Blythewood Historical Society presents Women’s History program March 14

Dr. Portia Lubchenco

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Historical Society will feature Blythewood’s first woman physician, Dr. Portia Lubchenco in its first Women’s History Month celebration set for Sunday, March 14 from 3-5 p.m., at the Doko Manor.

A remembrance of the life and legacy of Lubchenco, the first female doctor to practice medicine in Blythewood will be presented by Screenwriter Millie West and retired Blythewood attorney and Dr. Portia researcher, Bob Wood.

Lubchenco was born outside of Charleston in 1887 and died in 1978.

Lubchenco was the first woman admitted to medical school in either of the Carolinas. She became famous in Blythewood in 1918 and 1919 for traveling around the countryside in a horse and buggy to treat victims of the Spanish Flue. She was also known as a specialist in delivering babies.

Her life elsewhere, however, was more adventurous.

After receiving her degree in medicine in North Carolina, she married a Russian man, and they spent much of their married life in Russia. After the Bolsheviks toppled the Russian government, she and her husband barely escaped and returned to South Carolina.

She went on to become a successful physician in Colorado. She received many medical awards during her career and was named Colorado’s Mother of the Year in 1954.

In 1964, she published Doctor Portia, an autobiography that told of her exciting life in Russia and featured her medical work in the United States.

While not a lot is written about Lubchenco’s life in Blythewood, Portia Road is named for her and a short piece is written about her in the 2004 edition of The Blythewood Scrapbook, available at the Historical Society.

For reservations to attend the Women’s History program at the Blythewood Historical Society and learn more about Lubcheco, call the museum at 803-333-8133 or email at [email protected]

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