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Winder in Barrow County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fort Yargo's Beehive Oven

 
 
Fort Yargo's Beehive Oven Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 10, 2021
1. Fort Yargo's Beehive Oven Marker
Inscription.  
At one time, settlers used beehive ovens to bake all kinds of foods. Taking its name from its shape, the beehive oven can be found in all parts of the world even today. They are simple to build from clay and straw so there is little or no cost — also they are very efficient and easy to use. Sometimes a small chimney to vent the smoke is added should the ratio of dome to door not work out properly; however, this greatly reduces its efficiency.

A hardwood fire is built on the floor inside the oven. Smoke is vented out the top side of the only opening in front while fresh air is pulled in through the lower area. This oven will reach about 950 degrees in two hours. The fire is then raked out and the floor of the oven is damp mopped. It will hold the heat for about 8 hours. Fast cooking items, such as bread and cakes, are cooked directly on the floor first. Roasts of meat and slower foods are cooked later as the temperature inside the oven begins to drop.

Settlers cooked over open fires while traveling to their new homes in frontier settlements, like those around Fort Yargo. Later, once they established their farms, cooking still
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took place over an outdoor fire during the hotter days of summer. However, most women enjoyed having a home with a hearth. The hearth fire was rarely extinguished as the family depended on it for cooking, heat during the cooler months, and light during the evening hours.

On frontier farms, women cooked most of the family's food. Although everyone helped with some portion of this task — from gathering firewood, hauling water, plucking chickens, and harvesting fruits, berries, and vegetables — the woman of the house commanded the kitchen. Her day began early as she prepared the day's first substantial meal. On some days, she then made bread or canned and preserved other foods for later use. Then she prepared the large midday meal to fuel the rest of the work day. The evening meal might have been more simple. One pot meals, such as soups and stews were common. Roasted meats cooked to a golden-brown in front of, but not over a roaring fire. This resulted in a lightly caramelized crust, a juicy interior, and an intense flavor.

A swinging crane, built into the hearth, provided a number of hooks so that pots could hang over the fire. Irons might hold a spit for roasting fowl or small game. Bake kettles, like the one on the left, could be used for rising bread, baking, and roasting meat and vegetables. The hearth's implements served various uses.

Early settlers'
Marker detail: Beehive Oven image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Beehive Oven
homes sometimes had clay or mud-covered stick or log chimneys. A crossbar or lugpole often rested on ledges built into the chimney. Cut from wet, green wood, they would sooner or later dry up and break. This often caused serious burns and even broken bones as cooking pots fell into the fire.
 
Erected by Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Parks & Historic Sites.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 33° 58.577′ N, 83° 44.084′ W. Marker is in Winder, Georgia, in Barrow County. Marker can be reached from Fort Yargo Road east of South Broad Street (Georgia Highway 81), on the left when traveling south. Marker and Beehive Oven are located at the Fort Yargo Interpretive Site within Fort Yargo State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Winder GA 30680, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Yargo's Smokehouse (a few steps from this marker); Fort Yargo's Log Structure (a few steps from this marker); Fort Yargo's Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Fort Yargo's Living History Society (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Yargo (within
Marker detail: Settlers cooked over open fires while traveling image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Settlers cooked over open fires while traveling
shouting distance of this marker); Fort Yargo's Frontier Fences (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Yargo's Early History (within shouting distance of this marker); Explore the Unique History of Fort Yargo (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winder.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Fort Yargo State Park
 
Also see . . .  Fort Yargo State Park. (Submitted on December 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Marker detail: Hunters often worked together image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Hunters often worked together
The menfolk hunted for game to supply additional meat for the table. Hunters often worked together and then shared the bounty among the individual families.
Fort Yargo's Beehive Oven Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 10, 2021
5. Fort Yargo's Beehive Oven Marker
(Fort Yargo log cabin in left background)
Fort Yargo Beehive Oven image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 10, 2021
6. Fort Yargo Beehive Oven
(marker visible in right background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 20, 2024