Adena Mansion & Gardens
Hours of Operation
APR-OCT: Wed-Sat 9-5, Sun 12-5
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Adults: $10, Seniors: $9, Children 6 and up: $5
OHS, AMGS, and children 5 and under: Free.

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Adena Mansion & Gardens

The Mansion
The Tenant House
The Spring House
The Wash House
The Smoke House
The Barn
The Gardens
The Visitors Center


A letter written in 1799 to Thomas Worthington from JL Willis mentions the attending (building) of a smoke house. The smoke house at Adena, built in1802, is a “square loop-holed, massive stone block house”. The smokehouse is the only original outbuilding structure still standing on the Adena estate.

Eleanor Worthington in 1841 mentions a large meat trough (probably referring to the brining trough) in the smokehouse. The Worthington papers include a bill from Thomas Smith dated October 16, 1823 that mentions a lard store, 61 barrels of pork and 6 beef barrels.

Worthington felt that cutting blocks made of sycamore were preferable to walnut (11-5-1824).

According to the Ohio State Board of Agriculture twelfth Report 1858, a mid 19th century description of smokehouse activities is as follows:

Huge kettles of boiling water for scalding meat were necessary. The recipes for curing varied from family to family. The meat was scalded, then cut up and allowed to cool, then rubbed with a saltpeter and sugar mixture. Each layer of meat was covered with salt. The meat then stood in dry salt for 24 hours, then water, salt and sugar was added. The brining trough held the mixture of salt and sugar and can be seen in the back of the smoke house. The brine had to be strong enough to float an egg.

After soaking in the brine for 4-5 weeks, the meat was suspended from the ceiling joists over smoldering fire of green hickory and sugar maple chips, though sometimes corn cobs were used. The hams, bacon and sides after they were smoked were wrapped in paper or cloth and would keep almost indefinitely in a dry cool place. During the smoking process a glaze formed over the meat. This glaze helped to repel insects and retard spoilage.

The small windows in the smoke house allowed the smoke to slowly escape and prevented animals from entering the space.

Adena Mansion and Gardens
Thomas Worthington & Family
The Old Northwest Territory
Ohio Statehood
Great Seal of the State of Ohio
Benjamin Latrobe

Upcoming Events
  February 18, 2017
Volunteer Orientation Breakfast
  March 4, 2017
Ohio Statehood Day
  March 11 & 18, 2017
Scrapbooking Crops

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