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7Frontier Life at the Log House

view inside the log house at Fort RoberdeauThe Log House is a typical frontier home. There is no electricity and no running water.

fireplace inside the log house and Fort RoberdeauAll cooking was done in and over the fire.

food on tableSurvival on the frontier depends on preserving food to last from the end of October through the beginning of May. Without electricity and refrigerators, how would the frontier people preserve their food?

dried applesThe first method to preserving food is by drying it. A tray of sliced apples is placed in a warm oven.  The warm dry air circulating around the apple slices results in dried apple chips.

dried beansDried beens are made by stringing green beans together with thread and hanging them near the fireplace where the warm dry air circulates.

pickles and beetsThe second method is pickling. Storing foods in vinegar will make them last much longer. Cucumbers stored in vinegar become pickles. Beets are another common food people preserve by pickling.

salt barrelMeat can spoil very quickly. One way to preserve meat is to salt it.  After the meat is butchered and cut up, it is placed in a barrel with salt. The salt draws the moisture out of the meat which will make it last much longer.

cured meatAnother way to preserve meat is to smoke it. Hanging the meat near a smoking fire will dry it out and therefore it will last longer. This is how jerkey is made.

person in colonial era clothing carry buckets of waterToday we get our water by turning on the sink in our homes. There was no running water in colonial times, so the frontier people would have to fill buckets with water from the nearest stream and carry it back to the house.

women dress in colonial era clothing demonstrates how to milk a cowIf you wanted milk back in colonial times, you had to get it directly from the cow! Today at Fort Roberdeau, there is a fake cow to demonstrate how this is done.

butter made from shaking cream in a jarMilk from the cow can be used to make butter. By putting the milk into a container and shaking it over and over, the globs of fat in the milk stick together and you get butter.

woman in colonial era clothing demonstrates how to forage for foodThere were no grocery stores out on the frontier. If you wanted greens with your supper, you would have to go foraging for them out in the woods.

types of toys children played with in colonial timesJust like today, once the children’s chores were done, they enjoyed playing with toys.  Toys in those times were much different, the were no electronics and no plastic. Toys were made out of wood and other materials from out on the farm like clay, rope, and corn husks.

checkerboardThis game of checkers was made using a painted piece of wood for the checkerboard, and sliced pieces of corn cobs for the checkers.

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Next: Colonial Era Clothing