This Place in History: Dr. Henry Janes House

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“At This Place in History with the Vermont Historical Society. I’m with Steve Perkins. He’s the executive director. So, big house behind us. Who lived here?”

“Sure. So, this was Dr. Henry Janes house. And Dr. Janes was a very important surgeon in the American Civil War. He was part of the Vermont contingent that went down and fought everywhere from Gettysburg to Chancelorsville. And ended up back here in Vermont running Vermont’s hospital for Civil War soldiers called Sloane Hospital in Montpelier. But he was from Waterbury. He moved back to Waterbury. And upon his death, he left his property to the town to become the town library.”

“How nice of him!”

“That’s cool. It is. So now it’s the library, it’s the municipal offices but also a museum with the Waterbury Historical Society and there’s more information about Dr. Janes inside. So, I thought maybe we’d go inside and see what they have.”

“Let’s go. Steve, where are we now. So, we’re in Dr. Janes office. Inside the house that we were just looking at. So, when he came back from the Civil War and retired to private practice, it was here. He took care of members of the community for the rest of his life. But one of the things to know about Dr. Janes as a medical doctor, was he really learned a lot of his trade during the Civil War. And he worked with a doctor called Dr. Letterman and they created the hospital that served all the troops after the Battle of Gettysburg. And he talks about hearing Lincoln give his Gettysburg Address as he was taking care of the wounded at Gettysburg. But some of those thoughts that Dr. Letterman brought and Dr. Janes brought modernized the idea of medicine and this idea of Triage and treating the most critical people first. That really came about as part of that system. So it’s something that Dr. James brought back to Vermont with him.”

“So, now that we’re upstairs, I see that there’s so much more history to explore.”

“There is. And we can’t talk about it all but I encourage everybody to come out and visit the Waterbury Historical Museum, here in the municipal offices in the old Henry Janes house. It’s history. Check it out.”

Check out all of our At This Place in History features on the ‘Related Headlines’ section of this page and get a map of Vermont historical markers here.

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