his head fall out? Why doesn’t he lose his whiskers? I tell you, he outgrows his hair because he has too much knowledge.”

Dr. Balthasar’s Miracle Medicine was the answer to all health problems.  A free gift was usually promised – free advice. “I stand behind every bottle that I sell of this latest in medical potions,”  were his words of assurance. However, the Medicine Man would usually leave town before customers had a chance to demand a refund. His treatment was very effective, unlike the practicing physician, who told patients to come back in two weeks.  “When you buy my medicine,” explained Dr. Balthasar, “you will never see me again.”

When the government decided they needed to regulate the sale of medications, the Medicine Man was basically put out of business. Patenting medicine made it necessary to list all the ingredients on the bottle. Thus began the time of medicine sales to further pharmaceutical agencies; unfortunately, home remedies were no longer acceptable.

What were the contents of Dr. Balthasar’s famous Elixir? 150-200 proof alcohol, otherwise known as “white lightning”. It certainly made people feel better for a while and forget their problems.

As he closed the show, Dr. Balthasar held up a bottle of his Miracle Medicine proclaiming, “This is the answer to a long and healthy life. I’ll also give you a bit of free advice. Stay away from two types of people: politicians and traveling medicine men.”

Dr. Balthasar, Medicine Man, recently appeared in Cambridge, Ohio as part of their Dickens Victorian Village presentation. Where will he stop next?

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