The most recent addition to the Rural Life Museum’s group of historic structures is the Slaughter Smokehouse. A typical 10′ by 12′ farm “smokehouse”, it was moved to the Rural Life Museum campus in July of 2011 from the Orem Slaughter farm near Trappe. It was given to the Rural Life Museum by Mr. Slaughter’s daughters Ida Hickman, Estelle Slaughter and Libby Slaughter.
“A smokehouse is a building where meat or fish is cured with smoke. The finished product might be stored in the building, sometimes for a year or more. Even when people in some rural American areas during the twentieth century, notably where electricity still was not available, did not use smoke, they nevertheless called such a building–typically a small square unpainted wooden structure in the back yard–the ‘smoke house.’ Hogs were slaughtered after the onset of cold weather, and hams and other pork products were salted and hung up or placed on a shelf to last into the following summer”. [From Wikipedia]
In the Smoke House today one will find a large collection of vintage hand and farm tools, an apple-picking pole, an old platform scale, a corn sheller that came from Craig’s Point Farm, old milk cans and one of the first milking machines used in the area, and more.
Visit the Slaughter Smokehouse and Carol Lange, Museum Curator [top left], or a museum volunteer will be glad to explain how each of these historic tools was used.