The minute I learned about Dr. Lindsey Durham’s “receipts” (prescriptions for cures) I knew I would have liked this man! He practiced “eclectic medicine”, just as I grow an eclectic garden. It’s not quite the same thing – I have no interest in practicing medicine or using my herbs for anything but teas and cooking, but my garden is eclectic because I grow thyme underneath a viburnum, yarrow among the daylilies and sage in front of a fothergilla; there is rosemary next to a rose and others flanking the mailbox. There is no such thing as a flower garden, an herb garden or a hedge of shrubs in my landscape!
Back to Dr. Durham: his grandfather, Abram Durham, came from
England ( County Durham) and settled in in 1750, where Lindsey’s father, Samuel Davis Durham was born in 1755. Samuel married Isabel Lindsey in 1781 and, with several others, set out for Virginia the following year. Georgia
Read Ellen Whitaker’s “A Brief History of the Life of Dr. Lindsey Durham” in her and Debbie C. Cosgrove’s “Dr. Durham’s Receipts: A 19th Century Physician’s Use of Medicinal Herbs” for more details of this remarkable Georgian’s life and career.
Shortly after turning onto FR 1234 off Macedonia Road, off Georgia Highway 15, halfway between Watkinsville and
Greensboro, one arrives at the , where Debbie and Bill Cosgrove, with the help of countless volunteers, have established a small replica of Dr. Durham’s 13-acre herb garden. Scull Shoals Education Center
Debbie Cosgrove (center, in black, outstretched arm) lecturing during Dr. Durham's Herb Walk on November 7, 2010.
Many of the trees, shrubs and flowering plants are labeled and it can be a pleasant Sunday afternoon to go and take a look, particularly in spring, but also in autumn, and especially with Debbie Cosgrove as guide. This is truly a place where the history of eclectic medicine comes to live.