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18th century
  • (Linda Suskie)
  • (Dave Tabler)

Colonial farm structures hardly ever survive, but this is a rare exception. Historically, smokehouses were among the most common outbuildings. Only a handful were brick, as this one is. Meats were hung from hooks attached to poles that ran from wall to wall under the roof. Benches allowed one to sit while salting and packing meat—part of the curing process. Smokehouses are typically windowless, with a single batten door (this one is especially ancient-looking). In masonry examples, a few bricks are omitted for ventilation, as here. The Center for Historic Architecture and Design at the University of Delaware has called increased attention to smokehouses, which are rapidly disappearing, many of the best examples they studied in the 1980s now having been razed. Nearby, H. Rodney Sharp demolished some nineteenth-century outbuildings to create a Colonial Revival garden.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Smokehouse", [Odessa, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 213-213.

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