From The Archives: Historic Kitchen Tour

Dear Readers, 

I've written several times about our 2014 tour of the beautiful Texas living history farm in LBJ State Park, and this time I wanted to share some photos I took of the kitchens.  The house has two kitchens: one in the tiny 1861 limestone wing from the original homestead, shown second, and then the modernized kitchen in the beautiful 1915 house, which is shown here first. The 1915 kitchen was full of modern comforts--no granite countertops, but the 1900s equivalent of a brand-spankin'-new wood stove, although there was no indoor plumbing.  Water was drawn up from the ranch's well by a windmill into the well house, and then hauled into the kitchen--a vast improvement over hauling it miles from the nearest creek!  When we consider what housewives of 100 years ago had to overcome, modern cooks really have no reason to complain. Dedicated park volunteers still cook, can, and churn butter in period costume, which is incredibly brave of them, considering that they're wearing long, heavy cotton dresses, there's no air conditioning, and it routinely hits well past the 100° F mark indoors when the stove is fired up (and it's already 100 degrees outside).  I would melt.

(Please click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through)

From top left: porch on the 1915 addition; kerosene wall sconce for lighting; Heartland wood stove, which had to have been a challenge to keep the same temperature; pots & pans next to the oven, and the kindling used to start a fire; sunbonnets and fly swats; a butter churn; Blue Willow dishes on display, with a painted sign on the kitchen wall reading "I lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Psalm 121:1) in German; several china cabinets, the second displaying the family's "medicine cabinet" of terrifying home remedies on top; a view of the 1915 kitchen window from outside.  

Next we have the original 1861 cabin, built with local limestone: lard on the kitchen table, for making candles; the kitchen pantry, with a beautiful array of canned goods (tomatoes, corn, and Texas Hill Country peaches among them) which are grown on the property by park volunteers in a massive garden; a view out the window of the 1861 kitchen.

To view my full tour of this beautiful Texas Hill Country farm, please click here!

Yours Truly,