In honor of the Friends of Gettysburg 25th Anniversary, we will be raising $25,000 to reconstruct the smokehouse at the George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital Site.
The Spangler Family did not have the luxury of reaching into the refrigerator to grab a pack of bacon or slice of ham at mealtime. In 1863, the only way to ensure your family had meat year-round was to utilize a smokehouse.
Most 19th century farms had a smokehouse onsite to preserve meats. After the meat was heavily salted and hung from the structure’s high beams, a low smoky fire was built within the structure using hickory, maple or apple firewood. The heat, salt and smoke dried out the meat, allowing it to last longer. The smokehouse was then tightly secured to protect the preserved meat from thieves, critters and the elements.
In order to fully interpret 19th century farm life, it is critical that the Friends of Gettysburg reconstruct the Spanglers’ smokehouse.
The existing condition of the smokehouse suggests that very few, if any, changes have been made since its construction in the mid-19th century. While this is a fantastic discovery for historic interpretation, it also means that the structure has not been maintained for over 150 years. It currently stands in poor condition.
The structure needs several repairs including a new roof, door, walls and meat-hanging beams. The existing field stone foundation will be salvaged and mortared in place and the floor will be packed with earth to match the existing floor surface.
With the Friends' support, visitors of all ages will be able to not only fully understand the hardships of 19th century living but also witness the incredible impact the Friends of Gettysburg have on the preservation and education of this hallowed ground.
To donate to this project click here. Please make sure to write "Smokehouse Project" in the comment section.
Thank you for your support and please visit the website often for project updates!