Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Kitchen # 2 - 18th century out-kitchens

In a previous post - 7 years ago, (when this post was written, oops) - HERE, I discussed 19th century 'summer kitchens'.  In the 18th century they were called 'out kitchens', or just 'kitchens'.  The reason for the detached kitchens? - to keep homes "...more cool and Sweet" and "...because the Smell of hot Victuals, offensive in the hot Weather."

The following excerpts, from books in the 1700s, describe or mention "out-kitchens" or kitchens among the out-buildings.

1708  South Carolina:  "In the Year 1705, the Reverend Mr. Dun was sent to St. Pauls Parish in Colleton Parish [South Carolina].  A small but convenient Brick Church was Erected…1708…about 20 Miles distant from Charles-Town to the Southward. A little, but commodious Dwelling-house of Brick, was Built for the Minister, with an out-Kitchen, and some necessary Timber Buildings; but this House, and the other out-Buildings, were burnt in the Indian War."
An historical account of the incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel... by David Humphreys.  London: 1730

1705 Virginia:  "All Their [Virginians’] Drudgeries of Cookery, Washing, Daries, etc. are preforme’d in offices detacht from the Dwelling Houses, which by this means are kept more cool and Sweet.
The History and Present State of Virginia, Book IV by Robert Beverley.  London: 1705

1723 London:  "I rambl'd this whole Night with them, they went from Chelsea, being disappointed there as above, to Kensington where they broke into a Brewhouse, and wash-house, and by that means into an Out-Kitchen of a Gentleman's-House, where the unhang'd a small Copper, and brought it off, and stole about a Hundred weight of Pewter."
The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honourable Col. Jacque ... by Daniel Defoe.  London: 1723

1724 Virginia: "With Timber also are built Houses for the Overseers and Out-Houses; among which is the Kitchen apart from the Dwelling House, because of the Smell of hot Victuals, offensive in hot Weather."
Jones, Hugh. Present State of Virginia.  London: 1724  1865 reprint

1779  Virginia:  "Description of the Back Settlements in Virginia.— Charlottesville, Jan. 20. 1779
THE house that we reside in is situated upon an eminence, commanding a prospect of near thirty miles around it, and the face of the country appears an immense forest, interspersed with various plantations, four or five miles distant from each other; on these there is a dwellinghouse in the center, with kitchens, smoke-house, and out-houses, detached, and from the various buildings, each plantation has the appearance of a small village ; at some little distance from the houses, are peach and apple orchards, &c. and scattered over the plantations are the negroes huts and
tobacco-houses [barns], which are large, built of wood, for the cure of that article."   
The Edinburgh Magazine, or Literary Miscellany.  Edinburgh: 1789

1802 House plans:  "On the same side of the mansion, may be other convenient houses: milk-house, &c. On the opposite side of the dwelling may be a passage to the out kitchen with closets, poultry-yard and shelter, etc. Over the passage and closets and out-kitchen may be lodgings for the family servants, to go up to by a ladder or stairs from the passage."
An Epitome of Mr. Forsyth's Treatise... by an American farmer.  [William Forsyth, William Cobbett]  Phila: 1802

Photograph:  Gov. Smallwood's restored home "Smallwood's Retreat" and reconstructed kitchen in Charles County, Maryland. Hearth cooking demos on the 2d Sunday of the months May through September.

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
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