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Feodor Protar

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Feodor Protar

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Feodor Protar was a healer of Beaver Island in the U.S. state of Michigan. Born in 1837, he began to live on Beaver Island in 1893 and died in 1925.

Contents

Biography

Born in the Russian Empire, Feodor Protar immigrated to the United States and established a home on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. He lived alone, sharing the isolated island with a small population of fisherfolk. His fellow islanders saw him as a benevolent eccentric and follower of a spiritual discipline inspired by novelist Leo Tolstoy. Trained or self-taught in pharmacology, Protar was eventually pressured by his neighbors into practicing as an unlicensed physician. This was a skill of serious importance to the islanders in the early 1900s, as the technology of the time meant that Beaver Island was isolated from the mainland in time of winter, and the island was not big enough to support a licensed physician. Michigan authorities appear to have realized that "Dr." Protar's practice was the only solution to the island's medical-access dilemma, and to have looked the other way.

Legacy

"Dr." Protar's life is celebrated by the Beaver Island Historical Society, which operates a small waterfront museum in St. James, the island's harbor. Protar's grave was built by local resident William McDonough.

References

Feodor Protar Wikipedia


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