Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)

SMOKE HOUSE, c. 1910s – 1940s 

TAGS:  Smoke House: built environment: curing meat;

Little remains of the smoke house that was used to cure meat during the first three decades of Pine Mountain School. The base of the small house and the fire block are located across Limestone Creek, to the east side of Laurel House. Now largely overgrown and almost indistinguishable, the remains of the small house can be seen to either side of the small tree. The fire was maintained in the unit to the right of the image and the foundation of the smoke house can be seen to the left of the image. The smoke house provided a means to cure various meats, particularly ham, for the School kitchen. It was located close to the original Laurel House which burned in 1939. It is not clear if the smoke house was destroyed along with Laurel House, or if it was allowed to disintegrate due to lack of use in the later years of the School.


Foundations and remains of early smoke house used by Pine Mountain School to cure various meats. Photo courtesy Elanor Brawner, Nov. 2014. [DSC00882.jpg]

The butchering of meat was a common occurrence at the School. Most often the butchered animal was a pig. The process of butchering was also included in the industrial training classes of the school as seen in this photograph of instruction on cuts of meat taken by the Harmon Foundation photographer, Virginia …. for the School in 1941.


Today federal and state laws have strict rules governing the butchering and serving of meat in institutions. The regulations limited the continuation of butchering at the school in later years and this may have contributed to the deterioration of the structure or the fact that it was never re-built.

William Hayes Photograph Album

William Hayes Photograph Album. Pig ready for cleaning and butchering, c. 1940s. [hay_IMAG0148_mod.jpg]

Butchering a Pig. Selected Exhibit -

Butchering a Pig. Selected Exhibit Photographs. Shows the simple traditional angled structure used for hanging the pig during the butuchering process. [misc_exhibit_015.jpg]