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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Large Brick Kitchen

 
 
A Large Brick Kitchen Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. A Large Brick Kitchen Marker
Inscription. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Chesapeake planters moved the preparation and cooking of food from their homes to a separate structure. Thus, the odors, noise and heat from cooking were eliminated from the main house. Most importantly, separate kitchens reduced the chances of fires in the dwelling house. This move also represented the emerging racial lines of chattel slavery in the late 1600s.

Sidebar: The plantation kitchen was second only to the dwelling house in importance. The cook and other slaves labored long hours preparing the plantationís three main meals under the mistressí supervision. Open-hearth cooking was an art with cranes for moving iron pots in and out of the flames. Holiday meals or special dinners would have taken weeks of preparations.

An 1870 description of this property listed “a large brick kitchen” as one of Richard Leeís outbuildings. This solid structure contained a brick chimney and contrasted with the simple frame or hewn log plantation kitchens of colonial Virginia. Earlier models had archaic smoke bays or crude wooden chimneys. The Leeís kitchen consisted of a main floor, root cellar and loft. Richard Lee owned a 65 year-old female slave who cooked for the family and more than likely lived in this building.
 
Location.
Marker at Lee Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker at Lee Hall
37° 11.974′ N, 76° 34.547′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Yorktown Road (Virginia Route 238), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Lee Hall Mansion. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Homestead by the Main Road (a few steps from this marker); Largest and Most Valuable Estate in the County (within shouting distance of this marker); An Earthwork in Front (within shouting distance of this marker); Master and Slaves (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lee Hall (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Lee Hall (about 800 feet away); Lee Hall Village (approx. 0.4 miles away); C&O "Peninsula Extension" (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The right side of the marker features a photograph of “The kitchen at Lee Hall Mansion, c. 1963.” Photo courtesy of Lee Hall Mansion Archives.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers located at Lee Hall.
 
Also see . . .  Lee Hall Mansion. (Submitted on March 1, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Kitchen Marker at Lee Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Kitchen Marker at Lee Hall

 
Categories. African AmericansNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 942 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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