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Heart of the House: Exploring New England’s Historic Kitchens

April 22, All Day, Historic Deerfield

Heart of the House: Exploring New England’s Historic Kitchens

This one-day forum at Historic Deerfield brings together a diverse group of historians, researchers, and curators who will focus on the material culture and functions of the historic New England kitchen and its workspaces, including issues of domestic life and labor, class and wealth, space and room use, gender, technology, and the quest for greater efficiency.

The afternoon will include a demonstration of historic cookery equipment and its use on the hearth, hanging from the crane, and in the bake oven, a guided tour of historic kitchens in two of Deerfield’s houses, and an informal, hands-on workshop of cooking tools and storage containers with Curatorial Department Director and Curator of Historic Interiors, Amanda Lange. The day ends with refreshments at Hall Tavern and an optional tour of Historic Deerfield’s newly opened Barnard Tavern, which operated from 1795 to 1806.

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*** The newly renovated Barnard Tavern will open to the public. Built-in 1795, the Barnard Tavern was at the center of village life at the end of the 18th century. In the early 19th century, roads and canals improved transportation and communication between towns in the new nation. The tavern formed a center of village life, a point at which the people of Deerfield met the outside world, in the person of a stagecoach driver, itinerant artisan, or drover. Barnard Tavern provided accommodations for visitors and served as a meeting place. Townspeople and travelers exchanged news and opinions, conducted business, read mail and newspapers, and posted broadsides. Meals were prepared in the kitchen, drinks were served in the bar room, and dances, plays, court sessions, meetings, and auctions were held in the upstairs assembly room. The assembly room was also the site of the first meeting of the trustees of Deerfield Academy.

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