A cookhouse is a small building where cooking takes place. Often found at remote work camps, they complemented the bunkhouse and were usually found on ranches that employed cowboys, or loggers in a logging camp. Prior to the 20th century, cookhouses were a feature of some private residences where the kitchen was a separate building so the heat and smoke from cooking was kept away from the main residential building.

Mystery Mine cookhouse, Monte Cristo, Washington, ca. 1894

Types of cookhouses Edit

In North America, cookhouses were a standard feature of remote work sites, as the working men (e.g. cowboys, loggers, miners, etc.) needed large amounts of food for the strenuous work they performed.[1][2] In logging camps, cooks were important to the morale of the workers. In some cases, workers would follow a cook to the camp where they were working each season.[3] The cookhouse was one of the key buildings at any work site, along with the bunkhouse and tool shed.[4]

The use of a cookhouse was not limited to resource extraction industries. Travelling circuses also use a style of cookhouse to feed their workers and performers.[5] In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked in many remote areas, like the Malheur National Forest in the Ochoco Mountains of eastern Oregon. The Allison Ranger Station was expanded with two ranger residences, a fire warehouse, a gas house, a garage, a generator shed, and a cookhouse.[6] Large institutions, like Ireland's Sligo Gaol, also had a cookhouse to serve the needs of the institution.[7]

A wannigan was a kitchen built on a raft which followed the log drivers down the river,[8] both serving meals[9] and providing tents and blankets for the night if no better accommodations were available.[8]

Residential usage Edit

In the Southern United States, antebellum plantations, like the Archibald Smith Plantation or the Sion Hill estate, had a cookhouse separate from the main house[10] to keep the main house from overheating. An example is the Condit Family house in New Jersey which had an unattached cookhouse.[11]

In Iran, a common feature in homes prior to the 20th century was to have a cookhouse separate from the residence. With time and newer technologies this has changed with the kitchen being brought into the house.[12]

Military usage Edit

A military version of the cookhouse is the galley, the compartment of a ship, train, or aircraft where food is cooked and prepared for consumption in the mess.[13] In the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Port Elizabeth, the town of Cookhouse may have gotten its name from a small stone house used for shelter and cooking by troops camping on the bank of the Great Fish River.[14]

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Kanes, Candace. "Cooks and Cookees: Lumber Camp Legends". mainememory.net. Archived from the original on May 22, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Old Pitchfork Cook House to Be Restored at National Ranching Heritage Center". KCBD. September 4, 2007. Archived from the original on February 13, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "Logging Camps: The Early Years". Minnesota DNR. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  4. ^ "Kromona Mine". ghosttownsofwashington.com. 2015. Archived from the original on July 17, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Thayer, Stuart. William L. Slout (ed.). "The First Cookhouse". American Circus Anthology, Essays of the Early Years. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. ^ "Value Analysis presentation – Allison Ranger Station". Ochoco National Forest. Prineville, Oregon: United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture. November 2001. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  7. ^ Ridley, Chris. "Sligo Gaol (Prison)". sligotown.net. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Rosholt, Malcolm (1982). Lumbermen on the Chippewa - The Drive (PDF). Rosholt, Wisconsin: Rosholt House. pp. 63–64. ISBN 0-910417-00-8.
  9. ^ "Log Drives (and River Pigs)". Forest History Center. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  10. ^ "Archibald Smith Plantation Home". MuseumsUSA. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Livingston's Force Homestead and Condit Family Cookhouse Open Sunday, Oct. 13". Livingston. tapinto.net. October 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Sobouti, Hooman; Ghasemi, Ali (July 2016). "The Evolution Of The Cookhouse To The Kitchen". The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication. 6 (July Special Edition): 605–613. doi:10.7456/1060JSE/027. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  13. ^ "Galley". ussslater.org. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  14. ^ Raper, P. E. (1989). Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-947464-04-2 – via Internet Archive.

Further reading Edit

External links Edit

  •   The dictionary definition of cookhouse at Wiktionary