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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Charlottesville in Albemarle County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Smokehouse/Dairy

 
 
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
1. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Inscription. In the long, three-celled wooden structure that stood here between ca. 1790 and 1809, Jefferson combined two of what he considered "indispensable" elements of a Virginia plantation, the "smoke house" and "dairy." His unusual design placed "two meat-houses" with a "passage between" for a dairy under one roof. Enslaved men and women cut, salted, and cured the meat in the smokehouses; the women made cream and butter in the dairy. Jefferson's daughter Martha Randolph, like other plantation mistresses in Virginia, often supervised these activities; in 1791, she visited the "smoke house and fowls" and saw "the meat cut out." The smokehouse and dairy moved to the newly completed dependencies under the South Terrace in 1809.

m. a house 43 1/2 f. by 16. f. of wood, the floors of earth, used as a smoke house for meat, and a dairy.
Thomas Jefferson, 1796

The Workers
In December 1799, Jefferson asked his overseer to "have necessary attention paid to the meat." John, an enslaved carpenter, shepherd, and gardener, was to cut up the pork and beef. Ursula Granger, a laundress and pastry-cook who "unites trust & skill" was to "salt it and see that it is properly cured and managed." The cured meat was intended for overseers, enslaved people, Jefferson's household. and sometimes free white artisans.

Weekly
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
2. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Rations

Pork and cornmeal were the staples of the slave diet across Virginia. The weekly ration for an adult at Monticello was a peck (8 quarts) of cornmeal and a half-pound to a pound of pork. In 1811, Jefferson's household consumed about as many hogs as did 115 slaves. Overseers' wages often included pork, beef, cornmeal, and flour.

Lock and Key
Jefferson specified that "the smoaking & other attentions to the meat must be very exact" and that the cured beef and pork be kept under lock and key. Thefts still persisted. Martha Randolph reported to her father in 1798, "your smoke house was under mined and seventeen pieces of meat taken out." (Marker Number 08.)
 
Location. 38° 0.57′ N, 78° 27.15′ W. Marker is near Charlottesville, Virginia, in Albemarle County. Marker can be reached from Thomas Jefferson Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of Monticello—entrance fee is required. Marker is in this post office area: Charlottesville VA 22902, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Levy Legacy (here, next to this marker); Discovering Mulberry Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Mulberry Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Textiles
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
3. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Pork and Beef Cuts, English School,1902.
The Bridgeman Art Library
(within shouting distance of this marker); Nail-Making (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Mulberry Row (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nursery (about 300 feet away); Wood Trades (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charlottesville.
 
More about this marker. This is marker #08 in the "Mulberry Row at Monticello - Landscape of Slavery" panel series (link to series provided on this page).
 
Also see . . .  Mulberry Row at Monticello - Landscape of Slavery panel series. (Submitted on December 13, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.)
 
Categories. African AmericansAgriculturePatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers
 
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
4. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Saucer with botanical design, pearlware.
Button, copper alloy.

Archaeological evidence, including this button and saucer, suggests that a slave dwelling was built here ca. 1809 after the "smoke house" and "dairy" were dismantled.
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
5. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Chart of hogs, Jefferson's Farm Book.
Jefferson calculated the number of hogs needed at Monticello and Poplar Forest in 1811.
Massachusetts Historical Society
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
6. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Smokehouse/dairy conjectural drawing.
Architects and hisc:orlans based their interpretation on archaeological evidence and Jeffrrson's records.
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
7. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
Smokehouse/dairy digital model.
The model shows the stone foundation, log walls, and clapboard roof as they might have appeared.
Smokehouse/Dairy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2012
8. Smokehouse/Dairy Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 13, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 311 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 13, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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