The Lamar Medical Museum is a three-story historical structure that once served as a Tavern, Stable, Sanitarium, and Surgical Center, and is registered with the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service as a Historic Landmark.
Once advertised as 'Lot 29 with a small brick house and other outbuildings,' the property was sold in 1841 by Soloman and Lewis Mottor to James Stevens for $1,000. During his ownership Mr. Stevens utilized the property as a Tavern and Stable. In 1851, after ten years of ownership, Mr. Stevens sold the property to William Young for $2,250. And in 1855, Mr. Young sold the property to Ann E. Herring, widow of Daniel Herring, for the sum of $2,250.
Ms. Herring owned the property throughout the Civil War. Following the war, Ms. Herring married Lewis O. Wise, and in 1866, sold the property to Edward Herring for $2,700. In 1905, Mr. Herring's widow, Tobitha E. Kessing (Herring) sold the property to Austin Algernon Lamar for an unknown sum.
Between 1866 and 1905 the structure was expanded in size. The structural columns and beams located in the basement, as well as the brick and stone walls above ground indicate that the property was built in three phases.
The original property was a two story building with a basement, three rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the second floor. The second phase (first addition) included an enlarged basement, a summer kitchen on the first floor, and two new rooms on the second floor. The third phase occurred in 1906, one year after the property was purchased by Dr. Lamar. The expansion included an extended basement, two rooms on the first floor, two rooms on the second floor, and a wide veranda/porch extending along the front of the building and out over the sidewalk. Of particular interest is the operating room added to the second floor. The entire operating room, (walls, floors and ceiling) are covered with white marble tile, and the floor is sloped to a central floor drain to allow sanitation. The surgical lavatory includes floor pedals to allow surgical hand scrubbing. The room is lighted by a skylight, windows, and gas lights. The sterilizers are identified as Boldt's Latest Pattern. The operating table, examining table/chair, and glass medical/instrument cabinet are also noteworthy.
An article published in the October 12, 1906, Valley Register newspaper reported that "Dr. A. A. Lamar had started the erection of a two story brick building adjoining his dwelling, which he will use for offices and a sanitarium." A later article published in the Valley Register noted that "Dr. Lamar's Sanitarium is not only an ornament to our town, of which the people of Frederick County can well feel proud, but is one of the best and most modernly equipped institutions in the State of Maryland." The article goes on to say "...the above statement is not our own, but is the expression of medical and surgical men from a distance, who have inspected it."
The entire building was lighted by a gas plant in the cellar. In final form, the addition included a reception room and doctors office/examination room on the first floor, a surgical room and recovery room on the second floor, three semi-finished rooms on the third floor, and a patient rest area on the top of the new veranda/front porch.
Dr. Lamar practiced medicine from 1905, until his passing in 1932. After his passing, Dr. Lamar's family maintained all of the surgical equipment, furnishings, books, medical records, medications.
Upon the passing of Mrs. Lena Lamar, wife, the property was owned by Louise Catherine (Lamar) Young, daughter of Austin Algernon and Lena Lamar. In 1998, the property was sold to a non-profit known as the Central Maryland Heritage League and utilized as rental space, with portions of the structure to include the surgical suite, recovery room, and examination room maintained as they were during Dr. Lamar's medical and surgical practice.
In 2015, the property was purchased by Mark A. Boggs, owner of Boggs Environmental Consultants, Inc., and Pyramid Rocks, LLC. Mr. Boggs currently operates two of his businesses from a portion of the structure, while the surgical, recovery, and examination rooms are maintained in the original form including artifacts and furnishings on display as they were utilized during Dr. Lamar's ownership and operation of his medical and surgical practice.
The Museum is open to the public several times a year during various Frederick County events. Private and group tours are provided by appointment. For more information, or to schedule a tour, please fill out the contact form contained within this website.