Pigs arrived in Virginia with the first English colonists and thrived in the warm, humid climate. Traditionally, the English used salt to preserve their pork, but the resulting meat was no match for the hot summers in Virginia. The colonists observed the Virginia Indians smoking game in their longhouses and subsequently combined both methods — salt and smoke — to create the forerunner of the country ham that we know today.
Cured pork has been exported from this area since the 17th century, and many farmers raised hogs for market.
The smokehouse was an important building on the farm. It not only preserved meat, but it was also the storage location. Smokehouses like this were locked; the farm's owner had the key. This smokehouse held upward of 200 hams.
Erected by Smithfield Parks & Recreation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans.
Location. 36° 58.718′ N, 76° 37.436′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kitchen and Laundry (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Windsor Castle Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Farm Manager's Office (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joseph W. Luter, III (approx. ¼ mile away); Smithfield (approx. ¼ mile away); Liquid Maze (approx. ¼ mile away); History of Longleaf Pine in Virginia (approx. ¼ mile away); The Todd House & the First Smithfield Ham (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smithfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.