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Chatham County Historical Association

Preserving and sharing the history of Chatham County North Carolina

Early Siler City Home Life

30 Apr 2024 9:44 PM | Anonymous

The home places of early Siler City residents, like those of the residents of Pittsboro, resembled, on a reduced scale, the family farms from which most had recently migrated. On the premises, a horse, cow, pigs and chickens might be kept--necessitating a barn, hog-pen and chicken house. Many homesteads had a vegetable garden and a few had a smokehouse. All had a privy.

Water was most often from a hand-dug well located in the back yard or under the back porch. Dead horses and cows were dragged through the streets behind a wagon to the local boneyard, which was located in the area where Jordan Matthews High School now stands.

In 1914 a town ordinance required that excrement be removed from all privies and pigpens at least once a month. The man who carried out this job used a one-horse wagon with a wooden box with hinged cover in the wagon bed. A bucket and shovel were used to move the material from the privy or pigpen to the wagon. He was said to always be smoking a pipe with strong tobacco.

Information from Wade Hadley's The Town of Siler City: 1887 - 1987. Photo is the John Siler, or Siler-Matthews house from The Architectural Heritage of Chatham County, North Carolina. Both books are available in CCHA's online store

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Chatham County Historical Association  ~   ~  PO Box 93  ~  Pittsboro NC 27312  ~  919-542-6222  ~  

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