Chatham County Historical Association

Note New Phone Number: 919-542-6222


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Unique Smokehouse History

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9 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro, NC
Open: Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

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Please send your 2016 dues to
CCHA, PO Box 93, Pittsboro NC  27312.
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Individual  $18.00
Family  $20.00
Student  $10.00
Patron  $50.00
Corporate $100.00

Donations in addition to these rates are greatly appreciated.

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Chatham Rabbit
Historical Ornament
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CCHA Documents History of Property for New County Agricultural Center and Saves Unique Smokehouse

Work is well underway on the construction of a new County Agricultural Center in Pittsboro on the west side of town. Before the land was cleared for the project, the county allowed the Chatham County Historical Association to examine the site for clues to its history. There were many.

A small group of volunteers, including two local professional archaeologists, spent a few days on site—from July to December 2014—photographing several structures and ruins, mapping 50 large trees (most over a century old), and researching early residents who made the property their home from the early 1800s to the late 1990s.

Smoke HouseWhile most of the structures on the site had been razed or were in advanced stages of deterioration, a smokehouse was found largely intact. The structure had several unique features. It was overly tall—about 25 feet at its roof apex, with a cantilevered roof and an unusual decorative pattern made with nails on its single door. Above a more recent dropped ceiling, the original ceiling of the smokehouse was intact, complete with riven sticks or pegs set directly into the upper rafters—once used for holding meat.

The CCHA Board felt that the smokehouse offered a rare opportunity to preserve something of the county’s early agricultural past and vernacular architecture, and voted to move the structure to a secure location while construction proceeded. It is the Board’s hope that the smokehouse can be worked into future plans for the site and returned to serve as an example of Chatham County’s early traditional architecture.

To learn more and to see photos of the site prior to the start of construction, see CCHA Documents History of Property for New County Agricultural Center and Saves Unique Smokehouse the report prepared by the volunteer team who researched the site.

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