Near Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
"The Recipe for smoked Beef is the same as for Hams, except, that in place of 2 lb sugar, take 2 qrts. of Molasses. The Beef must be put in bags also."
Eleanor Park Custis Lewis, 1832
This structure was a workplace for enslaved people engaged in the preparation and storage of pork and beef. While slaves were responsible for slaughtering and butchering in the fall, they were charged with providing enough meat for the gentry family year-round. Smaller portions were allotted for domestic servants and those living in the quarters.
After curing, the meat was hung and smoked for several days to impart flavor and repel insects. Slaves watched constantly to ensure that the fire did not go out or burn too high. Meat was stored here throughout the year, with the door locked to prevent theft.
As the photograph illustrates, meat from the plantation would have been placed on racks and hung from rafters. Inside the Meat House, look for the remaining hooks. The smell of smoked meat would have been very prevalent at Woodlawn.
Topics. This historical marker African Americans • Agriculture. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
Location. 38° 43.075′ N, 77° 8.248′ W. Marker is near Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Outlet 0.2 miles north of Lampert Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria VA 22309, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Woodlawn (here, next to this marker); The People of Woodlawn (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Woodlawn (within shouting distance of this marker); Dairy (within shouting distance of this marker); Necessary (within shouting distance of this marker); Pope-Leighey (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Woodlawn Historic Landscapes (approx. ¼ mile away); The Woodlawn Historic District (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Belvoir.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 11, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 11, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.