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Smokehouse restoration, Lancaster County

For today’s connoisseur of smoked meat products, one can simply run to the deli or grocery store to pick up whatever quantity of beef, ham, or bacon that you desire, any time of the year. Things were not always that simple. Preserving meats was hard work, and if any step of the butchering, curing, or smoking processes didn’t go right, a family could lose an entire year’s supply of meat. We have a huge respect for our forefathers (and foremothers) who used these smaller farm structures out of necessity to feed family and neighbors. With the advent of refrigeration, smokehouses fell out of use and only the lucky ones have been “repurposed” as storage sheds. All too many have been razed. One such lucky smokehouse still stands in Lancaster County, but time and storms took its toll.

A storm literally lifted its roof and several upper courses of logs, but that didn’t spell the end of this relic of our past. The roof frame, though tossed upside down, was still solidly intact and suitable for re-use. Deteriorated or damaged wall logs were replaced using half dovetail corner joinery. All the walls were re-chinked, trim boards reproduced, and a new cedar shake roof was installed.