Smoke House

Originally Built: Prior to 1820
   
Original Owner: Josiah Elam
   
Original Location: Elam Road and Spring Valley-Paintersville Road
   
Added to Village: 1974
   
Donated By: Josiah Elam Family
   
House Parent:  
   
History:

This smokehouse, found at the Elam property on a ridge above the headwaters of Caesar Creek southest of Xenia was the first log structure volunteers brought to the Village. It was an exciting day in the history of this restoration project and a really good learning experience.

In Pioneer Ohio the earliest smokehouses were made of logs with Puncheon floors like this one. They often sat off by themselves quietly serving their unique function of smoking and storing susages, hams, pork shoulders, ribs, bacon and beef.

Before the butchering a slow fire was started in a pit cut in the flooring or in a large pot often with hickory shavings and logs. The meat was then hung from the rafters remaining in the smoke from a time frame of several days for up to a week.

Preparing the meat for the smokehouse was very important. Pork was popular because it responded especially well to the spices and smoke. Most smokehouses could hold the selected parts of about four hogs plus other meats. When the smoking process was over the cured meat was ready for storage or the kitchen.

   
Interesting Facts: First Log Structure brought to the Village by the volunteers.
  **Note** The Smoke House is currently going through major repairs. We have taken out the floor and are in the process of removing the chinking now. Our goal is to completely disassemble the building. Assess the logs which are part of it currently and then rebuild it. This is a necessary step as the roof was negelected for many years and water has done extensive damage to some of the logs. We are going to replace those logs and rebuild the Smoke House so it is once again a functioning Smoke House. If you come to the village you can watch as this process unfolds. Once we get it rebuilt, we will be using it as an actual functioning Smoke House and smoking our own meats.