A pheno­menon that hit Dixie Land­ings in the late 1800s was none other than the Travel­ing Medi­cine Show! Not one, but a number of shows staged and supervised by an equal number of slick, sly traveling salesmen peddling everything from balms to cure baldness to tonics touted to treat every malady known to man. The hucksters that hawked these hilarious potions considered themselves healers, and they spared no gimmick in attempting to draw crowds of potential customers.

When a Medicine Show trundled into town it came with the air of a carnival — fire-eaters, jugglers, acrobats and dancers performed to the accompaniment of musicians well-versed in public appreciation. The festive mood they created set the stage for the healers to heap on the claims and capture the imaginations (and money) of their practically captive audiences.

The fact is though, since belief in folk medicine ran high in those times, along with the desire for any kind of entertaining, Dixie Landings welcomed the traveling troupers and residents flocked to the shows. Today, you’ll find a plaque near the Sassagoula Steamboat Company marking the very spot where the medicine shows brought many a dose of good times and fun (if rarely a cure for even the most common of ailments) to the people of Dixie Landings in the late 1800s.

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