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The Summer Kitchen on Winters Road

In the late 1990s, I found an interesting little building on Winters Road, west of Branstrator Road, in southwest Allen County, Indiana. It looked like a tiny house, about the size of the living room in my apartment, but it had three doors! Each end had a door, and there was a door in one side. The inside was divided into two small rooms.

The old man who owned the land at the time told me that the little house had been a "summer kitchen." In the 19th century, farmhouses often had a small building behind the house that was used for cooking and baking in the summer, to prevent the house from getting hot inside from the wood-burning stoves used for cooking in those days.

The owner told me that this one was built at another house down the road in the 19th Century, and that it was moved to the place where I found it in 1924. By the time I found it, the house it sat behind had been demolished.

I photographed this summer kitchen several times over the next few years, and since then I have found several other summer kitchens behind abandoned farmhouses around Indiana.

In September of 2012, I drove back out to Winters Road for the first time in several years. The summer kitchen was gone, and the land had been turned into a cornfield.




[7] Items