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Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Smokehouse / Curing and Smoking Meat

 
 
The Smokehouse / Curing and Smoking Meat Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 1, 2022
1. The Smokehouse / Curing and Smoking Meat Marker
Inscription.  
The Smokehouse
The "meat house" was moved here in 1987, from the Murphy dairy farm off Frying Pan Road. Used for over 100 years to preserve pork and other meats, it is larger than a traditional family smokehouse.

The building served as a summer kitchen, and had a wood cookstove and kitchen table. During the fall and winter, it was used to preserve and store meat for the family's year round consumption.

Mr. Murphy preferred to cure pork, rather than slaughter hogs, so he bought fresh meat from neighboring farms. The meat house's large size enabled the family to prepare up to 100 hams a year for sale to the local community, significantly supplementing the family's dairy income.

Curing and Smoking Meat
Fresh meat was initially cured with a salt mixture. Salt dries the meat and retards bacterial growth. Seasonings add flavor. A "sugar cure" required rubbing meat with a mixture of salt, brown sugar, pepper and saltpeter; layering the meat in a wooden box; and reapplying the seasonings every few days. Thus, a 15 pound ham would take approximately 60 days to cure.

Smoking
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the meat also dries and preserves it, and adds a distinct flavor. After curing, meat was hung over a slow burning hickory fire during the fall and winter months. Bacon may not reach it's peak flavor for two months; and the finest hams take six months to a year to smoke. Fully cured and smoked hams can remain hung until eaten, sometimes up to four years.

Those who taste a properly cured and smoked ham, never forget it's incredible flavor.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureAnimals. A significant historical year for this entry is 1987.
 
Location. 38° 56.166′ N, 77° 24.552′ W. Marker is in Herndon, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on West Ox Road (Virginia Route 608) 0.1 miles east of Rogers Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2717 West Ox Rd, Herndon VA 20171, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Middleton Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); The Moffett Family Blacksmith Shop (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Van Brunt Mfg. Co. (about 300 feet away); Threshing Machine (about 400 feet away); New Ideas for Victory (about 400 feet away); Side Delivery Hay Rake - Horse Drawn (about 400 feet away); The 4-H Building (about 700 feet away); Home Sweet Home (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Herndon.
 
The Smokehouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 1, 2022
2. The Smokehouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 1, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 97 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 1, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jun. 9, 2023